“How Do I Avoid the Spam Filter?”

Every week in our newsletter
FWD: Thinking
, we give subscribers the opportunity to ask our
team of email experts a question. Recently, we’ve heard a few
questions about the spam filter, like the below submission: “Our
emails are getting lost in people’s spam filters. How do we
combat that?” – Heather, FWD: Thinking subscriber So we
asked our Director of Deliverability Karen Balle to share her
advice. Balle is an expert on the science of how internet service
providers (like Gmail and Yahoo!) choose which emails go to spam
and which emails reach the inbox. Her advice isn’t to avoid
certain words in your subject line. Or to use plain-text emails.
It’s much more straightforward. How to avoid the spam filter:
Send content your subscribers want.
Buying your email list
or sending your subscribers unwanted
content is a great way to go directly to email marketing jail,
a.k.a. the spam folder. Instead, send emails your subscribers will
open and click and not mark as spam. “The path to good
deliverability is sending wanted content to people who have asked
for that content to be sent via email,” Balle said. How do you
send content your subscribers can’t wait to get? Use this proven,
4-point checklist. Step 1: Email people who opted in to receive
messages from you. Ignore this and your emails will likely
take a one-way trip to the spam folder, including messages for
subscribers who actually did opt in. This means that buying
your email list or manually adding people to your list without
their permission is off limits. These tactics will tank your email
reputation, which means that internet service providers will be
less likely to deliver your emails. (Plus, it’s illegal.) Step 2:
Set expectations on your sign up form. Your subscribers shouldn’t
be surprised by the emails they get from you. If they are, they
might mark them as spam. To avoid surprises, clearly explain on
your sign up form what type of content you include in your emails
and how often you send messages. For example, Ann Handley, Chief
Content Officer at Marketing Profs, describes the type of content
she sends and how frequently she emails her audience on the landing
page for her newsletter TotalAnnarchy. Related:
9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List
Step 3.
Send valuable emails. One of the biggest factors in whether or not
your emails reach the inbox is positive subscriber engagement.
“Good deliverability relies on high subscriber interaction, low
complaints, and low bounces,” Balle says. To get your subscribers
to consistently engage (open, read, and click!), your email content
must be valuable to them. You can add value to your emails by
including educational content in them, like blog posts or videos,
or even showing subscribers how your product or service will
improve their life. If your emails solve subscribers’ problems and
pain points, they’ll open them every time!
Related:
How to Find Your Customers’ Pain Points
Step 4. Ask your
subscribers for ideas. Not sure what your subscribers will find
valuable? Simply ask them! Send a survey in your
welcome email
or ask them to reply to your welcome email and
share what they’d like to learn. You can use these ideas to craft
valuable content your subscribers will love to receive. And that
can increase your email engagement and your chances of reaching the
inbox. Related:
The 4 Survey Emails That’ll Give You Answers to Your Most
Pressing Questions
Have a question for our team? Subscribe
to our weekly newsletter FWD: Thinking
to ask it! Each week,
you’ll receive an email packed with the latest educational
content on email marketing. And, you’ll get access to a form
where you can submit questions for the AWeber team.

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“How Do I Avoid the Spam Filter?”