Beat Those Spam Filters – A Small Business Guide
Emails are wonderful things, if created correctly, they are a direct route to the customers that you are looking to engage with, inspire and, in short, sell your products or services to. But all too often, the term ‘email marketing’ is closely followed by the dreaded word ‘SPAM’.
Whatever your business size or market, as a company it’s unlikely that you’ll see your email communication as spam. You are after all simply telling potential customers about what you do best and where they can find the products or services that they need. However, convincing your customers and the spam filters that your email is A) solicited and B) relevant isn’t always easy. In fact, according to a recent survey, around 21% of emails that have been granted permission to be sent by the recipient end up in spam boxes. Beating those spam filters isn’t impossible though, and with the right advice small and start-up businesses will find email marketing a great tool.
Read on to discover the golden rules of avoiding spam filters and watch your emails soar to all the right people.
Don’t purchase contacts
How you acquired those email addresses in the first place can define whether your emails are destined for the junk folder or your recipients’ inboxes. Purchasing email lists is easier and cheaper than ever, and as a business, you’re likely to receive a number of emails offering just that. Purchased lists may save you some time but the unsolicited emails you send to these contacts will quickly be dealt with.
Gather contacts the right way by requesting that users visiting your website or customers buying your products or services sign up to your email list, giving them the choice to opt-in to communication with your company.
Make your content count
Spam filters use a number of triggers to define whether an email is relevant and solicited, and your content will be carefully analysed as part of the filtering process. Whilst there are no magic words that will see your email sail past the filters, avoiding the use of words like ‘buy’, ‘free’ and other promotional terms will stand you in good stead.
The email should have a balanced text to image ratio, and should not be large in size. Links are a must in email communication, after all how are recipients interested in your business going to find out more, but ensure all links point to reputable sites.
Choose your email provider carefully
There are tons of email service providers (ESPs) fighting for your custom, however choosing a reputable ESP is a great way to maximise your chances of delivery. ESPs who don’t follow best practice will score low and their IP addresses will be marked as spam and eventually blocked by the likes of Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail. If you are managing your email marketing activities from your own IP address, ensuring that the space is certified by Return Path will help you gain credibility.
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