How often to your check your spam folder? Rarely, never? Exactly, the majority of people rarely check it. One of the great challenges of email marketing is avoiding that your emails end up in the users’ spam folder. If you send emails to your list and some of them end up in spam, you’re losing potential clients:
Tip #1: Whitelisting
What is whitelisting? A whitelist is basically a list of domains considered safe and genuine by email services (ISP), such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. If you can get onto the safe list of these email services, it is less likely that the emails you send will end up in users’ spam folders.
By using a professional email marketing service (I use E-goi), your mailings will be already be on the whitelists of the main email systems. But if you send them yourself, with your own IP, this article explains how you can get your email address and domain onto Hotmail’s whitelist. Even then, if your emails are too promotional or look like spam, the domain will eventually de considered as a spammer and will be removed from the list. Apart from that, each email account also has its own personal whitelist.
Make the most of this facility by requesting that users add you to their list, so that they don’t miss your important emails. Whether they use Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo or any other email system, users will always have the option of adding an email address to their safe sender list, so go ahead and ask them! You have nothing to lose.
Tip #2: Don’t speak “spammese”
There are many reasons why an email will end up in the spam folder, but sometimes it can be simply because of the way the email is written. Gmail, Hotmail and the like have automatic detectors that decide when an email is to be considered as spam.
Most email marketing services include options (eg. spam score) to analyse if your email contact is spam through its HTML coding or by the words used. Avoid using repetitive words that can be promotional (such as “free” or “cheap”), don’t overuse words with CAPITAL LETTERS or coloured text. Use common sense and write emails that look professional.
Tip #3: Update your list
Just as we shouldn’t neglect our spring cleaning, we should always update our mailing lists regularly. Check that you’re not sending emails to addresses that no longer exist, as they will produce bounces which will harm your delivery rate.
Spammers send numerous emails to large lists, and not to segments or smaller lists, as is the case with most legitimate companies. If an ISP spots that emails are being sent to invalid addresses, it will give your domain a higher spam score, meaning that any future emails you send will end up in subscribers’ spam folders.
The best course of action is to keep your lists clean and up-to-date, restricting the number of invalid addresses to a minimum.
Tip #4: Don’t send mass emails too quickly
Another behavioural aspect that email services like Hotmail and Gmail watch out for is the number of emails you are sending. If you send mass emails to thousands of people at once, your email (and your sender address) could be considered as spam.
Send your emails at longer time intervals, and to less people at the time. And confirm that these people have voluntarily subscribed to your list (preferably via a form) and that they have whitelisted you. Also take care with the speed that you send your emails! If you do this manually with your own IP address, pay attention to the acceptable speed limits for each ISP and never exceed them.
If you use E-goi for mailing, the speed will be automatically adjusted in line with these limits.
Tip #5: Image sizes
Including images in your emails is perfectly acceptable, especially as they make the content more attractive. But it’s important to pay attention to their size! ISPs normally associate large images with spam, as many spam emails contain one single image along with words like “free” in capital letters. It’s almost like a huge unwanted advertising flyer, but in an email format.
If email systems such as Hotmail and Gmail cannot identify text in your email, it will probably be considered as spam. Therefore, use appropriately sized images and always use text in the body of the email.
Other email marketing tips to not fall into the spam
Summarizing what to do so that your emails arrive safe to the inbox of your subscribers stay with this handy infographic (the road to email deliveryville)