Help Your Newsletter Escape the Dreaded Spam Filter
Not all emails that end up in the spam folders are from rich princes asking for your banking information. Newsletters are too often the victim of a spam folder summons, but knowing how to work around filters can save your newsletter.
Evade Newsletter Purgatory: The Spam Folder
We’ve all been here before: You refresh your browser countless times, but that email you supposedly received simply won’t pop up. Right as you deem the lost email stuck in a virtual purgatory, you remember to check your spam folder—there it is.
The method an email service provider uses to dismiss that important email to the junk folder isn’t arbitrary. Email service providers use an automated function called spam filters that methodically forbid emails to go into a user’s inbox. This spam protection gives the death penalty to emails that have potentially promotional or risky content.
Unfortunately, eblasts and newsletters aren’t exempt from spam filters; in fact, they’re often mistaken for junk mail. Spam filters have become more sophisticated since the AOL days, so they’re a bit more protective of what is allowed in a user’s inbox. Being very systematic in their sifting process your email can write its own doom with the spam filters by including the following.
What Not To Include In Your Newsletter
Content against the CAN-SPAM Act. The Federal Trade Commission created the CAN-SPAM Act to protect email users from scams while keeping inboxes neat and clean. Not only will violating the act likely put your newsletter in the spam folder, but you could face up to $40,654 in fines. The CAN-SPAM Act mandates that you abide by its seven requirements.
Spam trigger words. Spam filters examine incoming emails with a fine-tooth comb for words and phrases that are commonly used in phony emails. Spam filters go by an expansive, ever-changing list of banned words and phrases, so getting past them is tricky. Here’s an abridged rundown of a few “most common” words and phrases to avoid:
- 100% free
- Earn per week
- Free offer
- Free gift
- For you
Basically, avoid sounding like a shameless ad. Be creative in your writing when sending out an newsletter. Editing the content of your eblast or newsletter to be void of these words and phrases might be hard, but will pay off in the end. The list of words that spam filters target is much larger than the abbreviated list above, and is constantly being adjusted; stay current.
Funky formatting. Even beyond the wording of a newsletter, be vigilant with the format of your message. To stand out in the flux of emails being sent out, some companies will try anything to get a reader’s attention by using unusual formatting. This isn’t to say you should be bland and unimaginative in your presentation, but avoid the cheap gimmicks of odd formatting. All caps, sentences with multiple colors, and going from big to small font are all examples of what can seal an email’s fate into the junk file.
Excessive symbols. Rarely is a reputable statement followed by an unnecessary amount of punctuation. A sentence, offer, or fact that is well written shouldn’t need five exclamation marks to drive the point home. Likewise, inappropriately using dollar signs—in place of the word “money” or in excess—isn’t going to impress or trick a single reader. Don’t be cheap; to avoid being labeled as spam, write out your message eloquently rather than improperly using symbols.
URL shorteners. URLs that are shortened in emails are usually mistrusted. To keep your eblast looking clean while staying reputable and in addressees’ inboxes, create a simple hyperlinked “click here” text followed by the full URL to allow recipients to copy and paste it into their browser as they wish.
*NOTE: URL shorteners are acceptable with other marketing such as in social media.
Inconsistent messaging. Your subject line should match the content of your eblast. Don’t misrepresent the message. Our advice: Treat your subject line like a headline or include the title of your eblast or newsletter along with the month and year of its release.
How To Stand Out
Getting past spam filters is one thing, but creating worthwhile, effective, and informational eblasts or newsletters is another. Let The Mauldin Group help you stay top-of-mind by allowing us to deliver valuable material to your clients and prospects. The Mauldin Group will write, design, and send out your monthly promotional newsletters and email campaigns.
Ready to get started? Contact us now or call us at 678-846-2306. You may also schedule a meeting to learn more about our services. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more marketing tips.