Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. Please always consult a knowledgeable professional advisor.*
Uh-oh, your email is getting caught in spam filters, but your email isn’t spam. You’ve put a lot of thought and effort into crafting each email, so what’s happening?
We’ll help you better understand spam and spam filters so you can create a more successful email marketing strategy.
What is spam?
When you think of spam, you may think of the tinned food that can survive even the apocalypse, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Simply put, spam, also known as unsolicited commercial email, or junk mail, is an email you don’t want to receive.
You either didn’t sign up to receive the email, the message is abusive, or the content is misleading — or all the above. Spam is sent by spammers, who send unsolicited commercial emails about products on behalf of advertisers.
How to stop junk mail from being delivered
If you’re wondering how to stop junk email, that is where a spam filter comes into play. A spam filter is software built into an email program that automatically deletes or diverts spam into a junk mail folder.
So, what triggers a spam filter? Spam is determined by certain aspects, including the content of the email, the sender, and the reputation of the sender. Spam filters scan the email to determine if it’s possible junk mail, according to Your IT-Department. For instance, content filters review the email copy looking for any inappropriate language, whereas reputation filters prevent known spammers from reaching your email.
Basically, all the emails you don’t want to see because you didn’t sign up to receive them, should theoretically end up in the spam filter. If you didn’t sign up for the email, it should not be coming to your inbox. But just like a lot of things in life, the spam filter doesn’t always work exactly as it is meant to.
But you’re not a spammer, so why is your email getting caught in spam filters?
There must be something in your email that is triggering the spam filters to flag your message. Many UK hosts use US-based servers, and therefore, must adhere to the US CAN-SPAM Act, which sets rules for commercial emails.
Review the requirements to ensure your email content complies. It’s worth noting that Square includes your address in the footer of your email and allows consumers to opt out. However, sometimes spam filters can still incorrectly identify your email as spam.
So, how can you avoid spam filters?
Keep it interesting
Send a well-written email with interesting content. Great content is important, because the more engaging your content is, the more likely your users are to interact with it. If readers click through your email copy, filters assume that you’re not sending spam. This is particularly important if you’re thinking about buying email lists from a third party. While it may seem tempting and an easy way to build your list, it is very likely that you will get caught in a spam trap if you do.
Follow the rules
Follow basic grammar rules. This means using sentence and title case where appropriate (read: not ALL CAPS) and ensuring your spelling is correct. Also avoid overusing symbols, such as @, #, $, and %.
Keep it clean
Keep it simple with one font and avoid different text sizes and colours.
Update lists regularly
Review your email list on a regular basis, and don’t be afraid to purge your list of users who aren’t interacting with your email or haven’t visited your business lately. If you keep users on your email list who aren’t engaging with your content, then this signals to the spam filters that you’re sending content that people don’t want to read, and you may be a spammer.
(Please note, this action is specific to email addresses you collect through a Square email collection tool or on your own. At this time, you can’t remove an email captured automatically through the Square network.)
Avoid spam filter trigger words
When crafting your content, avoid these words that spam filters search for to indicate spam. Do your best to avoid using these words, especially in the subject line, and you will have a better chance of avoiding getting caught in spam filters.
Now that you have a better understanding of spam and how to avoid it in your email marketing strategy, get started with Square Marketing.
Remember when contacting customers to make sure you always adhere to the relevant rules around data protection, GDPR and ePrivacy.