How to keep your marketing emails out of the spam folder

Hopefully, you’ve started up an email marketing list to keep in contact with all your loyal customers. If you’ve done this, one problem you might have encountered is that often your emails may end up in somebody’s junk mail folder before they can ever read them. This blog post will try to help you avoid that by listing tips that will help to keep your emails out of the junk or spam folders of your recipients.

Follow the CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM act was setup in 2003 so that a recipient being sent marketing emails could easily unsubscribe and wasn’t abused by the company contacting them.

So, here’s an over of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements;

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  3. Identify the message as an ad.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

Check blacklists

Use MX Toolbox to check that your IP address or domain is not on any of the email marketing blacklists to prevent your emails being marked as spam. If you do find yourself on a blacklist you will need to contact the company behind the blacklist to arrange removal and to find out why you have been blacklisted.

SPF Record

A good idea is to get your SPF record setup so that when using an email marketing platform like Mailchimp that the email is verified to be sent on your behalf. This ensures that the email is verified to be sent from your domains behalf, so if any spam filters check this it will show the email is genuine and not spam.

Don’t send emails to junk email addresses.

This is important, because often people sign up for mailing lists with spam or invalid email addresses. I recommend using double or confirmed opt-in, so that subscribers have to confirm their email address before the subscription is confirmed. This will make sure only real subscribers and correct addresses are added to your list and at the same time you won’t be charged by your email provider for sending to invalid or spam email addresses.

Always provide a reason for the email, and an unsubscribe button.

If you don’t give your subscriber an option to unsubscribe, or reason for reading your email, they will think that you are a spammer, whether you are or not. Make sure your email is clear and concise with a simple call to action for the subscriber to follow. Most email marketing providers these days will automatically add the unsubscribe link for you at the bottom of the email but check this works first yourself during testing so that your subscribers can unsubscribe if they want to. Last thing you want is angry tweets or emails from contacts trying to unsubscribe.

Ask your user to add you their list in your first email and periodically.

If you get added as a contact, then you will not be flagged as spam. It pays when you get a new subscriber to your list just to ask them to add you as a contact to avoid this step, a great idea is to ask your subscriber in your welcome email to add your email to their contact or safe list to ensure your emails arrive safely.

Test run everything before you start a campaign.

This is just common sense point; before you go live with an email campaign test it out on yourself first. If it doesn’t arrive to your test account, then this may not arrive to your customers either. I have a hotmail, yahoo and gmail test accounts before I even send this out. Using a system like Litmus or Email on Acid is valuable for testing across multiple clients and devices.

Don’t have bad formatting.

People are more likely to delete an email straight away, or sent to the spam folder if it looks unprofessional. Make sure your emails look professional, checked for spelling and grammar with all correct links and you won’t have this problem.

Don’t use large images or attachments.

This is a logistic issue, but it’s also one that will help keep you out of the spam folder-most emails do not have large attachments, so they get flagged as suspicious if they do. Instead, try to have a link to a downloadable piece of content if this is necessary.


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