One of the greatest obstacles of any email marketing campaign is the inevitable junk mail folder— but does it have to be inevitable? The dreaded spam filters, which may potentially place your newsletters and promotional emails straight into your subscribers’ junk folders, can harm your well-intentioned email marketing campaign and your ability to reach subscribers. Luckily, knowing a few easy practices to up your email campaign and improve your relevancy can go far in reaching the majority of your audience and avoiding the junk mail folder. Here, the email marketing aficionados at Zest Social Media Solutions discuss what spam is, how spam filters work and the best practices that your business can implement to reduce the rate at which your emails are falsely labeled as spam.
What is Spam?
According to Return Path, only 79 percent of permissioned email marketing messages successfully land in consumers’ email inboxes—so, what happened to the other 21 percent? They were labeled as spam.
“Spam” describes an unsolicited, irrelevant or inappropriate email that is sent to a wide list of consumers or potential consumers for the purpose of gaining followers. Legitimate spam violates the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which came into effect on January 1st of 2004 and requires email marketers to strictly follow enforced regulations when constructing and mass-sending email campaigns or newsletters. If commercial emails fail to adhere to to the standards upheld by the CAN-SPAM act, culprits can be fined up to $11,000 per offense. In other words, that is $11,000 per email sent!
To avoid an exponential piling on of fines due to negligent or misguided commercial email, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basic guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act: avoid using deceptive email headers, always provide an “unsubscribe” link to your consumers and include your physical mailing address in the email content, in addition to other requirements that can be found here.
How do Spam Filters Work?
Spam filters mean well—they are put in place to regulate the amount of unwanted spam clogging up email inboxes and to sort out legitimate newsletters from bogus messages that could contain malware. However, spam filters can act as a slight menace for serious email marketers who care about reaching their potential consumers with genuine promotional, sales or informational content. After all, spam negatively affects deliverability rates for legitimate businesses.
Spam filters follow a list of principles when detecting spam, and a commercial email must pass all inspection from spam filters in order to proceed to the subscriber’s inbox. The list of what criteria spam filters consider when judging an email is constantly growing and changing as consumers find different reasons to discern an email as junk, just as the world of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore, there is not a set-in-stone way to perfectly construct an email that will reach 100% of subscribers every time, but you can improve your odds.
What are Some Best Practices to Avoid Spam Filters?
Luckily, there are ways to improve your deliverability rates and avoid spam filters. Here are just a few of the many practices you can implement in your email marketing campaign to ensure you are reaching your greatest audience:
Grow Your Email List Organically
If you want to create the most authentic and relevant email subscriber list, do not purchase generic lists of emails, as this will only lead to high bounce and blacklisting rates, and you won’t be reaching the people that you need to reach. Not to mention, it’s illegal. Bombarding random email addresses that did not provide permission to your business will not only negatively reflect on your business, but will be sure to be reported as junk mail.
Create a Newsletter Signup Form
It is important to send newsletters and other emails only to those who have given permission to be on your email list. By creating an email signup form on your website, you are placing the decision to receive emails into your consumers’ hands. Also, be sure to include an “unsubscribe” option in your emails so that your audience can have control over what they want to show up in their inbox.
Email Subscribers Regularly
Once you create an email list of subscribers, make sure you are constructing emails regularly, as you want your subscribers to stay engaged with your content. If you fail to keep up with your email campaign, subscribers may decide to unsubscribe or report your infrequent emails as spam. Once you have a healthy email campaign up and running, the work does not stop there—even if you are already sending emails out regularly, continue to refine your audience and stay mindful of whether or not your email campaign is working as a positive representation of your brand and image.
The Zesty Marketing Gurus at Zest Social Media Solutions Can Help Your Business
We get it—you want to reach your audience as effectively as possible, engage with potential customers and grow your business’ email marketing platform in an age where digital marketing is vital to reach individuals. That is why we do what we do, and we can help you reach your email marketing goals, all the while refining your audience, reducing your bounce rate and avoiding those pesky spam filters. If you would like to learn more about how the digital marketing aficionados at Zest Social Media Solutions can help you create a killer email marketing campaign, contact us today.