Avoid having your emails delivered in spam

Do you experience that your promotional emails get delivered to different spam filters? It can be extremely frustrating if the newsletters that you spend time and energy on does not get delivered directly in the receivers’ inbox. It can be challenging, that email services, such as Gmail, have their own algorithms for identifying and sorting different types of emails. In this article, potential explanations for why promotional emails end up in spam are presented, and how you can increase your chances to avoid this.

A spam filter is a type of program that, through different criteria, decide whether an email is spam or contains promotional content. Hence, a spam filter analyses your email. Amongst the criteria are content with misleading subject lines, words frequently associated with spam and permission lists.

The following 6 points are pieces of advice on how to increase your chances to avoid spam filters.

1. Personal email address as the sender

It can be a good idea to send promotional emails from a personal email address. The reason for this is that it increases the chance for the relevant mail service to recognize the name. Also, the use of a personal domain, or a domain belonging to the company, can be beneficial as it increases the recognizability of the email address for the email service.

The IP address, where the email is sent from, can also be important for determining whether your email is sent directly to the inbox or not. If the relevant IP address was previously used for spam, or if your promotional emails are sent through a third party email automation service or program, this may also be a possible explanation for why your emails end up in spam.

2. The subject line is important

Misleading subject lines can influence whether your emails are sent to spam or not. If unusual words or special characters such as !, ?, “, and # are applied, this may trigger the mail services’ algorithms and entail that your email does not reach the receivers inbox. Therefore, it can be a good idea to thoroughly consider your subject line before hitting send.

3. Personalize the email’s content

The spam filters browse the content of your email, where it checks to what extend the email is personal. An example of this is if the receiver’s name is included in the email, as this indicates a degree of acquaintance. Thus, it can be advised to consider this when writing your email.

4. Reflect upon the choice of words  

In continuation of the importance of the subject line, spam filters scan your email for specific words, phrases, and formats associated with promotional emails. This can be the use of multiple special characters, text in other colors than nuances of black, text written with caps lock, and phrases as:

  • “Click here”
  • “This is not spam”
  • “Don’t miss…”.

Words associated with sales such as “Congratulations” and “Offer” can also potentially be a disadvantage to incorporate as these are often related to promotional content.

5. Use fewer links and pictures

Be careful with integrating too many pictures and links in your email. Promotional emails are typically characterized by containing several pictures and links, and thus, be aware of the number of pictures and links in your email. Also, if possible, it may be a good idea to try to simplify and comprise the links and pictures you choose to include in length and size. In sum, it is all about keeping your picture-to-text ratio as low as possible.

6. Provide the receiver with the opportunity to opt-in and opt-out directly through the email   

It can potentially be important to enable the receiver to quickly and easily opt-in or opt-out if, for example, your email is a newsletter. The reason for this is that it may result in complaints if the opportunity is not present. If an incident happens and you receive complaints through email, or your email is marked as spam by the receiver, it becomes even more difficult for you to get your email delivered directly to an inbox in the future.           

On a continuous basis, we test the 6 pieces of advice above on our own emails. We use the results from the tests to modify and improve future emails.

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