Despite many years of predictions that email as a marketing channel would die or fade away, that day has yet to arrive. Email is alive and kicking – in fact, email marketing remains one of the most effective digital media channels. For every dollar brands invest in email marketing, they receive an average of $42 in return. Which, of course, sounds great… leading many to believe this is a foolproof marketing method.
But, that doesn’t mean just by sending a barrage of emails, you will be rolling in cash.
Because with more and more businesses trying to harness email’s marketing powers, spam filters are working harder than ever to improve relevance and filter out noise. Fun Fact: Did you know Spam accounts for 45% of all emails sent?
That is A LOT of spam. And it’s easy to wonder. Why are so many emails going into the Spam folder and how can I keep mine from doing the same?
Truth is, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we can’t control how emails are received (or force people to receive them in a certain way.) Experts will tell you, “Just follow the best practices to try and avoid being perceived as spam.”
Here at Hustler Marketing though, we are fond of challenges. To combat this Spam problem, we simply said no to the algorithm. And in doing so, we paved the way for the best email delivery in the history of the internet. Yes, we did it, we cracked the code, and most of our accounts rarely land in the dreaded Spam folder! We did our own research, and we took the spam game to another level! Not only did we successfully avoid landing in Spam folders, but we have also found some juicy tricks to land straight in PRIMARY inboxes! No wonder our clients love it here.
Today we have decided we will be sharing some of our secrets to a successful email delivery. So, hold on tight and lean in close as we share a little classified info:
Here are our secrets for fixing your biggest Spam Issues:
1. Fix the email copy and avoid spam-trigger words
Be careful with the text you use in your email copy. Make sure you know what triggers the spam filter and find a workaround. For example too many “promotion” words in your email can throw you right off track. Keep in mind that the listed trigger words are just common examples. They may not be specific to your email service provider, however, you have to be careful and keen on specific words you’re using in the subject line or the body of the email that might activate the Spam filters.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a complete list of trigger words to avoid, but here are some examples that can give you an idea:
- Fantastic deal
- For free
- Act now! Don’t hesitate!
So No Risk, No Problems! Right?
Well, it doesn’t stop at words. Here’s a brief checklist to go through before you hit the “Send” button:
- Be careful with words associated with the language of sales.
- Common sense will tell you that one exclamation mark per sentence is enough. Never shout at your subscribers (e.g. “Buy my e-book now!!!”) Exclamation marks are especially risky in email subject lines.
- Never overdo the use of “ALL CAPS”. When emphasis is needed, use a maximum of one word per sentence in all capitals, never a whole sentence.
2. Optimise the email content
Other than copy, there are many components in an email that can help with spam trigger prevention. Here’s a few of them.
- Make sure to use the Postmasters tools to check your ID Sender’s reputation and test where your emails are landing once every month.
- Show an additional unsubscribe link in a prominent position, somewhere close to the top of the email.
- Don’t use too many images/GIFs – think about sending plain text emails more often, and steer clear of too many links.
- Avoid image-only emails and do your best to optimize the images.
- It matters where you’re “From”! Avoid frequent changes of From field names. Use clear, trustworthy From field names, such as: “contact@”, “newsletter@”, “support@”, feedback@”
2. Monitor audience engagement rates
When your emails are inaccurately marked as spam, it could be because you have low engagement rates. One of the tell-tale causes of low engagement rates is having the wrong audience on your email list in the first place. Now, we know that every marketer is trying to grow their email list to be as large as possible. (And considering the importance of email marketing, they should be trying to grow their email list as much as they can.)
But rather than simply getting more subscribers, marketers need to focus on getting the right kind of subscribers. Just think more thoroughly about your segmentation, and you might find more than one hack to use.
Also, please avoid purchased lists! Purchased lists are ticking time bombs, waiting to devastate your reputation as a sender. Riddled with dead emails and spam traps, they quickly inform mailbox providers that you break the rules by sending unsolicited emails.
3. Monitor and fix Deliverability Issues
Making sure your emails land in the customer’s inbox is the foundation of success in email marketing. Metrics like open and click rates come after. Deliverability relates to how much and well your emails are landing in the inbox.
It is a marketing fallacy to solely check the ‘delivered rate’. But it is not a reliable indicator of how many emails are getting to the intended recipients. According to Return Path’s Sender Score Benchmark Report, only 28% of all messages sent worldwide ever reach the inbox. So you can track deliverability more accurately by monitoring inbox placement rates.
The delivered rate will tell you the number of emails that were sent and didn’t bounce, while inbox placement rate shows you the email count that gets to the inbox of your intended recipients successfully. I hope that’s starting to get more sense. Now… the latter means that the emails that end up in junk mail and the spam folder are part of the delivered rate, whereas the inbox placement rate only records emails landing successfully in inboxes.
Testing tools like GlockApps can help estimate your potential inbox placement rate by sending a copy of the message to the seed list. Other services to consider are MailGate Bolt, 250ok, Return Path, BlueHornet, Mail Monitor, Mail List, Smarter Tools, and Campaign Monitor.
Get your name off SPAM blacklists
Did you know that your whole domain name could be blacklisted by email providers ensuring your emails will always land in the spam folder? The horror! Not sure if you’ve been blacklisted? There are over a hundred SPAM blacklists – private corporate spam firewall and private blacklists, but luckily there are a few tools like multi.valli.org/lookup. that can help you check most of them quickly.
Now – I won’t tell you exactly how… but there are a lot of easy ways to monitor deliverability, and most are free tools to help you verify whether the email was delivered successfully and what other deliverability issues exist.
Look ma, no more spam!
Having your emails end up in people’s Spam folders is frustrating. But after reading this post, you should have the knowledge to understand why your emails are going to Spam and fix the problem(s).
To reiterate, you’ll want to avoid spammy copy, use a good ratio of text to images, minimise links, and make sure your subscribers are engaged and opted-in and always monitor your deliverability through Inbox Placement Rates.
But in the end, there’s way more to this, and we wish we could spill all our secrets. But if you want our team of cyber ninjas and email experts to get your emails out of spam and hit the best deliverability rates, get in touch with us today, and let’s see those inbox placement rates boom!