When your monthly eblast or newsletter goes out to your clients, it’s more than likely going to hit a spam filter on its way there. The filters could be on their company server, their internet provider, or attached to their specific email client… possibly all three.
Spam is a huge problem everywhere. Lots of time is wasted dealing with it, so companies and individuals install filters to decrease the amount landing in their inboxes. Spam filters have had to get tough to deal with the problem. Filters work by examining the content of your email for different characteristics. Every time a characteristic is tagged, it gets scored. If the email’s total is scored high enough, that email goes in the junk folder, is blocked — or eliminated. Example characteristics are:
- 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)
Unfortunately, there is no specific number you are aiming for, as all systems are configured differently.
There are many things you could be doing wrong to get yourself stuck in the spam filter. This is a pretty comprehensive list and if you tried to eliminate all the items, you might not have anything left to say. Just try to eliminate as many of these as feasible and see if you don’t get better results.
- Using lots of exclamation points!!!!!!
- Using “test” in the subject line
- Asks you to “click below,” “click here,” or “click below” – especially in capital letters
- Contains a toll-free number
- Contains “Dear (something),” or “Dear Friend”
- The email gives a lame excuse about why you were sent this SPAM. Find a better or more creative way to phrase this statement than “you have received this message as a member of our newsletter list”. You should have this on your newsletters, just make it less canned to avoid getting a negative score.
- The potential spam tells you how to remove yourself from the mailing list by email in the main body copy. Says: “to be removed, reply via email,” or similar. Example: “To no longer receive these messages send email to email@example.com”. Keep this in another area or have it link to a form.
- Contains ‘for only’ some amount of cash. Example “For only $10 you can have this great product”
- Sloppy HTML, usually from converting Microsoft Word to HTML
- Message is HTML heavy
- The message is graphic heavy. Example: An email that is one big graphic with little or no text.
- HTML has a big font
- HTML uses non-standard fonts
- HTML font color is same as background creating hidden text
- HTML font color is one of these specific colors: Red (#FF0000), Yellow (#FFFF00), Green (#008000), Gray (#808080), Blue (#0000FF), Magenta (#FF00FF), Cyan (#00FFFF)
- HTML font color is not standard hex or web safe
- HTML is included in message. The only way to avoid this is to avoid having HTML emails altogether. Concentrate on the other triggers unless you want to switch to a plain text email.
- HTML title contains “Untitled”
- ‘Remove’ URL contains an email address
- USING SCREAMING ALL CAPS
- Includes “Can Not Be Combined With Any Other Offer”
- From: does not include a real name: Example: From: “My Newsletter”
- Includes the words “Free Offer”
- Offers, coupons, discounts etc! Examples: “Continue to receive this fabulous offer.”, “Receive this once in a lifetime discount.”, and “Partner special.”
- “Only $$$” statements. Examples: “Only for you! $500 Special Offer” or “Buy this wonderful product for only $99.99.”
- Encourages you to waste no time in ordering
- “Risk free”
- “Save $$$”
- The body of the email contains a line >199 characters long. Keep paragraphs 199 characters or less. This is an example of a chunk of text that is 199 characters: “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown.”