8 Tips to Avoid the Spam Folder

By OctaneGo, October 3, 2012 | Tips & Resources

Deliverability is one of the most important factors contributing towards the success of any email campaign; but did you know that sometimes your messages can land into the spam folder for apparently no fault of your own?

Given how widespread the problem of spam is, ISPs and mail servers actively employ a variety of techniques to detect spammers, and if you’re not careful, you could get classified as one. Worried for your campaigns? Don’t be! Just follow these eight simple tips and you’ll be safe:

  1. Avoid spam phrases: Malicious emails like to use certain types of phrases to trick potential victims. So while you might think using something like “full refund” is persuasive, this can actually send off the alarm bells ringing for the spam filters. Make sure you are aware of the common spam phrases and avoid them.
  2. Don’t buy lists: Never buy email lists, no matter how tall the claims. Such lists contain defunct and non-permission based email addresses that will increase your bounce rate, increase the chances of being marked as spam and affect your campaign’s performance negatively.
  3. Go easy on images: Images make a newsletter look good, but overusing them results in your messages being classified as possible spam. Make sure there is a good amount of text also by sticking to a 60:40 ratio in favor of text.
  4. Keep the message size small: As much as possible, keep the size of your messages small. That means attaching smaller files and sacrificing those fancy fonts. Same goes for the artwork, which should be restricted to a minimum.
  5. Practice segmenting lists: Segmentation of mailing lists makes sure your emails are more targeted and personalized. This reduces the likelihood of an annoyed user hitting the ‘mark as spam’ button and more often than not, segmentation also boots your ROI.
  6. Use credible “From” addresses: Deliverability is also affected by the choice of “From” email address. Use only highly trusted prefixes like “jobs@”, “contact@”, etc. and avoid anything too cryptic, vague or radical.
  7. Make use of feedback tools: Most mailbox providers have tools to help email marketers get feedback on deliverability. Tools like FBL (Yahoo!), JMRP (Hotmail), etc., can instantly tell you how your subscribers are reacting to your campaign.
  8. Be consistent in email scheduling: Sending regular email traffic is considered more credible by ISPs than alternating between hibernation and hyperactivity. Plan a schedule for email dispatch and stick to it.

Avoiding the spam folder is a lot more work than first meets the eye. A sound knowledge of the best practices and constant monitoring of your efforts are the only safeguards against this pitfall. Follow these tips and you will definitely see a positive difference in your campaign results.

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