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How to Avoid Those Spam Filters

You spend a good hour writing a beautiful piece of prose: well thought out, well researched and well written.  You’re proud of the work you’ve done and you know it will help the people who read it.

You set it up to send it out to your mailing list and with a smile you press “send”.

Enter sound of screeching brakes and squealing tyres as it all grinds to a halt.

What’s happened?

Your wonderfully crafted newsletter never reaches the inbox of your esteemed clients and prospects.  Why?  Because it gets stuck in their spam filters, as well as in Outlook’s new invention – the “clutter file” (have you seen that?), and worse, it may never get delivered at all.  Your email delivery service leaves it floating around in cyber space for ever more, being of no help to anyone at all.

Why has this happened?

The first reason could be that you’re not using a proper email marketing programme to deliver your newsletters.  Use Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail et al, and you run the very high risk of your email message being viewed as spam by these email clients.  The technology can pick up a mass emailing and will deal with it appropriately (ie not view it kindly). Click here for a free pdf on this subject.

Your solution therefore is to use a proper email marketing programme.  These range from free to low cost so are highly achievable for the vast majority of businesses.  Which one you choose depends on what you want to do with your online marketing strategy.  We tend to recommend MailChimp as a step into email marketing programmes, mainly because it’s easy, it’s free, and you get a cut out monkey that you can stick together when you’re bored.  (Brilliant for keeping the kids occupied).  If you want to do some clever things with your email marketing, then you can move to the paid for version of Mailchimp, or look at Aweber, Constant Contact or GetResponse.

If you DO use an email marketing programme, about 2 – 3% (normally a lot less, but let’s err on the side of caution) can get stuck in spam.  To avoid these:

  • Make sure that people have opted IN to your list (don’t just put them there – see this blog post for the law around this).
  • Have a double opt in set up.  Normally just a tick box within your email marketing programme.  It means people have to doubly confirm that they want to join your list by clicking a link sent to them in an automated email.
  • When people are signing up, ask them to whitelist the email address where you will be sending the newsletter from.  With a double opt in, you have two chances to do that.
  • Avoid capital letters, too many exclamation marks, use of spam words (eg “free”, as well as the more obvious), over use of HTML and sending too many images in your newsletter.  Read MailChimp’s blog on this for some helpful insight.
  • Don’t use purchased lists.  They’re bad for you.  Period.
  • Use your own domain name and a proper email address, eg newsletter ‘at’ merriemarketing ‘dot’ com or kim ‘at’ merriemarketing ‘dot’ com
  • Clean out your list every six months or so.  Prune out those who never read it. A high percentage of people not reading can have a detrimental effect on the rest of your list.
  • And finally – communicate with your list regularly.  If they have forgotten about you and don’t read your newsletters, their email client will pick up that they don’t read and will then count your email as spam.  So nothing less than once a month.
If you need help and advice on any aspect of getting your email marketing safely delivered, we are registered as official Mailchimp Experts in the UK but also have plenty of experience of the other email marketing programmes too.  Book a completely friendly, free and no obligation 30 minute Email Marketing Strategy Session with Kim today:

Have a great week,
Dedicated to your success,

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