How To Reach Customers, Not Spam Filters
By Ali Liaquat
In this article, you’ll learn what are spam filters? How and why should you avoid them? And how can you keep your email contact list up-to-date and relevant?
As a marketer, getting customers to subscribe to your mailing list can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But, just like any relationship, it takes work.
Think about it: What if someone you don’t know shows up at your door and says, “Hey, do you want to be friends? I bought a pizza.” Even if you really like pizza you’d probably say, “Thanks but no thanks,” and lock the door.
“People who are new to e-mail marketing often don’t realize that not every sent e-mail reaches their recipients.”
The same goes for users. If you indiscriminately send unsolicited emails with suspicious subject lines or messaging to large groups of people, AKA spam, their email servers will block you with their spam filters.
However, even if you’re legit and only send marketing emails to users on your contact list, your emails might be blocked if the content seems generic or overused. Think of it like inbox intuition.
Imagine XYZ’s Watches sends out an e-blast with the subject line, “Our incredible sale is now on!!!” to their customers, announcing their holiday sale. Although they are a popular and legitimate brand, the email ends up in users’ spam folders.
Spam filters don’t just block unwanted emails. They can also learn to detect different types of spam.
They do this by analyzing the email’s content, subject lines, metadata, IP address, code, and format — among other things. For example, some spam filters can tell if the email’s body text was dragged-and-dropped from a word processing program.
Also, it doesn’t matter if users would be interested in the content of the email. If they didn’t give you explicit permission to send them messages, it may be considered spam.
Spam filters are set up so people won’t be bombarded with annoying or inappropriate messages, and to protect them from scammers. (Spoiler alert: That Nigerian prince isn’t real.)
They also exist so legitimate businesses that don’t spam aren’t drowned out by imposters. However, this means that sometimes, despite your best intentions, your emails can get mistaken for spam.
So why don’t spam filters tell marketers exactly what to avoid? Because if they did, they’d be unintentionally giving that information to spammers, too. However, there are things you can do to help your emails end up in the inbox.
The first step to making a connection is to get personal. If your email begins with “Dear valued customer,” it’ll trip the alarm.
Think about how it feels to get a text from a friend versus an unknown number. Well, spam filters can detect if you have friendly information like first or last names, and might flag emails if you don’t include it.
Interesting Fact: According to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft founder Bill Gates receives four million emails per year, most of them spam.
Give users options as to what kinds of emails they want to receive. For instance, if you distribute a newsletter and lots of Go to the full article.