One of the biggest challenges in email marketing is getting emails to make it to the recipient’s inbox. With spam filters becoming harder and harder to get through, it’s important to stay up-to-date on best practices. Spam filters use a “spam score” that is based on different criteria in order to detect unwanted and unsolicited emails. These criteria include email content, text to image ratio, the size of the send list, the server’s reputation, etc. The higher the score, the higher the chances of an email landing into the junk folder, even if the recipient has subscribed to your email list. Her are a few tricks to avoid this scenario, and increase the likelihood of your email making it to the desired destination – your client’s inbox.
Your reputation matters
The source from which an email originates (server, proxy, company) is one of the main sorting factors when it comes to deciding if an email is in fact spam. When the email arrives, the recipient server will evaluate the reputation of the sender. If the sender is unknown or if the server from which the email originated has a reputation of sending emails that fluctuate significantly in quality – for example, Gmail, Hotmail, etc – the chances that an email will be sent to junkmail are much higher.
What to do: Send emails from a reputable source. Use a tool that sends emails from servers with a good reputation, like Cyberimpact for example.
Don’t take advantage of your clients’ trust
A server automatically sorts through emails, but your contacts ultimately have the last word. They have the choice to delete or mark an email as spam. If you break their trust, chances are you will lose the privilege of sending them emails. This will also affect your spam score moving forward.
What to do :
- Be sure to have their permission to send promotional emails.
- Don’t buy email lists. They don’t work, plus they’re illegal.
- Create a subscription form and give them an incentive that will make them want to sign up.
- Make sure you include an unsubscribe link – this will minimize the chances of them flagging your emails as spam, they will simply unsubscribe.
Pay attention to: text to image ratio
In most cases, it’s the content of your email that will dictate if it’s flagged as spam, and not its source. An image-heavy email will get a lower ranking than an email containing mostly text. Why? Spam filters don’t recognize image files. For them, too many images can mean that the email may contain hidden or abusive content. Yes, images are nice to look at and we definitely recommend using them. However, it’s important to use your best judgment when choosing to add them to your emails.
What to do: If the information conveyed in your image can be done with words, we suggest doing that instead. It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t include text on your images, instead write it beside, above or under. The general rule of thumb is 40% image to 60% text. Some people even recommend using one third images to two thirds text, but if you include one line of text for every image, your text to image ratio should be sufficient.
Choose your words carefully
Certain words can make a spam score jump through the roof – words like “Viagra”, “Click here”, “Oprah Winfrey”, “Free”. Using red text or ALL CAPS can also affect your score.
What to do: Make sure the content is relevant to your industry or product, and that the layout remains clean and professional. Do not resort to trickery to get attention – you will look more credible to servers, and you will also gain your subscribers’ trust.
Alt text (alternative text) is always a good idea
Images don’t always appear by default in emails. Sometimes your recipients will need to authorise the images before they appear as they should. Mainly because most spammers don’t take the time to do this, the presence of an alt text will increase your chances of your email making it to the desired destination. Also, even if your client doesn’t download the images, they will still see that your logo is located the top of the email, so they are more likely to read it.
What to do: Adding an alt text – a short description to your images – is an excellent idea. With Cyberimpact, you can do this with our easy-to-use editor.
Create a text version of your email
In addition to adding the alt text to your images, we also recommend generating a text version of your email. Even in 2018, certain email providers don’t support HTML. Offering a text version of your email will ensure that your clients receive all the information you intended them to.
What to do: Generate the text version by clicking “Text version” directly in the editor before sending your email.
Craft your subject line carefully
We talked about avoiding the use of “all caps” in your email content, same goes for subject lines. Although they do attract attention, they will most likely cause your email to land into the junk mail folder. You can use a capital at the beginning of a word to emphasize it, but it’s not best practice to write an entire word in caps. Punctuation and special characters should also be used with caution. Spam filters will catch an excessive amount of punctuation and special characters. Spelling and grammatical errors are also a red flag, so make sure to double check your work.
What to do: Keep in mind that less is more when it comes to subject lines. Avoid adding too many bells and whistles. Opt for “30% Off select styles” instead of “ ATTENTION: 30% OFF Select Styles!!!”
Ask your subscribers to add you to their contact list
You’ve done everything right and for some reason your emails are still not making it to your subscriber’s inbox. Don’t despair, there is a simple solution!
What to do: Your subscriber wants to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to ask to be added to his or her contact list. That way, the spam filter will recognize you as a safe sender and your emails will be delivered.
Get better email marketing results
Using these tips & tricks will definitely increase your delivery rate and will help you avoid spam filters. Increase your results with Cyberimpact’s reputable servers & easy-to-use editor today!