Avoiding the spam folder

One of the most useful ways to keep in touch with your audience, customers or regular readers is to send a regular newsletter.  The challenge is to make sure that email services recognise your newsletters as legitimate communications, rather than dumping your carefully crafted message in the spam folder.

The escalation in email spam means that it is a problem for everyone.  Email services have to continually improve their spam filters, and the problem is serious enough that a small business or organisation can accidentally fall foul of a spam filter, and in the worst case, be placed on a blacklist.

A few simple common-sense procedures can help you steer clear, and here is AlbanyWeb's anti-spam checklist:

  • Make sure your signup procedure is transparent, so that recipients know they are signing up for your newsletter.  This will help avoid recipients 'junking' your emails or reporting them as spam.
  • Always put an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of every email and have a clear and easy process for removing emails from a list (AlbanyWeb automatically adds this on newsletters).
  • Have regular clean-ups of your mailing list, so you get rid of old emails.
  • Keep an eye on bounced emails after every send.  This is quite important, as repeated sending to expired or invalid email addresses is a good way to get blacklisted. A professional mail list company will help you manage your bounced emails, and AlbanyWeb also offer assistance to our clients.

The next thing to do is look to the content of your emails.  The best way to avoid being classed as spam is to send newsletters or emails that have genuine and relevant information to your audience.  Here are some specific tips:

  • Make the subject line relevant to the content.
  • Avoid using 'spammy' words, such as 'free', 'get rich quick' and avoid using All Capital letters within your text and subject line.
  • Images should be links, not attachments.  In fact, don't send attachments at all.
  • Your newsletter should be mostly text.  It is easy to be seduced by lots of unnecessary images and flashy graphics, but resist this and trust in the quality of your content.  Remember how many of your readers are going to skim your newsletter on their phone, and make it easy for them.
  • Think about the frequency of your email newsletters.  You want to keep your audience engaged, not overwhelm them.

None of this is really very hard to do, and mailing list companies and good web developers will always be willing to help you steer clear of the dreaded blacklist.

AlbanyWeb websites can optionally include a newsletter that handles many of these points for you, and our editing guide helps you write spam free newsletters.