10 Tips to Keep Your Marketing Emails Out of the Spam Folder

Did you know you could face a penalty of up to $16,000 per email if your marketing message is considered spam? Thanks to the CAN-SPAM Act, there are some rules you need to follow.

Email service providers (ESP) and internet service providers (ISP) might be flagging your messages as spam also. In fact, one out of five legitimate emails are blocked from reaching their destination.

Here are 10 tips I recommend to make sure your marketing emails stay out of the spam folder.

1) Get Permission.

Require subscribers to opt-in to your marketing emails, otherwise you’ll end up in a lot of spam folders.

This can ultimately end in you getting blacklisted. ESPs and ISPs blacklist an IP or domain if multiple people report the message as spam.

Trust me, getting yourself off one of these lists can be time consuming. Asking your audience to opt-in can mitigate this.

 

2) Encourage recipients to add you to their contacts.

Probably the best way to avoid the spam folder is by encouraging people to add you as a contact. 

Include a call to action for this in your email copy, and encourage action with helpful visual resources. For example, you could create a gif showing them how with a tool like Recordit:

 

3) Use a trusted server.

ISPs pay attention to the authority of the server your emails are sent from. If they don’t trust it, they may block all your messages.

You can get around this by using a trusted third party like Sendlane™. Email marketing services have teams working to ensure their servers are never blacklisted.

 

4) Include all the information CAN-SPAM requires.

The CAN-SPAM law requires all your marketing emails contain:

  • A physical address for your business
  • An option for recipients to opt out of your emails
  • It’s the law, so you can get in trouble if these elements are missing. If your emails lack an unsubscribe or email preference center link, spam filters are also triggered.

5) Personalization.

I recommend personalizing your message to individuals subscribers because it’s just good practice. Personalization builds a connection with your audience, and improvesclicks and conversions.

Including the recipient’s name in the subject line also shows spam filters you have a personal connection with the recipient.

 

6) Make your identity clear.

Use your name and email address to make your identity clear to recipients and ESPs.

Consider including your company name as part of your “From” field, and send your emails from an address that’s on your domain (e.g. Anik@Sendlane.com). Email marketing services can easily make an email look like it’s coming from your domain instead of their servers.

 

7) Use clean HTML.

Spam filters pay attention to your content formatting — if it’s not clean HTML, your message could end up marked as spam.

If you’re in the habit of copying and pasting your marketing message from Word, please stop.  It jumbles up your code.

Some forms of interactive content also increase your chances of ending up in the spam folder. Think twice before using:

  • Forms
  • JavaScript
  • RSS feeds

 

8) Avoid spammy copy.

Certain words and phrases in your email copy could trigger spam filters. Some words to avoid:

  • Free
  • Guaranteed
  • No-obligation
  • Limited time
  • Buy
  • Order

 

9) Avoid strange formatting.

Spam filters also look out for suspicious formatting, such as:

ALL CAPS

Punctuation in your subject line!!!??

Too many font colors

Large font sizes

0ddly p1aced numb3rs

 

10) Avoid suspicious links.

Spammers use URL shorteners a lot. As a result, some shortened domains are put on block lists.

In fact, you should avoid sending out raw URLs in general if your email marketing service tracks link clicks. Always use anchor text and a hyperlink to avoid looking suspicious to spam filters.

US companies send 1.47 million emails per month. With that kind of competition, email marketers today can’t afford to lose their reach to spam folders.  Sign up for afree trial of Sendlane™ to start implementing these tips to stay out of spam filters.

And if you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

If you found this list helpful, your friends will probably find it helpful as well. Please like and share on your social networks to help us get this great info out to other email marketers! 🙂

Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams

Content Manager at Sendlane
Patrick is the Content Manager for Sendlane. He is enjoys helping to keep Sendlane™ on the cutting edge of marketing and communications strategy. He is based in San Diego.