All the hours you dedicate to cold email outreach are wasted if your emails land in the spam folder. To prevent this from occurring, we’re sharing five ways to avoid getting flagged as spam. Before getting started, we have to make an important distinction between email delivery and email deliverability.
Email delivery is when an email has been successfully delivered to an email host providers receiving server.
Email deliverability is where an email goes after servers accept it. After delivery, the server determines whether the email will land in the inbox, categories, or the spam folder.
Now, a server doesn’t just kick your email to the spam folder randomly. Servers are looking over key areas to ensure an email is credible.
Identification: In the digital world, our identity is an IP address. Email servers have a three-step authentication process to confirm our identities as senders and prevent spoofing of email addresses.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF): Secures your DNS servers and restricts who can send emails from your account. SPF prevents people from spoofing your address.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM): This allows the receiver to verify an authorized domain owner sent the email.
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC): Combines SPF and DKIM to create a policy telling recipients what to do if they receive an unauthorized email from your domain.
Reputation: ISPs calculate a sender reputation score, which categorizes senders as trusted or untrusted. In the world of email marketing, it’s essential to keep this score high to ensure emails are making their way to inboxes.
Content: Servers actively search for any information that could be spam. If you can, don’t use phrases such as “Apply now,” “Exclusive deal,” “This won’t last,” etc. Instead, ensure the content you create is relevant to your business and encourage subscribers to read through the email.
For these reasons, you can have good email delivery (servers receiving emails) but bad email deliverability (emails not arriving at the inbox and many times end up in the spam folder).
5 Ways To Boost Your Deliverability
1. Use a verified email list.
One of the greatest impacts on deliverability is inactive or invalid subscribers. Bounce back rates are recorded by servers, impacting your reputation & increasing the chances of your emails landing in the spam folder.
So, clean it out. Go through your email list every month and make sure to delete inactive addresses, duplicate accounts, or addresses with typos. The more active your mailing list is, the better your emails will perform.
Make sure only to use verified email addresses when building your list! By doing so, ISPs can determine an email belongs to a person, and the email you’re sending will be delivered appropriately. Checking for verified addresses allows for higher engagement, which gives you a better sender reputation. You can either verify addresses yourself or use online services that can check them in bulk.
2. Avoid sending content that looks like spam.
Email servers have set up spam filters that pick up on keywords or formatting choices likely to be spam. To prevent your emails from being marked as spam, avoid these practices:
- Capitalizing words in the subject line
- Excessive punctuation
- Bright font colors such as red or green. (Just stick with black.)
- Intentional or unintentional use of spam words or phrases. I.e: “Free,” “Earn,” “Click here,” “Lose weight,” “You’re a winner!”
3. Segment email campaigns
Don’t send mass emails all at once. Break up the process through segmentation. Not only will your subscribers be more engaged with reading your emails, but it helps build reputations with ISPs when emails are getting engagement.
4. Always have an Opt-out option!
Not only is this required by the CAN-SPAM act, but it can help decrease your email bounce. Spam complaint marks on your IP address are damaging to your reputation. Prevent this by allowing recipients to opt-out of emails and dedicate attention to active subscribers.
5. Take your emails on a test run.
After creating an email, it’s a good idea to send it through a seed list test. A seed list test is a process of sending your emails to addresses at different email providers to see how they filter emails and how it impacts deliverability.
Maximizing your email deliverability can ensure you always reach the right audience. We understand that you may have questions about this process, and that’s why we’re here to help! We can help you beat the spam folder once and for all.