Spam Filters are bizarre. Spending time, money and energy creating email campaigns, only to have them land in the spam filter cannot be afforded by you. These things are generally ignored by humans but they make sense when they block your email campaign.
As a Subscriber, We love them but at the same time, we hate them as a Sender. The number one reason your email isn’t read is that it automatically gets sent to the spam folder by your user’s email provider (Gmail, Outlook, etc.)
According to a 2015 study by Return Path, only 79% of commercial emails actually land in the inbox. That means one out of every 5 emails sent either gets filtered as spam or blocked entirely.
The challenge with spam control is not keeping bad stuff out. That’s easy. The challenge is getting all the good stuff in. Doing that requires some amount of human intrusion. We want to make that as easy as possible.
We are going to discuss all about spam filters and what are the strategies to avoid them, and what should be the right way of wrapping emails in order to get them read.
To Avoid Spam Filters as a Sender, You must understand, What they are, What they do?
What is Spam, Email Spam, Spam Traps and Email Spam Filters?
Spam is unsolicited bulk emails that are irrelevant and unwanted by the subscriber. Email spam or a junk mail is not only annoying but it can lead to dangerous results.
Email Spam (Unsolicited Commercial Email -UCE) is an unwanted or junk email. Usually, it carries advertising material and can promote unsuitable websites.
Spam Traps are addresses used by Internet Service Providers and blacklist operators to identify senders who aren’t following industry best practices.
Any email address that hasn’t engaged with an email for over one year has the potential to be a spam trap. These addresses shouldn’t be emailed.
An Email Spam Filter is a program that is used to detect unsolicited and unwanted email and prevent those messages from getting to a user’s inbox.
Before you get started…
Let’s see the Global spam volume in percent of total email traffic from 2014 to 2017
This statistics shows Global Spam Volume as Percentage of total email traffic until September’17. It is observed in the Most Recent Reports that spam messages accounted for 59.56 percent of email traffic worldwide.
To Avoid Email Spam Filters, Look at your Email Content and Ask these Questions from yourself
- Will Email Filters and Subscribers immediately recognize me?
- Have I made a great first impression?
- Is my email focused on charming my subscribers, rather than “blasting” ’em?
- Am I sending to contacts that not only signed up for my emails but want this particular content?
- Does it look like I’m hiding something?
What if I’m having problems and I’m already doing all the above?
Without further ado, here are the things to take care of to avoid Email spam filters:
#1 Do not send from a free email address
Use the email address from the domain of the company or organization on behalf of which you are sending the message.
Instead of using your free personal email address from @aol.com, @hotmail.com or @gmail.com.
If you are an individual marketer and do not have a website, you should register a domain for example: with BigRock, GoDaddy etc. and use an email address from that domain for email marketing.
#2 Do not send only a graphic or image
This will lead to deliverability issues. We’ve seen many users sending a beautiful HTML email containing one big image only.
However, if the plaintext part is missing or is too short compared to the HTML part, the email is considered spam.
Thus, you should design an email with text and images. “Do not use an image alone.”
#3 Use a consistent “From” email address
Changing your “From” address too often is not a good practice. And the worst thing is rotating of email addresses in the “From” field which is a pure spammer tactic.
Keeping your “From” details consistent helps build your good sender reputation.
Restoring the sender reputation is not easy and is time-consuming. In this case, the solution could be registering a new domain and use that domain for your mailings.
Hubspot discovered that emails coming from a person have both a higher open rate and click-through rate compared to emails sent from the company name.
#4 Do not include links produced by link shortening services
Email Spam filters look at the URLs that you are sending. If a URL contains a domain that is blacklisted or has a poor reputation, you will be penalized. Plus, you should avoid using URLs that contain folders with 1-2 characters.
(such as http://www.domain.com/e/something/ or domain.com/es/) as some Email spam filters will see that as a negative thing.
For example https://bit.ly/2JfQffP. Your links should be full paths to real pages.
#5 Check your HTML
Incorrect or broken HTML tags can reduce your Inbox delivery. Do not copy content directly from Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. because these applications will add additional unwanted characters to your message source.
And in addition to a broken HTML, your messages will be rendered correctly only in Microsoft email applications (Outlook etc.).
So, take the time to code your HTML correctly. If you are not an email designer, you can search for responsive HTML email templates on the Internet and buy some templates that meet your theme.
