Tags: filters

Five Ways to Avoid Email Spam Filters

Beyond • October 21, 2009

Email marketing has a lot of advantages, the biggest benefit being that email is free and convenient. The down side to this is that the ease of email has led to an explosion of spam, and therefore the creation of the spam filter. Most unfortunately, these filters tend to block even legitimate email. So if you find your emails are being blocked, read on. Take a look at five great ways to avoid those email spam filters. 1. Never use spam words in your email There are a lot of words and symbols that are classified as ‘spam’ and these should be avoided at all cost. Words such as ‘viagra’, numerous dollar signs, multiple exclamation marks and even sentences in capital are considered spam. It is very important that you do not use such words in the subject line of your email. 2. Always safeguard your customer list Your customer list should be protected at all times. You must look after your list as per the terms mentioned in your privacy policy. Remember, people have given you their information on the basis of trust. You need to honor this trust. Never disclose or sell your list to anyone unless you have stated that you will do so in your policy. Violating your policy could lead to penalties. 3. Place an unsubscribe link in your email It is important that all your email communication contain an unsubscribe link for the benefit of your recipients. This is usually provided by all the leading Email Service Providers like Benchmark Email, etc. However, you should ensure that your link works properly by testing it yourself. If a recipient clicks on the unsubscribe link you must ensure that the person is removed from your subscription list instantly. 4. Make use of double opt-in forms Although single opt-ins can be used, double opt-in is a much better alternative. In the single opt-in process, a person who wishes to subscribe needs to provide his name and email address and confirm that he wants your emails. When it comes to double opt-in, the person completes the single opt-in process and then clicks on a verification link that is sent to him via email. The verification process used in double opt-in makes it more trustworthy and reduces the chance of your email being called spam. 5. Pay attention to all aspects of your email Your email should maintain a constant ‘From’ field and the ‘To’ field should always be personalized. When it comes to HTML emails, try to avoid using javascript, embedded forms and even hidden text and make sure all your links have the ‘http://’ prefix. Request your readers to add your email address to their ‘whitelist’ or address book.


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Inside the mind of spam filters

Inside the mind of spam filters

Beyond • June 3, 2009

As an email marketer, you\'ve probably felt the frustration of knowing that because your emails are competing against thousands of others, there\'s no guarantee they\'ll get the attention they deserve. A big reason for this is spam: recent studies show as much as almost 70% of email sent out is spam. That\'s the main reason the spam filter was created. The spam filter, in its most pure form, is supposed to weed out the spam emails so all that\'s left in your inbox is opt-in emails that you\'ve subscribed to. Unfortunately, with so many factors affecting the job spam filters do, sometimes good email gets blocked with the bad. Despite making mistakes like blocking good emails, spam filters are here to stay. And it would probably help you tremendously as an email marketer to understand exactly how they work. First off, spam filters can be set up a few different ways. They can either be set up to follow certain rules, or used exactly as programmed. Because there are so many ways they can be set up and used, it\'s quite common to have one email get to the inbox with one email service, and one be placed in the junk file with another. Here are some tips to get your emails to the inbox, regardless of the spam fiilter used: Good HTML code matters. Period. If your capaign layout features sloppy code that makes your emails or newsletters look strange in different email service inboxes, expect it to be blocked. And missing code? That\'s bad too. Make sure you spell words correctly. Bad spelling is the hallmark of spammers. Use a spellchecker to prevent misspellings. Title your email properly. Any email without a title will raise the ire of spam filters. Don\'t send an email that only features an image. Many spammers use a single image in their emails. Use both text and images in all your emails. Send a plain text version along with your standard, HTML version of your email. By sending a plain text version, your mobile phone and PDA-using recipients can also read your emails. Make certain your plain text version of your email matches your HTML version as much as possible. DON\'T USE CAPITAL LETTERS. This will trick spam filters into thinking you\'re sending out spam. Don\'t use non-standard colors, italics or large-sized fonts. Try to personalize your emails by calling your recipients by name. If you don\'t have their names, feel free to use sir and madame. Don\'t use the word “free”. The word free is a big fave when it comes to spammers. The use of the word free can land your emails in the trash bin, especially when you\'ve used all capitals to spell out the word you want to write. Other spammy words and phrases ito avoid are: No risk, risk free, click here, click below, order now, money back guarantee,guarantees, click to remove from mailing list,& home loan, bad credit, buy now. Avoid bringing up spam or spam legislation in your campaigns. Spammers use spam legislation as a way to try and dodge filters. Don\'t fall into this trap. So, what\'s the solution ? If you\'re not sure if you\'re sending out spammy emails or not, your best bet is to use a spamchecker. For the record, Benchmark Email features a spamchecker tool that analyzes your email and not only shows you which words and phrases will set off spam filters, but gives you an overall score showing your chances of getting to the inbox. Another technique is to set up free accounts with Yahoo!, Gmail and other email services, and sending your campaigns to these accounts as a test. If they make it through, chances are your overall campaign will. If not, you have some work to do.


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