Mad Mimi takes all possible actions to ensure your email gets through to your readers’ inboxes. The one aspect that is up to you, however, is your content.
We don’t have a comprehensive list of all the words and phrases you shouldn’t use because spam filters are very sophisticated nowadays! For example, many filters are customized towards habits of each particular user, instead of following blanket rules about what is and what is not spam.
To avoid filters, you want to think about how your content is presented as a whole, rather than avoiding specific keywords. The best tips are not black and white. We know this is less satisfying in the short term, but our advice below is more effective in getting you to inbox–now and in the long run.
To Avoid Spam Filters, Look at your Email Content and Ask these Questions:
Will email filters and subscribers immediately recognize me?
Domain names, from addresses, and templates or styles should stay very clear from email to email. This helps both filters and humans establish who you are. Your branding creates a track record of trust. If people were receptive to your emails in the past, consistent branding will get you better filtering results.
Have I made a great first impression yet?
If you haven’t sent emails to your list yet, or the emails you sent weren’t well-received, send only to your most recent and engaged subscribers. Take extra care to ensure the content is something your subscribers will be excited about reading or interacting with.
Is my email focused on charming my subscribers, rather than “blasting” ’em?
Remind readers of your existing relationship and then build on that rapport. Write emails in a conversational style, similar to how you’d address a friend or colleague. Hard-sell tactics invite complaints and suspicion with both filters and humans. That said, don’t go out of your way to hide that you’re sending a bulk email. Spam filters can tell if you’re sending the same piece of mail to many people.
Here are a few content tips, keep in mind, the subject title is particularly sensitive.
– In general, it’s a good idea to avoid hard-sell catchphrases like: Free, Instant, Double your money, Sex, XXX, Win, Cash, Bonus, Membership, Free Offer, Call Now, Rates, $$$’s, Success, etc.
– Excessive use of CAPS LOCK can cause issues, as well. NO ONE LIKES TO BE YELLED AT!
– Minimize your use of punctuation. !!!’s and ???’s can be troublesome. Keep your promotion conversational rather than hard-sell EXTRA!!!! BUY NOW!!! style.
– Pricing and $$$ signs are especially important. Including the pricing in your promotion can trigger a spam filter. An effective way to get around this and increase web traffic is to describe the special offer and link to your website. An image with the pricing is also effective.
– Subject lines are really important. No really, put thought into your subject titles and not only will it help avoid spam filters, your view rates will improve!
Am I sending to contacts that not only signed up for my emails, but want this particular content?
It can take as little as one determined and unhappy person to cause filtering problems. So if you’re not sure if a certain list will want an email, it’s probably better to leave them out entirely.
Does it look like I’m hiding something?
– If you use images, make sure that you are clear about the intent of the message with text content, too! With text content in addition to image content, filters can more easily understand your identity and your intention. Image-only emails are often filtered to spam.
– Link shorteners are abused heavily in emails to hide malware and other not-so-great stuff, so don’t use those.
What if I’m having problems, and I’m already doing all of the above?
Try a different subject line or take out the links to websites (that you don’t have full control over) in the email and send a test. We recommend you create a test list and send to a few different email accounts before sending to your entire list. If you’re still stuck, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help!