When starting out with online marketing, it will be common place to hear others espousing the need and advantages of email marketing. It takes more than just building a list of names and sending them a broadcast. In this day and age, it is necessary to have a strategy to overcome the many hurdles in place so that the maximum number of those on your list actually receive the email. Learning how to avoid the email spam folder is one of the most important hurdles you will need to address in order to be successful.
One of the most common issues is using an IP address that has been flagged as problematic. This is a serious issue that can mean that the email never gets to the recipient at all.
This means it is imperative you use an email service with a good reputation. It is unfortunate, but online, your reputation is grouped together with the services and businesses you associate with. Most of us have heard the expression that it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. It is never more true than online. Your business and its reputation is your responsibility. Always do your due diligence before signing up with any new services and don’t be afraid to change to another service should the need arise.
Can-Spam Act Compliancy
Any time you are using email for commercial purposes, then you must follow the laws enacted under the Can-Spam Act. There are seven requirements you need to be sure to follow:
- Header information should never be misleading or false.
- Subject lines must never be deceptive.
- Let it be clear the message is a commercial ad.
- You need to provide an address where you can be located.
- It is necessary to provide a clear way for recipients to opt-out of your list should they choose to do so.
- Have it set up so opt-outs are immediately honored.
- Be diligent and regularly check that everything is working as it should be.
If your email is not commercially related or transactional in nature, then some of the above are not required. However, you will still need to refrain from misleading or false information.
Spam Filters And How They Work
Once your emails are indeed reaching their intended recipients, the next step is to keep them out of the dreaded spam box. If you have been marketing for any amount of time, it is likely you are aware that spam filters are designed to filter incoming emails based on a wide range of language used in those emails.
What is less commonly known is that many email services such as Gmail, collaborate to expand their filters to weed out ever increasing amounts of emails with language found to be what the recipients deem as spam. Everyday recipients mark some of their emails as spam and cloud-based email services use this information to constantly update their filters.
When Sending HTML Emails Be Sure To Include A Text Version With It
HTML emails are more commonly flagged as spam than text versions. Including a text version will not only increase your chances of not landing in the spam box, but will also mean that those unable to read the HTML version will still be able to read the email.
Setting Your Sender-ID, Domain Keys, SPF and DKIM Properly Is Necessary
The following protocols need to be supported by your email service:
Domain Keys – SPF – DKIM – Sender-ID
Check that they are implemented properly.
If for any reason you are unsure what the acronyms above mean, research them and familiarize yourself with their meanings. They are in place to help internet service providers to understand the nature of the email and their authenticity. To be certain you are set-up correctly you can use www.isnotspam.com.
Finally: Your Audience
Whenever you send an email, it is important that the email does not lead the recipient to making the conscious decision to mark it as spam. This not only means you lose the interest of that one person, but can lead to ever increasing numbers of your emails going to the spam box of others. This can have a devastating effect on your entire email marketing strategy.
Now you are likely asking yourself how you can avoid all of this. Consider what you did to get each person on your list in the first place. You either offered them something of value for signing up to your list or you sold them something of value. Value is always the key. Remember that building a list is just the beginning. Once you have people on your list you must always be cultivating that list by providing value to them on a regular basis.
When your recipients value your emails, then they will open them, engage them and even mark them as important and white list them. This is what you want. You should even remind them to do those things to increase the number that do so.
Put These Steps Into Action
To have a successful email marketing strategy, you not only need to avoid the spam box, but need to make sure your recipients are actually opening and engaging with the content you send them. It does you no good at all to build a list that never opens your emails or clicks on a link inside the email. Monitor your email campaigns and tweak them as necessary to get results you can be satisfied with.
Email marketing has been around for awhile. It is certainly true that email marketing works, but like all things it evolves over time. Be sure to always monitor what is working and what is not. Evolve as necessary to keep your strategies fresh. Get your message to more people by knowing exactly how you can avoid the email spam folder.