Do not send an all-image email – it may look beautiful, but not to spam filters. Review your image to text ratio in the email. Filters will assume that the image might be hiding something. Plus, if subscribers have images turned off they won’t see anything when they open the email.
Avoid the classic spammy words such as: FREE, sex, BUY NOW, Viagra, ACT NOW, call now, apply now, great offer, buy one, join etc.
Avoid the overuse of common punctuations such as exclamation points, dollar signs and question marks (!!!!, $$$$, ???,)
Do not leave your CAPS LOCK on for too long! Having subject lines or words with a lot of capitalization will cause high spam scores.
Keep subject lines simple and short, no one wants to read the entire offer in the subject line. Use your brand name to build positive points.
Avoid links that land you on a page of just an image, which is considered suspect by filters. Make the landing page legit with text so you do not appear to be hiding anything.
Do not send emails with attachments! Some filters cannot get into them to read and this is also a very common way for malicious viruses to spread and is always suspicious to filters.
Make sure you are sending relevant email to people who have explicitly and deliberately opted-in to your list. Creating complaints creates higher scores against you.
Here are some common questions you may be asking right now:
Question – How do I know before I send the email if it will get filtered out? Answer – In Bronto, you can run a Spam Test prior to sending that will scan your content and provide feedback on your email.
Question – What filter setting does my end user have? Answer – Since these are personal settings, it is impossible to know. If you assume all end users have the highest and most sensitive setting and test your emails against that setting, you will increase your chances of getting through.
Question – What can I do if I am being filtered? Answer – The best way to combat spam filters is to get the end user to add you to their contact list. Educate your subscribers on the importance of this and do it on the web page sign up and not via an email since they may never get that email. Create a splash page that says “Thanks for signing up with us! In order that you do not miss out on important notifications/great deals, please make sure you add us to your contact list.” Second, test your emails. If you are being filtered out, you will need to systematically dissect your email to identify the culprit. Start with the subject line using different words. If that doesn’t work, cut the body of the email in two and send each half to see which is causing the issue. Once you know which half is the problem, continue to dissect that portion until you have identified the guilty word, words or phrase.
Question – How do I know I am being filtered? Answer – Since spam filters act differently, you will need to check two places to identify if there is a spam filter issue. The first location will be lower open rates since people are not receiving your email. Second, some filters will just bounce your mail. A review of your bounce reasons within your email application will show if you are being filtered/blocked. Third, your users may notify you that they are not receiving your messages.
There is no perfect spam filter out there that sorts every email you want to the inbox and every email you don’t want to the spam folder. ‘False positives’ are a way of life for marketers, but being educated on how these filters work can be a good weapon in minimizing them.
Chris Kolbenschlag Director of Deliverability at Bronto