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Avoid Being Labeled As An Email Spammer!

Nearly everyone hates spam email, and it seems like every day there’s more of it. After all, it only costs a little to send millions of emails, and if one person responds, a spammer has made a profit. But what about legitimate marketers who are sending newsletters, sales, and important information to people who want it? You don’t want your opt-in list missing what you have to say because their spam filters accidentally got your email. Here are a few tips on how not to look like spam.

It can be tricky to deal with a spam filter, especially if your product or service has key terms similar to those used by shady marketers. No one wants their medical newsletter binned along with the "cheap pharmaceuticals" ads, after all! So, what can you do? The first step is looking at how you got the email addresses and the types of information you’re sending out. Using terms that are similar to spam messages,or collecting emails without an opt in is sure to get you marked as undesirable.

Remember that customers and potential customers are more interested in information than in your sales talk.

So stick to including real information, and keep the promotional stuff to a minimum. This will increase your conversion rate, as well as the rate of emails that escape the spam filter. So, what should you look for? First, make sure you’re not including trigger words, phrases, or other information in your email. For instance, if you include the words "click here now", you’re email is likely to be treated as spam. Most spam filters using this term to filter emails get only about a one percent false postitive rate. Opt out phrases such as "to be removed" and "unsubscribe" are other flags for a spam filter.

Even text colors in HTML email, such as FF0000 (that’s HTML for bright red) may get flagged. Avoid multiple fonts and sizes, and never send an attachment unless it’s been requested.

If you’ve taken a look at your newsletter and you’re worried about it, post it online. Then, give your mailing list a link to the rest of the newsletter. The ones who are interested will click through, and the email won’t get banned. Avoid mentioning gifts, special offers, toll free numbers, and similar things, as well. It doesn’t take much to do it –just reword the most common phrases uniquely. ‘Free’ can become ‘Bonus’ or ‘No Cost’. Certainly you can use those words in a website, but be careful when creating an email campaign or newsletter. Weight loss and MLM marketers may face special challenges.

Use an appropriate, accurate, short subject line that doesn’t include any of the standard spam phrases. "Hello, friend" is a quick way to get ignored. Don’t use the recipient’s name or email address in the subject line. This used to help open rates, but now the spam filters are more sensitive to it. Also avoid common spam terms in the first paragraph. Spell carefully, and use the right capitalization and sentence structure. Display your full name, not your email address in the "from" field. Don’t use all capital letters (it’s considered yelling at your reader) or all lower case, poor punctuation, or just your first name unless you want to be flagged.

Make sure your partners in joint ventures and cross promotions know about this, too. After all, someone else’s list could kill your letter quickly. Your carefully crafted email could get spam filtered by someone else’s "free consultation."

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About the Author

G. L. Giddings, GLG and Associates LLP
New Albany, IN 47150
(502) 209-8326

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