Email Marketing and Automation are great ways to reach a large mailing list with high-quality graphics, managed mailing lists, and manageable analytics data. However, most third party email providers have stringent restrictions on the number of emails that can be reported as spam in a given email campaign. It’s usually as low as 1 report per 100 sent emails! But not to worry, doing the following things can keep you safe from being marked as spam and banned from the beauty of email marketing and automation.

1. Monitor your mailing list – It’s a good idea to go through your mailing list and edit it so that it is current and representative of your present marketing strategy. Just because someone joined the list in 2009 doesn’t mean they’re still interested in hearing from you. Take a look at who has been on there a while, whether or not they’ve opened anything recently, and make a decision about whether or not you need them on there. In most cases, spam reports come from inboxes that have been added to your mailing list over one year from the date you send the email.

2. Include an unsubscribe button – An unsubscribe button will work wonders to lower your spam rate. Most people will simply unsubscribe from a mailing list that they don’t wish to be a part of. This allows your mailing list to cull itself, and gives you a great line of defense if you ever do get called in for a list review with Constant Contact or Mail Chimp due to high spam numbers. Showing that you give your users an unsubscribe option is wonderful in getting back in their good graces.

3. Don’t flood your email with links – A healthy email has a high ratio of words to links. A surefire sign of spam is text that is 80% links, clearly indicating a desperate effort to get people to your website by any means necessary. It’s great to include links, but make sure you do it sparingly and only in relevant places. A newsletter should tell a story in its own right, even before the reader clicks to your website.

4. Keep the exclamation points under control – This sounds silly but email services like gmail and yahoo are always on the look out for email subjects with excessive exclamation points. “Incredible Offer!!!!!!” will get you flagged in a heartbeat, so tone it down. Less is more, and it’s certainly less spam-able.

5. Avoid buying lists – Regardless of your motives or inbound marketing goals, bought lists are always going to provoke spam reports. Most businesses mail to people who never signed up for their updates at some point, but it’s imperative that you keep this to a minimum. Third party email providers have been known to block entire lists or even kick businesses off of their website due to bought lists.

6. Avoid sending to non-specific addresses – Address like info@domain.com, webmaster@domain.com, and sales@domain.com, will get you nowhere. This implies that you aren’t sending to anyone in particular, but are surmising that these emails exist and strategizing to shove your emails into whatever inbox is out there. Leave these off your mailing list and keep your spam reports healthily low.

For more information on email marketing and automation, contact us.