You may be using email marketing for the right reasons but are your intentions alone powerful enough to get past the spam filters? Not a chance. To increase email campaign deliverability and steer away from being falsely treated as a spammer, learn what spammers do and dodge the practices that make you look like one.
We’ve shared tips about Reducing Spam and Spam Words on previous articles. Now let’s have a closer look at how spam filters work. The best example we could use is this very long list of spam criteria used by SpamAssassin (an open-source spam filter) to sort out junk. In a nutshell, each email you send is examined from top to bottom, what people see, the code behind the email, email headers, plus your sender reputation. These spam filtering rules were accumulated over time from all the spam reports and it continually tweaks itself based on how email recipients treat the email messages they’re getting.
Most of items in the list are codes, programming languages and server information which are significant, but for the sake of our human eyes I picked some that we can read, so you can see examples of items with high spam scores:
Say, if a substantial number of recipients mark unwanted emails similar in nature (e.g. ED drugs sales emails) as spam, these spam filters would then analyze the content of those emails. Depending on the threshold set by individual ISP’s like Yahoo!, Comcast, Verizon, etc. most or all future messages that exhibit similar characteristics to those emails will be treated as spam, which are either sent straight to the junk folder or in some cases, not delivered to the recipients email address at all and the sender won’t even know it. Email client users are able to control their degree of security at the account level. In Yahoo!, individual users can block hosts so no email from that host can get through, not even in the Spam folder and the sender won’t even know about it.
Spend some time scanning the contents of your own junk folder, and observe what types of messages are sitting there as spam. Read through these Examples of Bad Email Messages that you absolutely don’t want your email campaigns to look like.
A few Online Outbox customers have had questions about the spam threshold under the Email Validation section when creating/editing an email campaign. On rare occasions, the test message never comes, even though the campaign shows a good spam score. The Email Validation tool is more of a text-based filter – it is not equipped to validate coding errors like W3C Markup Validation Service. If it’s possible to keep the spam score at its starting value of 1.5 that would be ideal. Spam standards are getting continually tighter, so we recommend that you don’t take chances by squeezing even a spam term or two and with high hopes that emails will get delivered to your distribution list.
Utilize the feature “View your email in different email programs” for previewing, as it also points out formatting rules per email program. If you know HTML and basic coding, you may Create Your Own Custom Template. Also see: Rock Solid HTML Emails to serve as a guide. Or you can simply have us design a Custom Email Template for you.
And last, but the most powerful act all email marketers must know: CAN-SPAM. Be informed, refine your methods and work your way up to an even more productive email marketing.