This is a direct way to get filtered. Instead of sending such a stuff in the email, put it on your website and in the email send a link to the page where people can find it.
#7 Do not use spam trigger words and phishing phrases
You should remember that an Email Spam filter does not like commercial advertisements and promotions. Though it doesn’t mean that your email will end up in the spam folder only because you used a so-called trigger word.
It will be better if you avoid or use words that are common to promotion emails sparingly.
Words/phrases should be avoided:
- 100% free
- Earn per week
- Free offer
- Free gift For you
Phishing emails are sent with the purpose to steal the recipient’s identity by making them click on a fraudulent link. Thus, you should avoid using phrases that are common to phishing attacks.
#8 Do not (X) send to inactive contacts
Focus on your active contacts to increase your Inbox delivery.
You’ll want to measure inactivity based on the volume of emails sent, not on the time frame.
Thus, instead of asking “Did they open an email within the last 6 months?” Ask “Did they open any of the last 10 emails I sent them?”
If they do not respond, as part of good email list hygiene stop sending to those people but Never Delete Your Subscribers from your base.
You can always use those emails for retargeting people via Facebook or Google Adwords.
#9 Check your sending IP against blacklists
If you send your emails through email service provider (ESP), this is where deliverability rates come in – choose your providers carefully and appreciate the ones who have advanced approval processes – they just want your emails to reach the inbox.
Besides public blacklists, your IP can be blocked by a particular ISP. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!! and other providers maintain blacklists of IPs seen to send spam to their users.
#10 Maintain a healthy list of contacts
Your bounce and spam complaint rate do matter. They affect your sender reputation which, in turn, affects your Inbox delivery.
Thus, you should have a working process of handling bounce and unsubscribe requests. After each mailing to ensure that you send emails to the users who actually want them and like them.
Here are a few content tips, to keep in mind
If you’ve ever wondered specifically which words tend to trigger Email Spam filters, we’ve listed the obvious ones.
- In general, it’s a good idea to avoid any phrases like Free, Instant, Double your money, XXX, Win, Cash, Bonus, Membership, Free Offer, Call Now, Rates, $$$’s, Success, etc.
- Excessive use of CAPS LOCK can cause issues, as well. NO ONE LIKES TO BE YELLED AT!
- Subject Lines are really important. Really putting thought into your subject titles will not only help you avoid spam filters, but your view rates are likely to improve, as well!
- Pricing and $$$ signs are especially important. Including the pricing in your campaign can trigger a spam filter. An effective way to get around this and increase web traffic is to describe the special offer and link to your website. An image with the pricing is also effective.
- Minimize your use of punctuation. !!!’s and ???’s can be troublesome. Keep your campaign conversational, rather than the hard-sell EXTRA!!!! BUY NOW!!! style.
Nuts and Bolts of a Good Newsletter
Quick aids that will help you grow your reputation as a quality information source.
- Social sharing buttons so readers can share your content with their contacts.
- Your company’s contact information. You can put this in the footer of the email. It’s a minor detail, and many people don’t consciously think about it, but it can help establish your brand’s legitimacy.
- An unsubscribe link. Don’t hold your subscribers hostage. Letting them go quietly is a lot easier than dealing with the fallout from complaints. Especially when things can escalate very quickly in the public eye with the use of social media.
- A good newsletter starts with the sign-up page. Letting people know up front what kind of content to expect and how often they can expect to receive it will help cut down on the number of unsubscribes.
- Take Multiple Tests. In order to figure out what works best for your business. Test as many variables within the newsletter as you can – subject lines, send daytime, fonts, colors, graphics, etc.
Mautic: A Email Marketing Tool that avoids Email Spam Filters
Eliminate Spam Bots With Mautic Honeypots
Even if you are not the developer, still Email Spam Filters can be eliminated with Mautic. The solution is to implement an approach called the Honeypot method, in your Mautic forms.
Honeypot method will help you stop spam bots and Saves the negative effect they have on your email marketing activities.
Your Focus must be to reduce the chances of your emails hitting the spam folder. Some rules are technical and some are due to law enforcement. But if you are being candid, providing Content Relevancy to your readers which adds value then you are already halfway there.
So, What is your strategy to avoid triggering spam filters, do share with us using Comment Box Below.