Imagine spending valuable hours crafting your latest email campaign only to have it end up in Spam Land. A scary place full of kings from faraway lands asking for money and promises of a free iPhone. Basically, it’s where emails go to die. Unfortunately, creating beautifully optimised emails doesn’t guarantee you a spot in your customer’s inbox. So the question remains, how can you create killer content without killing your email deliverability? Here’s our top tips on how you can avoid spam filters to ensure your emails arrive safely in your customer’s inbox.
Use Double Opt-Ins
Don’t settle for single opt-in. Although you may gain more subscribers, your contact list will be more vulnerable to spammers which will potentially harm your sender reputation and email deliverability.
Using double opt-in is an effective way to keep your email lists squeaky clean and free of any spambots. Although the sign-up process is longer, subscribers who take that extra step will be more responsive to your emails and less likely to report them as spam.
Authenticate Your Domain Records
If you want to give your emails the absolute best chance of survival, set up your domain records. If you’re sending your emails from a domain other than your own, you’ve bought yourself a one-way ticket to Spam Land. Even if you manage to by-pass ISP filters, sending emails from a domain address like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc. does not clearly communicate who you are. And just like you would with uninvited guests, your subscribers will turn you away.
To put it simply if you want to resolve your deliverability issues and establish yourself as trustworthy to your receiving servers, it’s time to set up your domain records. To make it easier for you, here’s a helpful 3-minute video to show you how.
Avoid Spammy Headlines
More often than not spam emails tend to replicate legitimate sales emails, which means using common sales terms in your subject lines will immediately set off red flags. A whopping 70% of consumers mark messages as spam just based on the email header alone. However, spam filters are the first to pass judgement of your emails so knowing what factors they deem ‘spammy’ is the first obstacle you need to overcome.
Don’t go overboard with your punctuation or symbols. Instead charm your readers with creative copy, personalisation and clear intent. Unfortunately, there’s no magic keywords to help you out here, but we do have a comprehensive list of common spam trigger words which you can use for reference.
Don’t EVER Buy a Subscriber List
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…but this advice is email marketing 101. By purchasing a subscriber list you are not only running the risk of killing your deliverability but potentially breaching the Spam Act 2003. While this may seem like a hassle-free solution to growing your subscriber list, you don’t know how many dead emails or hidden spam traps could be lurking in the dark.
Building your list from scratch may be time consuming, however your efforts will pay off in the long-run when you have a genuine list of recipients who can’t wait to read your beautiful emails!
Don’t Go Crazy With Your Images
Your subscribers’ inbox is overflowing with sales emails so standing out from the crowd can be difficult. Best practice says not to cram your emails with copy, instead using images to grab your reader’s attention and do the rest of the talking. But before you go crazy decorating your emails with cool images you should know this tactic is a hallmark for spammers.
CUA’s newsletter is a great example of an email with a balanced image-to-text ratio. The images are relevant and complement the minimal email copy, which invites subscribers to scroll. If you’re after some inspiration for your next email campaign check out some of our real-life examples of beautiful email designs.
Your emails are essentially an extension of your brand, so using a colour scheme or tone of voice that doesn’t ring true to your brand is not only confusing but appears unprofessional to recipients.
Same goes with the number of emails you may send. Subscribers want to hear from you, so maintaining a consistent schedule which delights your customer-base will help build a positive relationship with them. If you start bombarding their inbox, recipients will feel like they are being pestered and report you as spam. However, if you don’t regularly update your subscribers they may forget about you and why they signed up in the first place.
So be consistent with your emails even if it buries down to the day of the week or time of your email send. If you want to stand out in your subscribers’ inbox, send emails when your subscribers expect to hear from you.
Don’t Make it Hard to Unsubscribe
While it’s a bummer when recipients hit unsubscribe, you can’t aim to please everyone. In fact, most unsubscribers are just unengaged recipients doing you a huge favour in tidying up your contact list.
Don’t try to hide your unsubscribe link in the footer amongst a rambling of text in an 8pt font. This will only frustrate your recipients and leave them with no other option than to permanently mark you as spam. We know you care about your subscribers. So instead of making life more difficult for them, delight them with a heartfelt unsubscribe message to leave a positive, lasting impression.
Avoid Shortening Your URLs
Using shortened URLs throughout your emails screams spam. This is because spammers are notoriously known for using URL shorteners to hide the true nature of their links. So even if your shortened URLs are legitimate links, spam filters will continue to block your emails.
Instead try hyperlinking text that relates to your links or using engaging CTA buttons. This will help drive a higher click-through-rate which ultimately contributes to your sender reputation and email deliverability.