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How to avoid having your newsletter marked as spam

Spam filters first came into effect out of necessity. While computer based communication had existed for a long time, in the 1990s it became extremely prevalent for emails to be met with scores of unsolicited and unwanted email, often containing viruses, scams, and otherwise harming the users online experience. The solution was to use basic characteristics of spam to prevent it entering the email box. Unfortunately, the spammers got more sophisticated, so now the mail that gets marked as junk mail is much more likely to be a mixture of spam and actual email. Because of this, it is important to know how to avoid getting relegated to the spam filter.

You should also remember that keeping compliant with the Can-Spam Act is legally mandated, so you should look into its requirements before you start sending email. Part of this is that you should never, under any circumstances, send email to someone that did not sign up for your email list. Do not buy email lists, do not attempt to gather emails through tricks, you may break the law, and you won't be emailing a potential customer. As well, you should mention on your signup form that recipients should add your email address to their safe-list, these recipients will therefore never put your email in the spam folder. In the same vein, you must have a simple opt out system, which most mailing list managers will provide due to the Can-Spam Act's requirements. By allowing customers to opt out, it is less likely your domain will be recognized as spam.

You should always include a plain text version of your email, as much spam is HTML formatted and delivered without a plain text version. Because of this, some email users only accept plain text email. If your email uses language similar to spammers, talking about pornography, money making schemes, etc, you will likely be relegated to the spam folder. Instead, you should focus on improving the personalization of your email, making it so the user can spot your emails even if they do wind up in the spam filter. Don't include attachments, instead link to files for download. Attachments are a kiss of death for mass marketing email. Images are also harmful when used excessively, try to keep images to a minimum.

Developing a relationship with your customers and never sending unsolicited mail will generally keep your domain name clean, but if you are using shared hosting, it is possible your servers are also being used to deliver spam by someone else. Because of this, you may need to get a dedicated platform to send your email, but this is only in extreme cases. If you find most of your emails are being marked spam, it is time to consider this option.

In the end, the key to keeping your email out of the spam folder is to write the best marketing copy you can and not try to use too many bells and whistles. An email addressed to the customer that has a plain text and an HTML version and no attachments is going to be much better received than one that makes any of the above mistakes! If you notice constant problems, try to experiment with new ways of writing your emails to see if you can improve your copy on your own. If you are worried about your server being associated with spam, you should definitely consider using an email relay server.

Email Marketing Glossary Keeping List Members Interested
Best Day to Send Marketing Email How to Avoid Spam Filters
How Often Should You Email Your List HTML Vs. Plain Newsletters
How to Increase Your Click-Thru Rate


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