The Get On Social team is constantly asked by business owners and business professionals how to make sure that an email does not go to the recipient’s spam folder. In order to best answer this question, we turn one of the best email marketing companies in the game today: MailChimp. MailChimp must deal with this particular issue more times than we will ever dare to quantify. That being said, MailChimp provides the answer to this common question and we thank them for it!
Compliments of the MailChimp writing staff:
“How To Avoid Getting Your Campaigns Accidentally Junked
If you send email campaigns long enough, you will inevitably run into spam filter issues. We’ve found that on average, you can expect 10-20% of your emails to just get lost in cyberspace, mostly due to overzealous spam filters. You don’t even have to be a spammer to be spam-filtered. Innocent email marketers who send permission-based emailsto people who requested them get spam filtered all the time.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. The only way to avoid spam filters is to understand how they work.
Generally speaking, spam filters look at a long list of criteria to judge whether or not your email is junk. For example, they might look for spammy phrases like “CLICK HERE!” or “FREE! BUY NOW!”. They’ll assign points each time they see one of those phrases. Certain criteria get more points than others. Here’s a sample of criteria from Spam Assassin, one of the most popular spam filters out there:
- Talks about lots of money (.193 points)
- Describes some sort of breakthrough (.232 points)
- Looks like mortgage pitch (.297 points)
- Contains urgent matter (.288 points)
- Money back guarantee (2.051 points)
- Why Pay More? (1.249 points)
If your campaign’s total “spam score” exceeds a certain threshold, your email is sent to the junk folder. You’re probably going to ask “what’s the threshold I need to stay under?” Sorry, but the threshold is different for every server. It’s determined by the person who installed the spam filter software. If the person is really sick of spam, they’ll set the threshold extremely low. Just about anything will get spam filtered then.
Oh yeah, that list of “spammy” criteria? It’s constantly growing and adapting, because spam filters “learn” what junk looks like, every time someone clicks the “This is spam” button in their email program. Spam filters even sync-up with each other online, to share what they’ve learned. See why there’s no magic bullet?
Avoid these common mistakes
These are the most common mistakes we see new email marketers make, which result in accidental spam filtering.
- Using spammy phrases, like “Click here!” or “Once in a lifetime opportunity!”
- Going crazy with exclamation points!!!!!!
- USING ALL CAPS, WHICH IS LIKE YELLING IN EMAIL (especially in the subject)
- Coloring their fonts bright red, or green
- Coding sloppy HTML (usually from converting a Microsoft Word file to HTML)
- Creating an HTML email that’s nothing but one big image, with little or no text (since spam filters can’t read images, they assume you’re a spammer that’s trying to trick ’em).
- Using the word “Test” in the subject line (agencies run into this all the time, when sending drafts to clients for approval)
- Sending a test to multiple recipients within the same company (that company’s email firewall can only assume it’s a spam attack)
- Designing HTML email in Microsoft Word, and exporting the code to HTML (that code is sloppy, and spam filters hate it)”
-The quoted section above was Written by MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com/).
If you are planning on launching an email marketing campaign, the Get On Social team highly recommends taking a look at all of the free solutions Mail Chimp has to offer. Not only does our firm successfully use Mail Chimp, but the majority of our clients have seen great success using Mail Chimp as well.
Thank you for reading and you are more than welcome to contact the Get On Social Team at any time with questions!