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Friday, 29 April 2016 10:57

But I’m Not Spam! Avoiding the Junk Mail Pile

By - Michael Rader

Very few people analyze their junk mail to distinguish between authentic emails and spam. For most people, there just isn’t time. Over 14 billion spam messages were sent globally in 2015. Accordingly, deleting junk mail has become a daily habit that few people even think about. Those that remember a time before the internet can likely compare today’s spam to the multitude of junk mail that used to fill up our physical mailboxes. Although the medium is now different, the general uselessness of the material is the same.

The explosion of spam messages does not mean that you have to abandon email marketing. It can be a very useful way to introduce yourself to new customers and keep existing customers engaged. The key is knowing how to avoid spam filters. Although the exact formula for detecting junk mail changes, there are many red flags that remain the same. Knowing what those flags are can help you achieve the necessary exposure needed to build brand familiarity and keep you off the junk pile at the same time.

Spam filters are designed to respond to red flags and assign a spam score to emails. Those that receive a high score are almost always rejected or deleted. The following tips can help you avoid red flags and keep you away from spam filters.

Avoid trigger words

A good rule of thumb regarding trigger words is to avoid anything that sounds like it would come out of the mouth of a used car salesman. Words and phrases like free, instant, act now, unbelievable deal, once in a lifetime, don’t hesitate, guarantee, or too good to pass up will automatically trip spam filters. Misspelled words will also raise red flags. Always use words/phrases that are unique. The subject line of any email should contain strong words that form a clear and concise phrase that is both attractive and informational.

Avoid excessive symbols

It is highly unlikely that formal business correspondence will contain symbols. Exclamation points are especially likely to trigger a filter. It has been said that including an exclamation point in your sentence is like laughing at your own joke. If the audience doesn’t find the joke funny based on its own merits, you laughing is not going to help. Likewise, a phrase or sentence needs to be able to elicit the response you are looking for. An exclamation point is not going to enhance anything.

Avoid large images

There is nothing wrong with adding an image or two to your email, provided that their size is proportional to the rest of the message. Large images not only distract from the text, they are likely to be a trigger. If you want to include more images, it is wise to include a link to your site and house your images there.

Avoid lengthy messages

A powerful and effective message is going to be as concise as it is coherent. Again, include a link to your site if you want to allow the customer to explore information further. Always give the customer a choice. Bombarding them with an information dump will likely lead to the email winding up in the trash pile, if it doesn’t get sent there automatically.

Avoid forcing your product

Even those customers who are interested in your goods/services will not appreciate multiple emails sent in rapid succession. Allow time between messages and be sure you are sending content that will be attractive and unique in its own right. In this case, quality always trumps quantity.

Keep your email list clean

Always give customers the opportunity to opt out of further messages. Overloading customers that are not interested in your goods and services will only lead to a tarnished reputation. It is better to focus your time and energy on recipients who will potentially become future customers. Above all, always respect the wishes of your recipients.

Understanding your reputation

There are several ways to keep an eye on your sender reputation. It is important to know whether or not your company has been reported for sending spam. Staying up to date on your reputation will allow you to make the necessary changes if your reputation becomes an issue. The following sites can help you monitor your company’s status and stay ahead of the game:

Email is a powerful medium for advertisements, especially for a new company trying to build brand recognition and a solid reputation. Knowing how to avoid spam filters can be a vital part of any email strategy. By paying attention to triggers, you can avoid the junk pile and successfully target potential customers.

Last modified on Friday, 29 April 2016 11:53

Michael Rader

With over ten years in web development and design, Michael Rader has expertise and technical know-how. But more than a skilled technician, he is an entrepreneur and innovator who helps startup’s and new businesses identify and define their future with a unique, brandable business name. Michael Rader is the founder and CEO of Brandroot®, a leading .com domain name marketplace. He currently lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where he operates the business and authors a blog dedicated to naming and brand name establishment.