Email marketing has seen an increase in usage in recent years as it is very cost efficient. It has become an integral part of overall marketing campaigns for many businesses.
To benefit from the success of email marketing, one must ensure an email is not considered as spam.
Defining Spam and Its Effects
Spam email is any unsolicited commercial email sent in bulk to a list of people. Spam emails are messages that trigger the filters of email providers and protocols of anti-spam software.
Spam email is not only a bother to anyone who receives it but can also be considered dangerous for your engagement rates. Some email users are smart enough not to open a message if they deem it as a spam.
Advertising-related spam is just one of the many types of email spam. Others can come in the form of identity theft emails, something referred to as phishing. Phishing slyly asks for sensitive user information, like credit card information or passwords to online bank accounts. Even if your email marketing is far from this, people often still get scared of opening suspicious emails.
If your message is considered as spam, it can also waste valuable company time, effort and money.
The Anti-Spam Law
There are different laws that fight against spam. They require certain parameters for businesses to follow so they can conduct commercial emails. They provide recipients with the right to unsubscribe and provide sanctions for those who violate standards. It is wise to seek out the help of an email marketing software to ensure your business is aligned with the Anti-Spam Law.
How to Avoid the Spam Folder
An email sent in bulk can often land in the spam folder because it goes through a rigorous set of protocols enacted by spam filters. Examples of filters they go through are:
Content filters - this reviews the content of the email to determine if it's a spam.
Header filters - this reviews if the header contains any falsified information or detail from the sender.
General blacklist filters - this reviews a list of known spammers and blocks all emails from them.
Over the years, developments for spam filters and anti-spam software have progressed. However, there is no spam filtering solution 100% effective.
"In fact, figures show that in 2017, 49.7% of 269 billion emails sent every day worldwide were considered spam"
So, with all that in mind, here are some tips you can use as a guide to avoid the spam box.
Make sure all your subscribers have opted in.
Building a healthy set of email addresses is a must if you want to succeed with email marketing. GDPR is just around the corner (kicking off 25th May), and in the UK this (in short) means all subscribers must have actively opted in to your email subscriber list. Data protection laws are changing and these strict rules mean marketers must be up to scratch on what's aloud and what's not. Ensuring your subscriber database is full of users who not only want to receive your marketing emails, but have personally (and recently) agreed to receive them from you, will not only see you abide by new laws, but will also see your engagement rates increase. This means no more purchased email lists, unsolicited contact, 'opt in' boxes ticked by default or wishy washy contact statements. This law change even means markers can no longer merge opt in check boxes with accepting terms and conditions; opting in must be a clear, stand alone CTA. Regularly keep your data up to date and read more about GDPR here.
Send a welcome email immediately.
Touch base with your customers immediately so they know they've signed up with your business. Getting in touch with them within 24 hours of signing up is a good way to go. Throw in a quick hello and a promo code for a discount or free shipping to make them feel more at home and familiar with your brand. A new subscriber promo code can often push users to make their first purchase with you. Adverting a promo code as a reward for signing up is also a great way to build your email database.
Ask your subscribers to whitelist you.
It is best to send out your email marketing campaigns through a reputable email marketing software as they usually ask mailbox providers to whitelist your domain or IP address.
Asking your subscribers to add the email address used to send out email marketing campaigns to their address book is a sure way to prevent all future emails from falling into the spam box.
Avoid using common spam words.
When crafting your message, it is wise to take note of “spam words”. If you use a multitude of these spam words in your email, service provider’s spam filters may flag your email as spam. Using spammy phrases and words such as 'no fees' '$$$' 'free' 'sale' 'no cost' 'please read' and 'win' are just a few examples out of a long list of spam triggers. Familiarise yourself with the long list of spam words here.
Use an email marketing software that complies with anti-spam policy.
An email marketing software that complies with anti-spam policy is a hassle-free way of delivering your campaigns effectively. Explore ActiveTrail if you're on the hunt for a new email marketing software.
So, to conclude...
Spam messages are a common problem in the digital world. Bare the above precautions in mind when sending your email campaigns. Learn how to work around the roadblocks, manoeuvre accordingly to ensure your emails will reach your customers effectively. Emails that end up in the spam box are missed touch points and can effect your bottom line.
Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation. Activetrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses.