The Do’s and Don’t of Spam
Spam, it is largely considered the lowliest of lunchmeats. Most people don’t want it anywhere near their meals; the same rule applies to your inboxes. Hiding behind the façade of deliciousness and nutrition (barely), spam only serves to fill you with something you probably don’t need or want.
You don’t want to be like spam, do you?
I thought not.
With that out of the way, there isn’t a guaranteed way to avoid spam filters when dealing with mass email, but you can do everything you can to make it as difficult as possible for those filters to pick up on you. But before we get into how to avoid them, let’s discuss what spam filters look for.
There is a long and varied list of criteria that a spam filter takes into consideration when determining the spamminess of a message. Each factor is weighed and added resulting in a total Spam Score that ultimately decides whether you will pass through the filter undeterred or if your messages go straight into the Junk folder. To throw another wrench into the works, each spam filter is independent and functions differently ten the others. Where your passing score may work in one place, the next spam filter over could flag you instantly.
In terms of specific criteria, it is hard to pin down. As is the nature of the internet, it is constantly evolving and adapting. What individual email users place in their junk folders directly impacts what these spam filters do or do not let through. They learn from each other and continuously make it more and more difficult to get your messages across. But fear not, it isn’t all completely bleak. There are a few steps you can take to help ensure your highest rate of delivery.
Familiarity: One of the major things spam filters look out for is whether or not you’re acquainted with the recipients of your message. The more often you can personalize the To: field or send through a verified domain name the better. Another thing you could do is ask to be added to their contact list. The more recognizable and trusted your domain is the less likely you will be flagged.
Coding: In Reply, you can alter the source code of the message to get even more out of the editor, but these changes can lead to the junk folder. Sloppy code, extra tags or tracking pixels, even text pulled in from outside sources like Microsoft Office can set the filters off. If you are going to manipulate the code it is best to work with a designer or pull a tried and tested template.
Format: In addition to what goes on in the code of your message, the content or images your emails contain can impact deliverability. Exact rules to follow here are almost non-existent (some people just throw everything into spam if they don’t know who it is from) but there are some broad strokes you can use to try and stay in the black. Design your campaign to be clear, concise and as balanced as possible. Firstly, don’t overdo it with logos and flavor text, explain yourself and use as much plain text as possible. Second, test your campaigns as often as you can. A/B testing can go a long way in determining whether or not your contact list is responding well to your emails and you can take that information and put it towards better the campaign to net you even better results. Lastly, Make sure that your list has opted-in or you are at least providing enough information in the forefront of your messages to not scare people away. Don’t try and trick people into opening up your messages with vague subjects or misleading titles. It may take a while but promoting your business through professional practices and adherence to Spam Legislation will eventually get you where you want to be.
IP Reputation: The last thing on our list may be the most important, IP reputation. If you have ever been flagged as spam in the past future filters may pick up on this fact and flag you again, regardless of the message content. Due to the fickle nature of some Internet users, it is next to impossible to prevent everyone from throwing your email into the junk. That is why it is best to take as much care as possible when crafting your copy. One misstep can lead to you having to change domain names and altering your IP address, which can take time and resources you’re better off spending elsewhere.
These points may seem pretty straightforward but I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to these details. An inexperienced marketing team can make a few rookie mistakes and end up costing you valuable time and potential sales. Treat your emails as you would any other important meeting and you will do well. Consider email just a fruitless extension of your brand and you may end up losing more than a few potential clients.
As I said at the outset, nobody likes to eat spam. Why would they want to see it when they turn on their computer as well?
Also Read: Top 5 Tips for Cold Enterprise Emails