Email Marketing: 4 Tips for Getting Past Spam Filters

You’ve done all the hard work of encouraging people to sign up for your email marketing list, but the next thing you have to worry about is getting past their spam filters. You can’t hope every follower digs through his spam to find your email or adds you to his contact list. From your end, do what you can to make sure your emails end up exactly where you want them to —– in your customers’ inboxes.

No junk mail allowed!
photo credit: mlinksva

Comply with CAN-SPAM

It’s a no brainer for businesses since it’s the law for commercial email. Even if you’re not operating a commercial website but you want people to keep up with your blog updates, it helps to comply with the CAN-SPAM law. Study effective email marketing campaigns and how they avoid things that might get them flagged as spam according to the CAN-SPAM law, including:

  • Never use misleading information (in the to/from boxes, the subject line, etc.)
  • Mark your email as an ad (if it is for a business) in the email
  • Include your business’s street address in the email
  • Provide an “unsubscribe” link or instructions in the email
  • Unsubscribe those who have elected to stop receiving messages in 30 days or less

If you hire anyone to take care of your marketing for you, it’s also your responsibility to make sure they comply with these terms. Much of the required information is easy to camouflage at the bottom of your emails without drawing attention away from the focus of the email.

Avoid Overt Sales Terms

Even if you don’t use misleading subject lines, that doesn’t mean you should be clear you’re selling something. Overt sales terms like “act now,” “buy now” and “sale” are terms spam filters look for. Highlight what’s special about the particular newsletter. For example, if a newsletter’s big headline is about a new pudding product, be creative in your subject line with something like, “Indulge yourself with our succulent new pudding flavor for chocoholics.” This subject line is more likely to get past spam filters than something like, “Buy our new pudding! It’s on sale!”

Include a Few Effective Images

Email marketing campaigns tread a thin line when it comes to image inclusion. In general, the more images, videos and interactive media online, the better. Websites with more emphasis on visual elements than text make more effective use of the Internet medium. However, when it comes to emails, you can’t fit much media into an email and too many images might get your emails spam-flagged. There are a few forms of viruses and spyware that automatically download to computers via images, so a number of popular mail providers even allow people to turn off the images in emails entirely, until they trust the company or organization sending them the email.

I want your email
photo credit: 28 Dreams

Do include a few compelling images. The same rules apply for website graphics: make sure the images are high quality, inoffensive and copyright-free (or you attribute the copyright and pay copyright fees as necessary). You might also include graphics such as a border around the bulk of the email or a logo for your website. You should link to videos instead of trying to include them. An email with images is more compelling than an email comprised of just text, so you should always include an image option.

Offer Text Versions with Each Email

Although image-decorated email should always be available, consider the types of devices people use to read their emails. Desktop computers might have the size screen and processing power to view a complex email, but small smartphones may not. Offer text-only versions for those interested, and consider how your email will look with images turned off.

Forbes points to popular email service inbox reorganizing and the rise of mobile email as a few of the issues email marketers need to pay attention to. You may avoid the spam folder only to have your email placed in a “promotion” folder, a separate tab from the primary inbox. To entice customers to continue reading your emails, make customers look forward to receiving them; make sure they’re easy to read on mobile devices and offer exciting content.