SPAM is more than just processed meat that reminds you think of lunchtime at grandmas. Spam affects your ability to market to your customers and the more people that abuse this marketing channel, the harder it gets to send legitimate messages.
Spam is unsolicited email, also known as junk mail, that is the reason email service providers use filters as part of their service. These filters scan the email for things that indicate that the sender is using abusive tactics in the content. Think about it – how often do you send an email to a friend that is a single promotional image? Or how often to do you send an email to friends and family that has more than 5 to 10 people. Not often, if not never, right?
These spam filters are meant to protect the email recipient from inbox overload of unsolicited content, but it also affects the email that is solicited. Did you know that approximately 10-20% of emails get lost in cyberspace? Mostly due to spam filters? Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. The only way to avoid spam filters is to understand how they work. Generally speaking, spam filters look at a long list of criteria to judge whether or not your email is junk.
Spam filters basically assign points each time they detect certain key triggers in an email. Some of these are phrases within the subject line or even the content and others are characteristics of the email that are common in spam messages. Certain criteria get more points than others. If your campaign’s total “spam score” exceeds a certain threshold, your email is sent to the junk folder.
Here is a quick list of things to avoid:
- Not enough text, or too many images
- Using email font sizes 2 or bigger
- Font colors that are in green or red
- Subject line starts with “free”
- Subject line contains too many capital letters or lots of punctuation marks
- The word “free” in certain phrases (e.g. free offer, free leads, free access, free preview)
- Words like “GUARANTEE” in all caps
- “Click here!” or “Once in a lifetime opportunity!”
- “What are you waiting for?”, “While supplies last” or “While you sleep”
- “Money Back Guarantee”
For anyone that’s ever been duped, or know someone that has been led astray by email marketing, you can see why SPAM filters are sensitive to some of the verbiage above. Keep in mind that your subject line is also one of the most sensitive parts of the email.