Spamalot 2 :: Don’t Let Your Email Campaign Get Labeled Spam

Previously on Spamalot…

We discussed the CAN-SPAM Act and why – despite the spam epidemic – email marketing is still an effective strategy for brand building and driving sales. Remember though, that even if you follow the law as closely as humanly possible, your ISP could still get the wrong idea, as could your recipients’ email clients. So the bulk of your email campaign could still end up in the spam folder or in the virtual trash.

On today’s Spamalot…

We’ll discuss how to make sure your recipients don’t get cheated of your valuable products and services by overzealous spam filters.

5 tips for staying off the spam blacklist

  1. Keep your solicitation lists small. This is good marketing anyway, as a targeted campaign will be more effective than the shotgun approach. Keeping your list limited will also help you avoid attracting unwanted regulatory attention, or overloading your email servers.
  2. Don’t purchase email lists. This goes along with point number 1. Small businesses should segment and target their audiences effectively in all their marketing. This is much easier to do with leads you’ve generated yourself, and contact information you’ve collected yourself. A shotgun approach to email addresses collected by a third party won’t be as effective as a smaller, targeted list of recipients you’ve collected yourself because you don’t know anything about them. With your own smaller, curated list, you’ll have more information about who they are, what they’re looking for, when you should contact them and what’s likely to be the most effective call to action. They’ll be more likely to have actively opted in. Finally, there’s no guarantee that the 3rd party’s email addresses were obtained legally and ethically.
  3. Avoid spammy content like lots of exclamation points and all caps. Again, this is a double whammy, good for keeping you off spam lists, and good writing and marketing advice as well. WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS ANNOYING, AND MAKES THE READER FEEL AS IF YOU’RE SHOUTING AT HER. Lots of exclamation points screams “hype.”  Good email marketing content follows many of the same rules as good Web content – focus on benefits, make it scannable, make sure you have a strong call to action. We’ll be covering this in a bit more detail in Spamalot 3.
  4. Use simple html rather than css to make sure that as many email clients as possible can read and display your content. Different email clients (Gmail, Mail for Macs, Thunderbird, etc) have different default settings for receiving email, and some of them don’t play very well with CSS. So don’t get too fancy.
  5. Don’t send attachments. They’re a spam and malware red flag.

Remember, spam is in the eye of the receiver. Just because your email is legal, doesn’t mean everyone wants to receive it. Follow these tips to make sure automatic spam filtering software doesn’t hijack your perfectly legitimate bulk email.

Next time on Spamalot…

We’ll dig into best practices, content and design for effective email marketing campaigns.


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