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You put all this work into your email newsletter. You’re following common bulk sending guidelines and CAN SPAM compliance. But, your emails are still going to spam! Why? How can you stop this from happening?
The overview on spam
Here’s the lowdown on spam. If you know some of your emails are going to spam already, you need to read this post. Once emails start going to spam, you’ve already entered a downward spiral — more and more of your emails will continue going to spam unless you start changing how you run your email marketing program.
7 tips to increase your deliverability
1) Make it easy to unsubscribe
Readers will often hit the spam button, because they can’t figure out how to get off your list. Make it easy for people who want to get off your list to unsubscribe. Add a clear unsubscribe button at the top of your email newsletter. Use CSS to render your button (as opposed to images files) so that all readers, regardless of whether they display images in email, will be able to see the button. You need your readers to stop hitting the spam button right now!
2) Remind subscribers where they subscribed
We see a lot of startups who collect email leads/sign ups for their launch, but they don’t start sending email newsletters until months later. In that interim, subscribers will often forget what they signed up for and may immediately think that you bought their emails from lists. Remind your subscribers how they found you in the first place. This leads me to my 3rd point.
3) Require your subscribers to be double opt-in
It’s so tempting as a web or mobile app to collect a list of sign-ups and throw those email addresses on a newsletter mailing list. This is fine if you are sending transactional emails to help them use your app. But, if you are using this list for other purposes, such as marketing or promotional purposes, require these subscribers to double opt-in.
But if you make people double opt-in to get your newsletter, what’s the worst that can happen? Statistics show that it’s actually better to take a loss on the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter messages to get fewer higher quality subscribers. If you have a spam problem already, switch to double opt-in immediately to reduce the number of spam complaints. You can’t afford to get anymore…
4) Change your email template
Your email template could be setting off spam triggers. For example, if your email template consists of all images, adding text could help you. Not all subscribers show images by default, so it is possible that your subscribers are hitting the spam button, because they aren’t seeing anything in your email! Adding text would allow these readers to see something. But, more importantly, spam filters often look for the ratio of images to text. Changing this ratio to include more text helps you look less like spam in the eyes of spam filters.
5) Ask your readers to rescue your emails from their spam folder
If your readers are telling you that your email newsletter is going to their spam boxes, ask them to press the “Not spam” button so that their spam filters will learn to not send your email to spam in the future. You need a number of subscribers to do this to recover your deliverability, so be proactive about asking your readers to do this.
6) Use good HTML; send a plaintext version
True spammers typically use poorly formed HTML. Bad headers, unclosed tags, etc are all things that spammers do, because they don’t take the time to write good emails. Good headers are a must. Many of them also don’t take the time to create and send a plaintext version.
7) Avoid “spammy subject lines”
You know exactly what I’m talking about — guarantees, FREE things, CAPITAL LETTERS YELLING SOME MESSAGE, deals, medical supplies, weight loss products, etc. These are all things that spammers have in their subject lines. Do the opposite.
8) Get a dedicated IP
If you’ve done all the above, you may want to consider getting a dedicated IP address for your mailing list. If you are sharing an IP address with a spammer, your deliverability is probably being affected by that.