Did you know that almost 800 tests are run on each email to determine if they are spam? It’s almost a miracle that most, if not all, email misses the spam folder. Of course, they do say, “Don’t worry too much about specific rules within SpamAssassin. The rules catch spam. If your email isn’t spam, you shouldn’t be matching the rules. Even if you do hit an occasional rule, unless your email actually is spam, it shouldn’t score high enough to be a problem.”
While most businesses do not deliberately send spam, there are some seemingly innocent things that can contribute to a higher than average spam score. And there are some not-so innocent things that can contribute to more messages ending up in your subscriber’s spam folder. Here are some things you can do to lower your spam score and get more messages in your subscriber’s inbox.
1. Don’t opt-in your email contacts, LinkedIn contacts, etc.
Only people who sign up for your mailing list should be on it. Don’t import your email contacts, LinkedIn contacts’ emails, or other list of people who have not explicitly asked to be on your mailing list. Otherwise you are opening the door to having your emails marked as spam and having people note that they did not subscribe when they unsubscribe.
If you would like your email contacts and LinkedIn contacts to subscribe, find a way to ask them. Add a link to your newsletter sign up page in your email signatures when sending regular correspondence. And add a link to you LinkedIn profile for new contacts to discover.
2. Avoid automatic opt-ins.
One of the reasons many people mark newsletters and other email marketing messages as spam is when they feel they were subscribed against their wishes. This often happens when someone is making a purchase for the first time and the shopping cart automatically checks the Subscribe to Newsletter or similar box.
It may hinder the speedy growth of your mailing list, but be sure to let people choose whether they want to subscribe on their own. Hopefully they will remember that they made this decision and therefore your emails will be welcome.
3. Deliver what you promise.
If your opt-in says that you will only receive occasional, relevant emails from your business, then deliver just that. Don’t start sending them daily emails or messages from your partners.
4. Make unsubscribing easy.
You don’t have to worry about whether more people will unsubscribe just because your unsubscribe link is easily noticeable. You do have to worry that people will start marking your emails as spams because the unsubscribe link is hidden or missing altogether and they are tired of receiving your messages.
5. Clean up your HTML.
If you are sending HTML newsletter, make sure the coding is as clean as possible. For example, don’t design your HTML newsletter in Microsoft Word and paste it into your template. Microsoft tends to add a lot of extra formatting code that is not necessary, some of which could raise your spam score higher than necessary.
6. Lower your link to text ratio.
Too many links in the body of your message can set off a spam alert. As you increase the amount of links you include in a message, you should increase the amount of informational text as well to balance them out.
What other advice would you add on lowering your spam score and avoiding the spam filter? Please share in the comments!