Getting past the spam filter is the first step in engaging an audience through email marketing. While it may take time to build a valuable contact list, you will never make an impact on your subscribers if you can’t reach their inbox.
Even if you are presenting the best offers with the most compelling content, spam filters can still pluck your email from a recipient’s inbox and render all of your efforts entirely useless. This is why it is so vital for marketers to learn how to avoid the spam filter and reach their audience.
Ali Liaquat, contributor to Business2Community, suggests that they are two primary methods that spam filters will block a marketer’s email.
“If you indiscriminately send unsolicited emails with suspicious subject lines or messaging to large groups of people, AKA spam, their email servers will block you with their spam filters,” says Liaquat. “However, even if you’re legit and only send marketing emails to users on your contact list, your emails might be blocked if the content seems generic or overused. Think of it like inbox intuition.”
Spam filters are smarter than most people give them credit for. Not only do they block unwanted content and unwanted senders, they are also capable of learning how to detect spam in a variety of forms.
“They do this by analyzing the email’s content, subject lines, metadata, IP address, code, and format — among other things,” says Liaquat. “For example, some spam filters can tell if the email’s body text was dragged-and-dropped from a word processing program.”
Spam filters were created to protect people from being endlessly annoyed by scammers and overzealous quick-sale companies that think repeating their offer hundreds of times daily is the best way to connect with an audience. Spam filters were also established to help protect legitimate businesses from fakes or imposters hoping to cash-in on a bigger brand’s name.
Although the intention of this is pure, spam filters do make it difficult for marketers to do their job. Even if a potential customer is interested in the content that you are offering, without explicit permission to receive it, it may go straight to the spam folder.
Tricks to Avoid Getting Caught
However, there are some tricks that can be used to avoid getting caught by the spam filter.
Personalization – Don’t start emails with a generic greeting. This is an easy way to trip a spam filter alarm.
“Think about how it feels to get a text from a friend versus an unknown number,” says Liaqaut. “Well, spam filters can detect if you have friendly information like first or last names, and might flag emails if you don’t include it.”
Double Opt-In Systems – Confirming a person’s decision to subscribe to your mailing list is a great way to stay out of the spam filter’s reach.
“After a user has opted in, show them an exit screen that tells them you’ve sent them a confirmation email,” recommends Liaquat. “In the email itself, ask the user to click a link to approve and finalize the opt-in.”
Ditch Generic Content – Spam filters have been around long enough to pick up on the generic marketing content that is likely not to work very effectively for conversions anyways.
“Avoid using cliché subject lines, like “Click Here!” or “HURRY NOW!!!” On that note, don’t write in ALL CAPS and avoid overusing exclamation points,” recommends Liaquat.