Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How to Keep Your E-mail Marketing From Getting Snatched Up by Spam Filters

Composing your e-mails doesn’t end when you’ve perfected the body copy for sales effectiveness. You also have to take into consideration how your copy will be “read” by spam filters.

Studies show that more than fifteen-percent of permission-based e-mails don’t make it through the spam filters of major e-mail account providers like Yahoo!, Google, and Hotmail. And for query e-mails (non-permission-based e-mails) the rate is much, much higher. People just aren’t receiving these messages!

To avoid having your hard work intercepted by spam filters, consider these important rules when editing the text of your e-mail blast:

Rule #1: Be Careful With Your Vocabulary

Spam filtering programs use an entire dictionary of common words and phrases that pop-up consistently in spam e-mails. Avoid words like “free,” “prize,” “offer,” the names of major pharmaceuticals, the names of celebrities, etc.

Rule #2: Be Professional

Writing in all-caps, increasing font-size, using lots of punctuation (such as multiple exclamation points) and highlighting words in rainbow colors are all tell-tale sign for spam-filters that your e-mail is suspicious. Keep it simple and clean. Let your words do the talking.

Rule #3: Don’t Send Attachments

With the prevalence of viruses and other corrupting software, very few attachments make it through spam filters. Today, with the ability to safely embed both images and web links in your e-mail, sending attachments is becoming increasingly unnecessary.

Rule #4: Become a “Student of Spam”

Study the spam messages that make it into your inbox. How do you think they got through? What elements turn you away from reading it? Does the subject line make you want to open the message, or delete it? Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing the rules for success.

Rule #5: Use a Tool to Check Your E-Mail

There are countless e-mail analyzing services and software available on the web. Some of them are even free, like the cut and paste word-checker at SpamDance. By running your text through such a tool, it will help you optimize your language and ensure success of your direct e-mail campaign.