My Email Goes to Spam: Make it Stop!
Are you finding that your email goes to spam and you aren’t sure how to fix it?
“One of the big reasons that it is getting harder to avoid emails going to spam is that spam filtering has become more rigorous. Webmail providers are simply cracking down harder on spam. However, the filters aren’t 100% accurate, so sometimes legitimate emails go to spam too.” – OptinMonster
Many of this advice was given for email list campaigns but can be very helpful when troubleshooting regular emails sent to individuals that are getting dumped into spam folders.
As I researched reasons regular emails get dumped into recipient emails, much of the tips came from email campaigns – but these tips on how to avoid campaign emails (bulk emails/newsletters) going straight to my client and/or other innocent bistanders’ email SPAM folders, came in very handy.
Avoid spammy phrases like “buy now,” “click here,” “last chance to win…,” and “why pay more.”
Words like “viagra” or “cialis” in an email are nearly always quarantined.
Any reference to “financial freedom,” being “financially free,” or similar will trigger spam alerts.
Here’s a list from OptinMonster:
Some spam filters are triggered by certain words in the subject line or the body of the email. Some spam trigger words include:
- cancel at any time
- check or money order
- click here
- dear friend
- for only ($)
- free or toll-free
- great offer
- increase sales
- order now
- promise you
- special promotion
- this is not spam
Subject Line Specific
Using words like “free,” “cash,” or even just including dollar signs ($) in your email can trigger a spam filter – especially in the email subject line.
Don’t use ALL CAPITALS, urgent phrases and too many !!!!! or other excessive punctuation.
Fonts that are too Big or too Small
Use a standard font size to avoid Spam filters.
Text to HTML Ratio
HTML is used to format your email. If you have a lot of formatting, the ratio of the HTML code characters can be too high compared to the text within the email itself.
Don’t use obscure fonts – use the fonts that work across platforms, like Arial, Verdana, Georgia and Times New Roman.
KEEP IT SIMPLE!!
Text to Image Ratio
Keep your email simple if you want it to get to the recipient – too many images compared to the amount of text could trigger spam filters, as many spammers use a lot of images in their emails.
Watch Your Link to Text Ratio
“Spammers often send emails with little or no text and a link or numerous links. When marketing with email, links are often a critical part of the email.” – CrazyEgg
Link to Reputable URL’s
If you link to known spammers, your email could get flagged as spam.
Think about the last time you got spam. What was your first clue that it could be malicious? Spelling is often the first clue to spam.
Red text is very common in spam – so keep it out of your clean emails.
Do Your Own Scan
If you send bulk emails, check your email through your campaign provider (like ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc).
I set up an email campaign called “Spam Check” – which I never send to my list – but I paste the content and subject line of an email I want to send out into the body of the email campaign, then check the spam filter.
Or use this service:
Check Your Email Address and Domain/IP Address
Check your domain name – this report should give you the IP address for your domain
Do your best to stay off those lists by not SENDING spam, sending only to people who expect to receive emails from you, have opted in, and don’t mislead anyone.
If you find yourself on a list and it just isn’t right, you can set up an email using a different domain until enough time has passed for the blacklisting to clear up.
If you use HTML to size the overall email, make sure the maximum width is 600-800 pixels.
Make sure your emails are readable and load quickly on mobile devices, and that your links can be pressed easily with a thumb.
A Few Things I Do to Avoid that Dreaded “Email Goes to Spam”
Nothing seems to be surefire, so we test A LOT of methods to improve deliverability. In addition to the above tips, here are a couple, easy to implement things we did to improve deliverability.
It was very important that we did SOMETHING because the people we are sending to actually WANT to get emails from us!
1. Remove as Much HTML As Possible – Including the Fancy Signature
I love the idea of a pretty, fancy, photo and link inclusive email signature, but not at the expense of getting emails to successfully arrive to people who are actually EXPECTING to receive emails from us.
So, I removed the beautiful, custom (and premium), Wisestamp signature:
REPLACED WITH SIMPLE SIGNATURE
2. Send Using Unique Domain
I am all about transparency and authenticity.
However, I have sent email to people who SPECIFICALLY asked for updates and news be sent to them, only to find them “unsubscribing” because they no longer want to receive emails.
Seems innocent enough.
HOWEVER – I don’t want a seemingly simple, obvious request to impede my send-ability for future emails.
So, when I send emails to BreakAway Agents (amazing agents that want to help share ideas with other agents), I use a separate email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s an OMH Agency brand, but it separates the send-ability reports and statistics. What is reported through that domain is *kind of* separate from @omagency.com emails.
It is kind of separate because (sorry for the technical info), but it uses the same IP address, but it is a different domain. The domain reporting is separate from omhagency.com, but the IP address reporting is the same.
Some separation is better than none.
3. Follow the Tips Above – Especially Scanning Before Sending
Let’s be real – when my clients don’t get an email from me, I know pretty quickly and the problem is resolved.
HOWEVER, when I am building relationships with people who are new in my circle, this is when deliverability comes into play.
I interview some of the top real estate agents in the industry.
Once the interview goes live in our podcast, BreakAway Agent, I want them to know ASAP where to find it an how to optimize this amazing PR opportunity.
When I email them with the link and artwork (which they get for free), if they don’t get it, I can only assume that they must think I dropped the ball (even though that is highly unlikely).
I need to get that info to them ASAP – not only for myself but so that they have what they need for absolutely free promotion.
Deliverability is VERY important for new relationships – so that’s why these tips are important for YOU.
You want your new prospects and clients to know you are ON TOP of things.
Check the details so you have the best chances of showing those potential clients that you are ON TOP OF THINGS!! Way above and beyond any other real estate agent or business owner.
You get one shot.
Give it your best (I promise that I do, too).
Tell me what you think and/or any issues/questions that you have that I missed.