8 Secrets to Avoiding Spam Filters

Jason Neal

Spam Email PicAt Brightspot, our clients always ask us how we avoid getting our client marketing emails caught in spam filters.  I would like to share 8 secrets to keep your emails from being sucked into the infamous SPAM folder.

#1 – Don’t spam: If you send the same message indiscriminately to a large number of recipients, you are technically a spammer.   Be sure to target your audience and vet your distributions lists well.  Your reputation with spam filters definitely counts for something.

#2 – Avoid CAPS in your subject: Using all caps is interpreted as shouting, which is not only bad etiquette but it’s bad for spam filters as well.  Spam filters hate SHOUTING!

#3 – Watch your wording: Many specific words and characters can flag a message as spam – especially when they are used in the subject line. Word like Subscribe, Discount, Stop, Opportunity, and Amazing can increase your spam score when used in your subject line.

#4 – No full URLs: Another common spam red flag is using the full URL as the anchor text for links within the email.  It is better to hyperlink the words “Register Now” to your event registration then to have the full path to the registration page in your copy.

#5 – Add an alternate text version: More and more spam filters are being configured to watch for both an HTML and a plain text version.  Be sure to add both when drafting your marketing emails.

#6 – No single image emails: Spam filters assume a single image email (or email consisting only of images) is a way for email senders to prevent their content from being scanned for spam. Avoid large images because to spam filters, a picture is NOT WORTH a thousand words.

#7 – Provide an unsubscribe link: Providing an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email will allow people to unsubscribe from your database instead of going on a spree of spam blocking and reporting.  It is also the law.

#8 – Avoid purchased lists: Purchased lists are ticking time bombs, waiting to devastate your reputation as a sender.  A number of purchased lists are nothing more than bot generated email lists.  They have not be vetted for accuracy or reliability.  Many anti-spam organizations seed fake email addresses on web pages throughout the web.  If one of these fake email addresses received mail, the IP address of the sender is added to potential spammer lists.  These list are used by spam filters to block mail and you do not want to be the one blocked.  When it comes to purchasing contact lists, you must know and trust your source.

Jason Neal

Author Jason Neal

Director, IT & Web Development | Expertise is business analysis and technical solution design.

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