One of the biggest challenges for email marketers over the years has always been beating the spam filter. The job of the spam filter on most email providers is to prevent unwanted messages from getting in – especially those that might contain viruses, phishing scams or other harmful types of content.
Today this has become even harder though. Now we not only have spam boxes but also ‘social’ and ‘promotional’ boxes that further segregate our messages and make it hard for any of our messages to gain attention.
The good news is that there are strategies you can use to combat both these issues. Read on…
One of the first and most important tips for avoiding the spam box is to make sure you avoid using the kinds of words and phrases that computers associate with spam. This is similar to the way that Google looks for keywords, except this time the keywords are a bad thing. Examples of words to avoid include things like ‘buy’, ‘free’, ‘discount’, ‘hurry’ and ‘Viagra’. Hopefully, that last one isn’t something you would be writing about anyway (but depending on your niche or market, you might!).
If you want to get into the main inbox, then it is not enough to ‘not look like spam’ – you now need to also ‘look like a personal message’.
To do this, you should take advantage of the feature in your autoresponder that allows you to use the recipient’s name in the message. Likewise, try to structure your message more like a conventional email. That means saying ‘Dear [Name],’ and ending with ‘Best regards,’.
Likewise, you also need to avoid including elements that a client will associate with a promotional image or that will make you look less like a genuine correspondence. That means avoiding using too many hyperlinks – keep it to just one – and it means avoiding using big images.
The most important thing to do though is to make sure that you are focussing on delivering great value over time. If you do this, then people will open your messages and they will actually read them. This will help to improve your ‘sender reputation’, which in turn will mean you don’t get blacklisted.
And while you’re at it, why not ask your readers to ‘white list’ your messages and add them to the main inbox? Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones!