Ever wonder why you get a lot of bounce backs after you send out your company’s newsletter? Or sometimes, most of your email subscribers tell you that they never received the last one that you send?
More often than not, the issue was your newsletter was blocked by your recipient’s anti-spam filters. Anti-spam filters catch every incoming email before it is delivered into the Inbox. These software programs search for words and phrases that are typical of spam and assign each incoming e-mail a "score." If your e-mail has too many of these words and phrases, you receive a high score, and you may be blocked.
However if you follow these guidelines your newsletter should slip past the gatekeeper every time.
1. Check what you put in the subject line
The Subject line is usually carefully examined. Avoid adding the recipient's name in the message subject like, To: [recipients name]. Also makes sure there is minimum number of free space in the subject line. Never use the word FREE written in caps.
It’s a good practice to put a date into the subject line, or have your subject contains a newsletter header!
2. Keep your message size from 20K to 50K
The size of the message does matter for anti-spam filters. The majority of spam emails are less than 20K.
3. Be wise with CAPS
Avoid using too many capital letters in your message. So, use them wisely!
4. Use full hyperlinks
If you use a hyperlink in your email, make sure you put the http:// at the beginning.
5. Be restrained with colors
Colors do matter too. Blue, red, and Magenta adds SPAM points. The background color other than white points to the message score. The Black is optimal as it won't add or take any points off.
6. Text-based emails are best
Many email newsletters are html with lots of images. They look slick and professional as marketing material should. However be aware that html emails are more likely to get blocked. Good email services will create a version of your newsletter in both html and plain text to increase the chance of getting through.
7. Avoid all image emails
Some emailers put their whole message in a big image; big mistake. Not only the spam filters likely to take an immediate dislike to the email, but also a lot of firewalls are programmed to strip images out so recipients can end up with a blank page.
8. Know what words Spam filters look for
Spam filters look for certain words, phrases, layouts and email characteristics.
The number one cause for blocking an email is the use of words that commonly appear in spam. Some are obvious like free, Viagra, and get rich. Some are not so obvious like opportunity, amazing and compare.
Below is the list of Spam trigger words:
2. cancel at any time
3. check or money order
4. click here
6. dear friend
7. e-mail marketing
8. for only ($)
9. free (including toll-free)
10. great offer
12. increase sales
13. order now
14. promise you
15. risk free
16. special promotion
17. this is not spam
18. to be removed
9. Be a welcome guest
Send email only to people who have opted in at your site. This will help in the case if you need to prove you are not spamming, and that people do want to receive the emails from you.
Remember that anti-spam filters are not perfect and they often happen to be over protective. It’s a good practice to follow these guidelines so that you will have greater chances that your Newsletter will be read by your intended recipients.
Alexandria K. Brown (Business Know-How) : 20 Words That Kill - At Least When It Comes to Spam Filters
Miles Galliford (SubHub): How to Stop Your Email Newsletter Being Blocked by Spam Filters
Julia (G-Lock Software): How to Survive Anti-Spam Filters