Posted on Sep 22, 2017

Don’t Let Your Good Emails Get Marked as Spam

You are doing everything right when it comes to contacting customers. You only reach out to subscribers who have selected to receive your email notifications, and somehow you still get spam complaints. How can you prevent your email from going straight to the junk folder, or getting marked as Spam

Spam is relative

Spam reports are often a matter of opinion — someone gets your email, decides it is unwanted, and clicks to “report as spam.” This make it very hard to get to the root of the problem. While you likely can’t avoid spam reports completely, building your lists and creating messages responsibly can help keep your email out the spam folder.

Always ask for permission

People open email from people or organizations they know. Unrecognized email senders often get marked as spam.

Asking permission is required according to the CAN-SPAM Act  and the  and the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). But beyond avoiding any legal infractions, Permission-based email marketing is the best route to developing long-lasting email marketing relationships. By asking permission, you know they are interested, and hopefully excited with the news and announcements from your organization. The will probably recognize you in their email stream and not be tempted to mark the email as spam.

Avoid spammy or phishing terms

As spam and phishing emails are becoming more prevalent, smart email users are creating filters to automatically send suspicious and unwanted email to the Junk folder. Cyber criminals often take advantage of current events, express a sense of urgency, or a time-sensitivity as a means to get recipients to quickly take action that could leave their systems vulnerable. So even if you have an unbeatable, limited-time offer, it’s probably best to leave those claims out of our marketing email.

Offer relevant content

Even ‘good’ content can get marked as spam if it isn’t useful or interesting to the recipient. This is best practice anyway, not just to avoid the spam filter.

When you acquire email subscribers, what information or advice do you promise them? The emails you send have to consistently meet their expectations or they will go unopened, sent to the trash, or marked as spam.

Do pay attention to what’s working. Look into your email reporting regularly to determine what content is getting the most opens or clicks. Or you could always create an online survey to ask your audience what content or topics would be useful to them.

Don’t overwhelm your audience

Email marketing is a valuable marketing tool, to be sure. But a sure-fire way to turn your audience off is to send too much promotional material. Your emails have to offer a balance of valuable content and marketing or sales offers. Think of the 80-20 rule, with only 20% of the messaging be about your brand or products.

You should also carefully monitor the frequency of your email. Even emails with high-value content can be sent to the spam folder if they believe they are hearing from you too often.

Make it easy to opt-out

Even business relationships run their course, or it could be that someone is simply no longer interested in your content or offers. They need an easy way to get off your distribution list. Each email should offer an easy, one-click unsubscribe option. If it is complicated to get off the list, they can easily send the emails to trash, or the spam folder.

Email marketing is a great tool for most businesses. And the subscribers have entrusted you with their email address, so take the responsibility seriously. Remember what you offered to get them to sign up and deliver on that promise. Keep an eye on what’s working, and try to repeat your success. Offering quality content, in the right frequency will go a long way keeping your email out of the spam folder.