If you’re using an email marketing service like AWeber or GetResponse, one of the most common frustrations you may have faced is your messages being marked as junk. So how do you avoid emails going to spam?
Why Do Marketing Emails Go to Spam?
Even if users have subscribed to your mailing list and want to hear from you, it’s still very possible that your messages are going into their spam folder. This is partly because of the technology being used to fight actual spam, and partly because your email may contain certain “triggers” that anti-spam algorithms look for when deciding whether or not an email message is actually spam.
Let’s look at each one and what you can do to help avoid emails going to spam:
The Rise of Anti-Spam Technology
In an ever-heated battle between email services, internet providers and actual spammers, technology is always being developed to outwit the other. Spammers try to think of ways to subvert anti-spam technology and the people behind that technology try to outsmart the spammers.
Marketing emails (the very messages that you want to avoid going to spam) are a sort of collateral damage in this war. However wanted they may be by your subscribers, your marketing messages aren’t being seen because somewhere along the way, the technology has decided that your message is spam.
Fortunately, there are ways to help tip the odds in your favor.
Avoid Marketing Emails Going to Spam with This Helpful Checklist
By following the steps in this checklist, you can greatly decrease the chances that your marketing emails will end up in your subscribers’ spam folders and improve your overall deliverability rates.
Avoid accidentally triggering spam filters with automated email marketing
By leveraging automated email marketing to send when a user takes a specific action (such as subscribing to be notified when a product they want is back in stock), you’ll be able to keep that user informed of inventory updates automatically without flooding their inbox with irrelevant products they may not be interested in, and thus being marked as a spammer.
One of the best email marketing platforms that allows for automation like this is GetResponse. It’s very simple to set up and requires no programming knowledge at all.
You simply click and drag your way to telling the system what you want to have as a “trigger”(user wants an update when product X is back in stock), and then how you want to notify them (for instance, with an SMS, with an email message or both).
Use a recognizable sender name
If you want to include your company name so that the user knows who it’s coming from, you can always use Your Name at Company as your sender name. But using a recognizable name isn’t just a good idea for spam filters. It’s also a good way to keep emails personable and demonstrate that there is an actual human on the other side of the screen.
If you think it doesn’t matter what’s in the Sender’s Name field, think again. According to a study by Finances Online, nearly half of all recipients will mark a message as spam if they don’t recognize the name or email address.
One of the biggest triggers for email marketing services is “email@example.com’ – so avoid making that your reply-to email address.
Choose a reputable email marketing service
It should go without saying, but an email marketing platform is only as good as its deliverability. Go with names you know and trust. If you’re not sure:
AWeber is great for those just getting started and is very beginner-friendly
GetResponse is perfect if you want to automate your email marketing and build landing pages.
Woodpecker is fantastic at cold email outreach and follow-up
ConvertKit is awesome if you want to focus on turning subscribers into paying customers and
Benchmark is perfect if you want to start email marketing for free
These are all email marketing platforms that have been around a long time and have built their businesses on reliability and high deliverabilitiy rates.
Check your emails against anti-spam programs before sending them
Many of the best email marketing services have free built-in tools that will help you check your emails for anything that might accidentally label it as spam. For example, AWeber has SpamAssassin which is a collection of common “triggers” that can cause an email to be incorrectly labeled as spam.
Fortunately, you can check this before you send it, so you’ll know what you need to take care of before the message goes out.
Watch out for spam trigger words
Certain words as part of your subject line, email message or both, can set off spam filters. These words include:
By the same token, you should also watch the body of your email. Even if you have the best of intentions with your offer, saying something like “it’s like the Viagra of ACME rockets” is going to send you straight to spam, for obvious reasons.
Don’t go overboard on the design
Although many excellent email marketing platforms allow you to send HTML newsletters, complete with images, videos and more, you should always have a plain text alternative available for those subscribers who prefer it.
Avoid heavy use of images
Along the same lines as rich media and scripts, avoid using a ton of images in your email. It’s one thing to lay out a nice newsletter with easy-to-read fonts and clear images, but lots of images (or just one big image with text) can clog up inboxes and be mistakenly labeled as spam.
Carefully proofread your messages
Spelling and grammar mistakes are another hallmark of a spam email. Fortunately most email marketing services have, at the very least, a spell-checker built in to help. It’s a good idea to carefully proofread your emails before they’re sent so that poor spelling doesn’t incorrectly label you as a spammer.
Always have a reason to send
Never just send emails, even autoresponder emails, just to send them. Always have something of value to share or something worth paying attention to. Spammers often just blast emails out to anyone and everyone, and if only a fraction of a percentage fall for their scam, they consider it a win.
Don’t buy an email list
And last but certainly not least — do your part to help avoid emails going to spam by never buying an email list, no matter how “clean” it seems! If you offer something valuable to your prospects, you can easily build your own list of interested subscribers.
Over time, you can build valuable relationships with these subscribers and they’ll look to you as an expert or someone worth paying attention to in your chosen industry or niche. With a following of happy fans and subscribers like that, there’s no reason to ever buy a list! In fact, buying a list and sending emails to it is a surefire way to get banned from your email marketing service, and if you want to avoid emails going to spam, build your list the right way — naturally!