Passing the Email Spam Scans

by | Feb 2, 2011 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing | 0 comments

Without ever making it to the recipient’s inbox, your email can be lost into the depths of the “spam” folder easier than ever before.

All email content passes through Internet Service Provider (ISP) filters (like Comcast’s) as well as customizable email application filters (like Hotmail’s). These have the ability to automatically filter emails that their artificial intelligence deems “spammy” before they even reach the intended inbox. And that’s nothing compared to your recipients spending a fraction of a second reading the title of your email and deciding whether to read it or not. Are your emails making the cut?

Studies on low email open rates show that “bad” subject lines include phrases that are hard sells, such as “Shop now to Save 50% for Christmas.” This aggressive tactic tends to put off your clients. A good subject line should be personal and not aggressive, such as “Happy Holidays from [Your Brand]” or “A Gift to you from [Brand]”. This ensures that your recipient knows who sent it and exactly what it is about, while still making them curious.

Components of Great Subject Lines

  • Personal
  • Not aggressive
  • Flattering
  • Helpful
  • Piques Curiosity

Some real-life effective examples of these subject lines are Victoria Secret’s “LOVE ME this Valentine’s Day”, Williams-Sonoma’s “A Fun New Treat from Nordic Ware” and Ruby Tuesday’s “We Wrapped Your Birthday Present Early” email campaigns.

Avoid Spammy Design Elements

Even if your email gets opened the war has just begun. Once your recipients open an email it initiates a new battle of convincing them that you aren’t spam. When creating a designed email, it’s good practice to minimize any wild formatting that makes it seem like you’re shouting, such as all capitals, huge fonts, too many exclamation points, quotation marks from testimonials or dollar signs. Also, be wary of the words used as links to a website. Lastly, only leave a toll-free number if it’s essential to the email.

Check out the full article on avoiding spam filters here from MailChimp.

Awesome Tools from MailChimp

A/B Split Testing: People who A/B test their email campaigns get 11% better open rates and 17% more clicks

Inbox Inspector: Stay out of trouble by looking out for words and phrases that trigger spam filters.

Subject Line Researcher: Discover how the terms in your subject line will impact your open rate.

Delivery Doctor: Test your campaign with many common spam filters and consumer ISPs, which gives you insight into exactly what parts of your campaign may cause delivery issues. Find out more from MailChimp Blog.

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