How to Keep Your Email Campaign From Looking Spammy

Written by Sue Walsh on April 29, 2013

 

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Email marketing is still a valuable tool for businesses, but it must be done with care or at best, your carefully crafted messages could end up going straight to a spam or junk folder, and at worst, run you afoul of CAN-SPAM laws. Let’s take a look at some ways to make sure your campaign stays away from anything spammy.

Opt Out- Always make sure you make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe. Not only is it simply the courteous thing to do, it’s the law. If you don’t, your company could be hit with a stiff fine. A simple one-click unsubscribe is best. Don’t make people jump through hoops.

Contact Info- Your messages should always include your physical address. This can be a post office box if you don’t want to provide your exact location. Again, like the opt-out feature, this is a requirement under CAN-SPAM and failure to comply could result in high financial consequences. You’re not required to provide a phone number, but the more open and transparent you are, the more potential customers are likely to trust you.

Subject Line Formatting-Your subject lines are very important. Avoid all caps, which is considered shouting and turns off most people, and beware of stop words, which most spam filters are programmed to flag. They include words like free, clearance, cash, work from home, income, miracle and hello. It’s also a very good idea to proofread as typos and grammar errors are typical of spammers.

Email Lists-Finally, if you are buying email lists, do your homework. Buy from reputable firms who use double opt-in and make sure you’re buying one that is specifically targeted to your audience. Go through it regularly and remove any addresses that have bounced, and any that haven’t responded to your campaigns in a long time, and especially make sure that all unsubscribe requests are being honored!

 

Comments

Maria Isabel June 2, 2013

It is important to use each method as there may be cases where an email will still be detected as a spam even with the opt-out or unsubscribe option. I know of a small legit marketing company that had to backtrack in its email marketing practices because they were fined for sending out spam even with the opt-out option, the proper subject line and complete contact details. Their main problem was the email list; how the message was sent out and the number of emails that were sent. To avoid situations like this, follow all the guidelines to the T.

Mimi June 2, 2013

The number one rule should be ask permission. That means the marketer has to make sure that only those who sign up to the newsletter are the ones he or she sends the marketing materials to. That means data mining should be off the marketing strategy.

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