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People have read more marketing emails over the past year. No less than 78 percent of marketers say engagement has increased in the past 12 months. Now is the time to make the most of email and its marketing potential.
However, not all of your subscribers will see your messages. With 17 percent of all email sent in spam, some of your campaigns may never reach your target prospects and customers. Internet and email service providers use advanced filters to separate legitimate email from spam. Sometimes one or more things can trigger these filters to remove your email from people's inboxes.
Related: The 5 Mistakes That Will Land Your Email In The Spam Folder
Let's see why this happens and what you can do to avoid the junk folder havoc.
To avoid being classified as spam, do not act like a spammer
This may seem self-explanatory, but if you don't know what behavior is spam, you may not know how to avoid it. Here are the top points to keep in mind if you land in your inbox and want to avoid the spam folder.
Keep up to date with your hygiene email list
What some email marketers forget is that the best-designed email means nothing if the list you're sending it to is full of bad contacts. Not only do these emails fail to reach anyone, but these bounces also affect your sender's reputation and lead ISPs to see you as a spammer.
Spammers don't care about their list hygiene. They scrape email addresses off the internet and use them regardless of ethics. Getting bounces and spam complaints or entering a spam trap doesn't stop them from sending more spam. Until, of course, they are blocked and can no longer even reach the junk folder. It's common for spammers to be blacklisted – but it also happens to reputable companies if they're not careful.
As a legitimate email marketer, you cannot afford to engage in such behavior and be mistaken for a spammer. Hence, it is important to start with a healthy list. Buying an email is never a good idea as everyone on your list should be there because they want to receive your emails. Permission is key to email marketing.
Regardless of whether you are just starting your list or already have multiple contacts, you should implement double opt-in. With this subscription method, each new subscriber must confirm that they actually want to receive your emails. It's easy to set up and prevents your database from receiving poor quality contacts.
That being said, at least a quarterly review of your list shows that you are following email marketing best practices. For inbox providers, this is a sign that you are a trustworthy sender. You are therefore confident of getting your emails to other people's inboxes.
Learning and implementing good email list hygiene is as important as what you write and how you present it. What good would your hard work if no one saw you?
Be careful with your subject lines
There must be hundreds of articles online by email subject lines – and for good reason. After your "From" name, the first thing your subscribers will see is your subject line. This has a significant impact on your open rate: 47 percent of respondents say that they only open an email based on the subject line.
So it's worth taking the time to polish each subject line and make sure that:
Informative: People should get a clear idea of what your email is about: it should arouse curiosity without resorting to cheap tricks.
A helpful exercise is to write down multiple versions of your subject line until you find one that stands out. If it helps, reach out to your team or friends. The feedback can open your eyes.
When choosing the final version, make sure it doesn't contain any spam words that could lead ISPs to believe your email is spam. If you receive an email with the word "free" in the subject, it may raise suspicion. Words to avoid include "lowest price", "quick buck", "save $", and other similar constructions.
Spam subject lines look like scams, and ISPs could mark your legitimate email as junk based on tricky, spam-like words. When in doubt, change it.
Avoid too many pictures and too little text
You may have noticed that a lot of spam is just a few lines and no text at all at other times. Sometimes it's just a picture and occasionally an email with a few words and lots of pictures.
Legitimate marketing emails average 434.48 words. If you only insert one sentence, you won't offer a lot of interesting content.
Why is a healthy image-to-text ratio so important? Again, it boils down to not looking like a spammer. The purpose of an email is to provide relevant information. Few emails can do this in a few words.
Of course, you can use pictures to illustrate your points or show the products you sell, but try to keep a balance. Pictures may also take longer to load if your recipient has a slower Internet connection.
Another aspect to consider is the links that you include in your email. Avoid the temptation to use link shorteners – they can trigger spam filters. Instead, be completely transparent and link directly to your landing page. You want to stay away from practices that could compromise your deliverability.
Related: From Link Builder to Email Marketer
Plan a broadcast schedule and follow it
A common email mistake businesses make is disappearing.
Let's say someone sells beach and pool goods. The operating hours are of course shorter in winter. The company just stops emailing its lists. There's nothing to promote anyway, why bother? This approach to marketing is detrimental to any business.
For email marketers, sticking to a schedule is a smart idea. Send your email on the same day of the week or, if you send less frequently, at least once a month. It is a mistake to only send when you want something or want to sell a new product or service.
First of all, people forget you. If you continue, they may not recognize your email and mark you as spam. Being predictable and sending your email regularly is the opposite of spammer behavior. This not only increases brand awareness and trust, but also makes ISPs aware of you.
Of course, if your services or products are more seasonal, you can increase your email volume during your peak sales. To keep track of things, email your list regularly for the rest of the year. Create useful, fun content that can nurture and motivate your subscribers. You will see much better results when the time comes to target them with a campaign.
One of the secrets to better keeping track of your marketing emails is obvious, but it's well worth highlighting. You have to be where people can see you and the only way to do it is by landing in the inbox.
The behavior and stimulus for spammers are all about taking. With your email marketing you have to give in order to get. Strive for principles of generosity and service in everything you do. Always think about safety, ethics and respect. Be helpful to your readers and they will remember you and open your emails consistently.
Related: How Do Spam Filters Work? Measures to ensure that your email …