Have you ever received an obviously spammy, advertorial, mass e-mail—crudely written and flagrantly promotional—and taken great relish in moving it from your inbox to your spam folder? It can be fun, even therapeutic, to put spammers in their place like this.
Of course, when it’s your business e-mail that gets put into the spam folder, then it’s a different story.
The truth of the matter is that your e-mail recipients can click on the ‘Spam’ button any time they want to—and the more they do, the more likely it is that your company’s e-mails are going to be blacklisted, which means they’ll begin to automatically show up in spam folders instead of inboxes—effectively killing your e-mail marketing campaign.
That’s not what you want to happen, obviously, but how can you avoid it?
Looking for a Reason
A basic point to keep in mind as you design your marketing e-mails is that, when your e-mails get flagged as spam, that increases the likelihood of them being blacklisted—so if you want to avoid the blacklist, you need to avoid giving your recipients a reason to flag you as spam.
Now, folks who actually signed up for your e-mail newsletter probably aren’t going to flag your e-mails as spam, especially not if you give them an easy way to opt out of your e-mail list should they ever desire to. For “cold” contacts, though, you need to make sure your e-mails are well-written, devoid of typos, and generally come across as professional. Take some time to make sure your e-mails offer something of value—not just a great discount but also some real content, like links to your company blog or to your Pinterest page.
The Problem with Bulk E-mails
The method you use for sending your e-mails is also important. If you simply send a bulk e-mail from Microsoft Office, well, you’re very likely to get yourself on the blacklist. That’s a huge no-no, which is why it’s important to invest in a platform like Constant Contact (what we use at Grammar Chic, Inc.) or Mail Chimp. These platforms provide you with a lot of great tools, templates, and analytics, but the mere fact that they keep your e-mails from automatically being blacklisted is reason enough for the investment.
On a related note: Make sure you have a dedicated e-mail account set up for your e-mail marketing messages. Having responses forwarded to a personal e-mail account is an old spammer’s trick, and it may get you blacklisted.
Staying Off the List
Believe it or not, there is an entire list of words that blacklist services use to classify which e-mails are spam and which aren’t. The list is too expansive and too fluid to be copied here, but you can image some of the kinds of words and phrases that tend to land e-mails in the Spam heap—including:
- Impersonal subject lines and greetings, i.e., Friend, to whom it may concern, etc.
- Words associated with multi-tier marketing, including direct marketing.
- Generic calls to action, like click here or click below.
- The term notspam.
- Cheesy marketing buzzwords—once in a lifetime, miracle, one-time-only, pre-approved, get paid, save $, save big money, no investment needed, incredible deal, fast cash, discount, free, f r e e, etc.
Again, if you focus on offering value and substance, rather than framing your e-mails as glorified infomercials, then you’ll probably be alright. As with everything else in online marketing, content quality really is king—so if you need help constructing quality e-mails, we invite you to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today. Visit www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.