Freeing Yourself from the Spam Folder’s Chokehold

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You just started taking email marketing for your store seriously… ?‍♂️

You used to simply send promos to your entire list and hope for the best. But the best never came. Instead Open Rates gradually declined and you found yourself sending more and more emails to make less and less money per send. 

Now a number of inbox providers consider you a spammer. Most recipients never even see anything you send because those providers automatically divert any emails from your domain directly to the spam folder. 

Revenue per campaign has been steadily dropping since. Deliverability issues have your email marketing in a chokehold that just seems to get tighter the more you try to maneuver. 

Too bad you need to launch a new product this month…. ? 

One thing is certain: you know you can no longer email the whole list a promo like in the good ole days.

Instead, you need to both re-engage people who haven’t opened your emails in a while, while also maintaining reasonably high open rates to preserve what little is left of your fragile deliverability. 

What do you do? Break free! Slip out of that Spam Chokehold with these 3 Email Marketing Judo moves.


Step One: Segment ?

When you sent those promos in the past to the whole list, of course, most people didn’t engage, but some did open and click. That’s your key to unlocking your spam prison jail cell.

Target those specific people and “re-engage” them with a reminder email 

In Klaviyo, you can do this by selecting your main list and doing an engagement report on it to see which dates most people engaged

By using this feature, you can quickly estimate what people you should target for your next re-engagement campaign. Also build segments for recent openers. Your most engaged audience will be opening most frequently, so target recent opens, being careful to exclude bounced addresses and suppressed list members. 

Don’t forget, too, to seek out your VIP customer list of those who have purchased a certain number of times or a certain dollar value. Segments like these can go along way toward Open Rate Resuscitation.


Step Two: Don’t Just Go with the Flow?

Keep only your flows that are triggered by user behavior, like your Welcome Flow and Your Cart Abandonment Flow. Pause other flows, like Re-engagement or Winback, until your Open Rates rise.

For your remaining flows that are still active, reduce the number of emails to two per flow. Also, redo your templates to be plain-text or nearly plain-text. Try to avoid including more than one link with a CTA button. 

Use pop-ups with strong incentives for website visitors to subscribe, but don’t display the coupon code. Email it to them instead so new subscribers search for it, even through spam, and open it. Don’t forget to make a Popup Thankyou as well that suggests searching through the Promotions and Spam folders if the coupon wasn’t immediately found.


Step Three: Pay Special Attention to Gmail?

Gmail, the inbox provider of more than a quarter of emailers worldwide, uses recipient behavior to help it determine what is and isn’t spam. Clicks, opens, replies, folder usage and other factors all act as clues for Gmail to weigh how important a particular email is. So encourage replies. Explicitly ask your subscribers to move your emails from spam or promotions tabs right into their inbox. Provide a handy GIF that walks them through the steps.

Also, reduce image size to less than 100 kilobytes and keep the number of links to 3 or fewer. 

These three Email Marketing Judo techniques will eventually free you from the spam-designation chokehold and, over time, you’ll begin to breathe easy. Your open rates will rise, your segments will increase in size and so, too, will your revenue per send. Comment below with some of your favorite email Marketing Judo moves!

Thomas McClintock and Ioan Siran

Hustler Marketing

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