For those of us who receive way too many solicitations for Viagra and pornography, Spam filters are a blessing. Switch to the legitimate marketers’ side and Spam filters can become the enemy. These days, it is very important to differentiate your email campaigns – containing valuable and relevant content – from dreaded ‘Spam.’
Before you can keep your opt-in email out of the Spam filter's reach, you have to learn a little about the kinds of Spam filters available. Currently, options range from those installed by an ISP, to those that run with another program, like Microsoft's Outlook. Some filters use a point system to determine whether or not a piece of email is Spam. Points are based on pre-determined definitions of Spam. The more points a particular email collects, the more likely it is to be Spam. Others not only filter based on key words, but also allow users to submit Spam to then be blocked for other users.
The other component you'll need to be aware of is the ‘blacklist.’ Most Spam filters use some sort of blacklist of known Spammers to block emails. Blacklists are primarily compiled by volunteers. In other words, you mail them the Spam you receive in your inbox, they take a look at it and then decide whether or not to add the sender to their list.
Because Spam filters have both a computer component (such as the points system), and a human component (such as the blacklists), you'll need to make sure your email communication doesn't raise flags in either group.
Gold Lasso has some simple guidelines to alleviate the possibility of being labeled as spammers – or even worse – losing interested prospects.
Always use a legitimate contact or organization name.
Do not use quotation marks, numbers, symbols or exclamation points.
Keep it simple and relevant to content.
Do not use all CAPS.
ALWAYS have a subject line!
Do not use FREE, WIN, MORTGAGE, NOW – ‘sales’ words like this will almost ALWAYS be blocked.
Do not use “G.a.p.p.y T.e.x.t” or whitespace between words.
Email Body Copy:
Be straightforward – short and sweet gets the best results.
Do not use “Click Here” excessively.
Do not use the word “Free.”
ALWAYS have an opt-out link
Make it clear, concise and simple.
Unfortunately, in the quest to clobber the abundance of Spam, legitimate email marketing gets caught in these filters.
Take the time to follow the guidelines above. You'll have much better success in reaching your target audience and continuing effective communication.