How To Prevent Emails From Going To Spam in 2021
It would be a shame if all of your hard work crafting promotional emails went to waste, but that’s exactly what happens when your message lands in a subscriber’s spam folder. In fact, according to a survey by Kinsta, spam filters are more stringent than ever, with one out of every five emails failing to reach the inbox.
As email marketing has evolved, and spam filters have gotten smarter, the best practices retailers should follow to avoid being consigned to spam have changed too. Today, we are going to take a closer look at the best way to help ensure your marketing emails get the attention they deserve in 2021.
Ask Subscribers to Whitelist You
Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! all work hard to ensure that spam filters in their email programs don’t catch emails from people in your address book. These companies believe (correctly) that an email from someone in your contacts isn’t spam.
Ask your subscribers to whitelist your emails by adding your “From” address to their contacts or safe senders list to ensure that your emails get this special treatment. Because you should not assume that all of your subscribers have the technical ability to whitelist emails, we recommend offering instructions and screenshots demonstrating how to do so.
Include the whitelisting instructions in the first welcome email you send when someone joins your email list to help ensure that all of your emails get this treatment.
Only Send Emails When You Have Permission To
Sending an email without permission will get your emails marked as spam faster than anything else. Consider what you would do if you received an email from an unknown sender. You’re going to flag the email as spam without ever opening it, assuming it gets past your email service’s spam filter.
Sending people promotional emails without their consent isn’t a long-term strategy for business success. You need subscribers to be engaged and interested in order to persuade them to buy from you. Random email recipients are neither; at best, they’re irritated by receiving an email from someone they don’t know. Before sending an email, always get permission; it’s the best practice, both legally and financially.
Keep CAN-SPAM in Mind
You should be aware of the regulations that regulate digital marketing communications when it comes to ethics. The CAN-SPAM Act, in particular, should be something you are familiar with.
You don’t have to read the entire law, but you should be aware that sending spam emails carries serious consequences. How can you tell if an email is spam (legally)? Spam email is defined by the CAN-SPAM Act as any message that:
- Is sent without first obtaining the recipient’s consent.
- Is sent without including a return address.
- Is sent using a misleading subject line.
- Is sent without offering an opt-out option for recipients.
You don’t have to be concerned about most of the aforementioned because all modern email marketing platforms automatically adhere to the mailing address and opt-outs. However, you should be cautious with your subject lines, which we’ll go over in greater depth later in this article.
Use a Reputable Email Platform
Looking at the IP address linked with the sending email address and seeing whether there are any spam complaints related with it is one clue that spam filters keep an eye out for when trying to catch messages. If there are, genuine email addresses may be blacklisted solely because they are associated with them.
Always use a trusted email service to avoid this happening to your emails. All of the top providers take steps to prevent spammers from utilizing their platforms, ensuring that spammers’ malicious acts do not jeopardize your emails’ deliverability.
Furthermore, as previously stated, the best email marketing software suppliers will have built-in tools to help you avoid other common spam triggers like not adding a physical address or utilizing a suspicious-looking sending email address.
Proofread Emails (Twice) Before You Send Them
If your emails sound rushed (or like they were created by a computer), spam filters may label them as spam. If a typo appears in your emails every now and then, it won’t cause you any huge problems. However, if your emails are littered with typos, grammatical errors, and phrases that just sound…off, spam filters may block them.
If you’re not confident in your grammar skills, get someone to edit your emails for you, or at the very least utilize a program like Grammarly to spot basic grammar mistakes.
Don’t Use Spammy Subject Lines
While there used to be specific lists of “spam trigger words” to avoid in marketing emails, spam filters have evolved significantly. As a result, rather than focusing on specific words to avoid, it’s advisable to think more broadly and ensure that your subject lines don’t sound spammy.
Take a look at the screenshot below, which was taken from a real Gmail Spam folder, to see an example of spammy subject lines.
Some of these emails, as you can see, are from legitimate companies like Lyft, Dollar Shave Club, and FareDepot. However, because of the wording used by these organizations’ email marketers, the emails have ended up in spam folders. Take note of how many of these emails mention money, have too many exclamation marks, or promise discounts in general.
Does this mean that you should never send emails with subject lines that offer discounts or special offers? Of course not, but it does demonstrate the importance of being cautious when using these types of subject lines.
Stay in Touch With Subscribers
If you just send emails once or twice a month, your subscribers may forget who you are and why they signed up. When they eventually hear from you, they may unsubscribe or even classify your email as spam if this happens.
Stay in touch with your subscribers on a frequent basis to avoid this. Of course, while sending an email, you should always add value; don’t just email subscribers on a regular basis because it’s “best practice.”
Rather, look for ways to deliver value to your subscribers as frequently as possible. It’s fine if you only email them once a week, as long as you do it consistently (and use clever timing to ensure they get the emails when they’re most likely to open them).
We’ve already discussed how the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits sending fraudulent emails, but the topic deserves more attention. Above all, in your email marketing, you should always be honest. Don’t use subject lines that trick recipients to open your emails.
Don’t write anything that makes emails appear to be from a person’s employer, threatening or worrisome subject lines, or email addresses that appear to be from someone they aren’t. Cheap tricks like these are not a good way to operate a business, and they won’t encourage more people to buy from you either.