Email Deliverability: 6 Ways to Avoid Spam Filter Blocking
In 2011, more than 70% of worldwide email traffic was spam. As spam filters become more efficient at keeping our inboxes clean, an alarming 20% of legitimate email marketing messages are being blocked in error.
Are your email marketing messages making the cut?
Incorporating the best practices below can help improve your inbox deliverability and reduce the number of emails being blocked from ever reaching your contacts. Simply put, better inbox deliverability means improved email marketing performance. Reach more contacts and increase your email opens, clicks and overall response.
Here are 6 best practices you can use today to prevent spam filter blocking:
1. Short, relevant and enticing perform best for subject lines.
The goal of your subject line is to entice recipients to open. Including a specific offer in your subject line works well, however, most email programs will only display 5-8 words or 60 characters (including spaces). Anything longer will be cut off and not viewable. Also, it is very important to avoid spammy words or symbols. For example: multiple exclamation marks, multiple dollar signs, Affordable, Apply Now, Dear Friend, Free, Save $ and many others.
2. Keep email creatives at a maximum of 600-650 pixels wide.
Designing emails with a width of 650 pixels or under is best practice. Anything over 650-700 may have your recipients scrolling around to read your message. This is especially true as 52% email recipients reportedly view emails from their email program’s preview pane (ClickZ). It is recommended that you keep key content towards the top of your message, logos left aligned, and calls to action above the fold (or within the top 300 pixels).
3. Avoid using “spammy” words in body content.
In addition to your subject lines, spam filters are also screening the content of your email. Try to avoid using common spam triggers, like ALL CAPS, multiple exclamation points!!!, and the words “Save,” “Free,” and “$,”. Some additional words you may not want to include are “Dear,” “Click here,” “ Affordable,” “Dear Friend,” and many others. Avoid taking a chance and run your email through a spam-testing tool before you send it out. You may be surprised at what may seem to be a commonly used word, is actually getting your emails marked as spam.
4. Use images in moderation.
Using one large image, in place of text, is an old trick spammers use to get spam words passed the filters. It is best to use a majority of text in your email messages and keep text/image ratios high to avoid getting your emails blocked.
5. Ask to be added to your contacts “safe-senders” list.
To ensure your email subscribers receive your email, ask them to add your email address to their safe-sender list or “whitelist” you. There is a good chance that email subscribers never receive your emails because their spam filters blocked your message. Asking them to add you to their “safe-senders” list may help stay you connected.
6. Your images will most likely be blocked.
ALWAYS use alt image tags to avoid sending blank emails. If your email subscribers receive a blank message from you or tiny red x’s, they may be alarmed and hit the spam button. It is best to never include important information or calls to actions in images, in case they are blocked.