Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching out to potential customers and promoting your product or service. However, there is one major obstacle that you must overcome to ensure that your message is seen — the spam filter. While most spam filters are effective at blocking unwanted messages, they can also unintentionally block legitimate emails. As a result, it is important to take steps to avoid being caught in the filter. Read on for our tips on how to keep your email marketing campaign in inboxes, where it belongs!
How Email Spam Filters Work
Email spam filters are constantly evolving to keep up with the latest tricks that spammers use to get their messages through. However, there are some common characteristics that most spam filters focus on.
Many spam filters will analyze the header of an email to look for signs that it has been falsified. This can include things like incorrect routing information or an invalid sender address. Another point of focus is the presence of spam-related words or phrases. Content filters use algorithms to identify these terms and flag the email as spam if they are found. Blocklisted addresses are also often flagged as spam, as are emails that contain large attachments. Finally, many spam filters also take user signals into account. If a large number of users mark an email as spam or delete it without opening it, it is likely to be filtered out in the future.
How to Avoid Spam Filters
Anyone who has ever sent an email knows the frustration of having it caught by a spam filter. You have crafted the perfect message, hit send… and then it disappears into the void, never to be seen by your intended recipient. It is a common problem, but there are ways to avoid it.
Use a subdomain to protect your main domain
Email secure hosting services use a variety of techniques to protect their clients from spam, including domain name authentication and content filtering. One way to further protect your domain is to use a subdomain. Subdomains are essentially separate domains that are hosted under the same overall domain. For example, if you have a website at example.com, you could create a subdomain at mail.example.com and use it exclusively for your email communications.
By isolating your email on a subdomain, you can help to ensure that it will not be caught in the spam filter of your main domain. In addition, many email providers offer additional security features for subdomains, such as two-factor authentication and encrypted communications.
Test your emails before sending them
Before you hit “send” on that next email, run it through a service like Litmus or Mxtoolbox. These services will check your email against known spam filters and let you know if there is anything you need to change. In addition, they can also provide valuable insights into how your email will look on different devices and platforms.
Make sure your domain is verified
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your emails are delivered to your recipients’ inboxes is to verify your domain. This involves setting up DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) records with your DNS (Domain Name System) provider.
DKIM works by adding a digital signature to your email, and DMARC helps to monitor deliverability and prevent spoofing. You should also double-check your DNS settings. Make sure all of the records are correct and pointing to the right place. If your DNS settings are incorrect, it could cause problems with email delivery.
When you verify your domain, you are telling email providers that you are the legitimate sender of the messages coming from your domain and that they can be trusted. Not only does this help to avoid spam filters, but it also helps to protect your brand from being spoofed by scammers.
Maintain a strong sender reputation
Your sender reputation is basically your email address’s credit score. It is determined by a variety of factors, including your sending history, engagement rates, and complaint rates. Just like a good credit score can help you get approved for a loan, a strong sender reputation can help you avoid the spam folder. So how can you improve your sender reputation?
There are a few things you can do to help improve your sender reputation, such as signing up for Google Postmasters and Send Forensics. These services will help you monitor your sending activity and ensure that you’re maintaining a good reputation.
Another way to approach this is to make sure you are only sending to people who have opted in to receive your messages. Then, focus on increasing your open and click-through rates. The more engaged your subscribers are, the better your chances of avoiding the spam folder. Finally, monitor your complaint rate. If people are marking your messages as spam, that will hurt your sender reputation.
Avoid trigger words – from subject line to body copy
You know the drill. You are crafting an email to promote your latest sale, and you want to make sure it gets opened and read. So, you carefully select a subject line that will grab attention. But then you realize that some of the words in your subject line are on Hubspot’s spam word list. What should you do? This is a dilemma that faces many email marketers. On the one hand, you want to use words that will get noticed; on the other hand, you don’t want your email filtered as spam.
One solution is to avoid trigger words altogether. But that is not always possible or desirable. If you do need to use trigger words, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of your email being caught in a spam filter. First, use trigger words sparingly — a couple of them in your subject line should be sufficient. Second, make sure the rest of your email is high quality, with well-written copy and relevant images. Finally, avoid using all caps or excessive punctuation; these are surefire ways to get your email flagged as spam.
Provide double opt-in
You should always use double opt-in when collecting email addresses. With double opt-in, people must confirm their subscription before they start receiving your messages. This may seem like an extra step, but it is worth it to make sure that your messages are getting through. Not only does that mean fewer complaints about spam, but it also means a higher likelihood that your messages will be read and acted on.
Send value-packed content
Good email marketing involves more than just sending out mass messages to everyone on your contact list. If you want to avoid being marked as spam, you need to send value-packed content that your subscribers will actually want to read. This means creating engaging, well-written emails that offer something of value — a coupon, a free download, or helpful information. When you take the time to create quality content, you will be more likely to build a positive relationship with your subscribers and avoid being filtered out as spam.
Use segmentation to send targeted campaigns
When it comes to email marketing, the old saying “Quality over quantity” definitely rings true. Inboxes are increasingly cluttered, and users are becoming more selective about what messages they open and how they engage with them. As a result, businesses need to be more strategic in their approach if they want to ensure that their messages are seen and read.
Segmentation is a great way to do this. When specific groups of users are targeted with messages that are relevant to them, businesses can increase the chances that their emails will be opened and acted upon. Furthermore, segmenting your list will also help you avoid spam filters, which can block or delete your messages before they even have a chance to reach your intended recipients.
Try not to have attachments
It is a familiar scenario — you are sending an important email and you attach a document, only to have your email rejected by the recipient’s spam filter. Spammers often use attachments as a way to spread malware, and many email providers have filters that flag emails with attachments as potential spam. While it is frustrating, there are ways to avoid this problem. First, check the size of your attachment. If it is over a certain number of megabytes, most likely it will be caught by the filter. Second, try sending your email without an attachment and instead provide a link to where the document can be downloaded. This is often just as effective and eliminates the risk of rejection.
Get rid of hard bounces from your mailing list
A clean mailing list is free of hard bounces, which are email addresses that are no longer valid. When you send an email to a hard bounce, it comes back as undeliverable.It not only looks unprofessional, but it can also trigger spam filters. To avoid this, you can use tools like Neverbounce, Zerobounce, or Webbula to clean up your mailing list and remove any invalid addresses.
Email marketing is a powerful tool when done correctly, but it can also be frustrating when your messages end up in spam folders. By following the tips we have outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your emails reach your subscribers and drive results.
Need help putting these tips into practice or designing an email campaign that performs well? Reas Marketing provides industry-leading email marketing services that can help you avoid spam filters and deliver your message to the inbox. Contact Reas Marketing today – we’d be happy to assist!