Email Marketing - Most Common Spam Triggers

Last Update: May 14, 2016

Deliverability is a huge factor in your email marketing success. Creating your messages, getting that killer call-to-action, making it all look nice … these things are great. But if your message doesn’t make it to the inbox, you are working against yourself and (worse) losing sales.

The first thing to understand is that the rules of the game are designed to be a bit cryptic and confusing. The major email providers are not focused on “how to let the good emails in”. Their focus is “how to keep the bad spammy emails out”. So it is up to you to make sure your messages are as clean and clear as they can be.

Remember: The goal for your email marketing MUST include deliverability. Here are a few tips to help you get the highest possible deliverability so that your messages get through to your prospects and customers:

Don’t use “too many” images. There is no hard number on how many images is “too many” images but keep this in mind: Don’t load up extra images. Use only those images that help convey your message. If you need to load a catalogue or list of images, we recommend putting those images in your web page and then include the link to that web page in your email.

One of the most common mistakes we see is someone sending a big images where all the words are in the image. A lot of email services block images. So your reader gets a big blank screen with what looks like a broken image. Their gut instinct is going to be to mark your message as spam and complain to the service provider. Fair? Probably not. But it happens every day. Services like AOL make it almost TOO easy to complain and mark a message as spam. Use only as many images as it takes to reinforce your message and make sure your message contains a good amount of real text. Don’t just add random words to increase your word count.

Use “enough” words. Spam filters check the ratio of images to text and they don’t like it when your message has very little text with or without a lot of images. Think about your own experience. When I get an email that is basically a single link with a line or two of text, I just delete it. Your readers will do the same thing. And some of them will complain to their service provider. So add some real content. Remember: you are trying to improve communication with your readers.

Typing in ALL CAPS. Sad to say, this is still happening. Typing your message, your subject line, or even full lines of text in your message in all caps not only makes you look unprofessional but triggers most every spam filter on the planet. Type like a professional adult; not a Jr High kid, or worse … an irate mother-in-law!

Personalize your subject lines and messages. This may not impact the spam triggers as much as it will simply help your readers notice and open your message. A little bit of personalization goes a long way. BUT … be sure you do it properly. In your AutoResponder system, personalization can be done by selecting or typing in the token. If you type it, you run the risk of sending out an email addressed to NAME or FNAME. This will hurt your deliverability as the spam filters will catch that stuff.

Ken Pringle TRM

Be the Awesome marketer you are. Successes will follow.

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AllanSiegel Premium
I haven't built up a customer base that would require email marketing. But I appreciate the info in that regard. I appreciate your insights, and will save this post to my WA training folder.
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Ken-Pringle Premium
Thank you Allan, it will help guide you when you are ready.
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RichardU Premium
Thanks Ken.
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Ken-Pringle Premium
You are welcome Richard.
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MNorton Premium
Hi Ken,
Thanks for all the great tips. Have a good weekend.
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Ken-Pringle Premium
My pleasure Mary, have a great weekend.
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JudeP Premium
Super advice Ken, thank you :)
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Ken-Pringle Premium
My pleasure Jude, have a great weekend.
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RayAleksandr Premium
Thanks Ken for great advice. Just this morning I decided to add a few more extra images on my email newsletter than usual. I realise now it's not such a good idea. Thank you!
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Ken-Pringle Premium
That is right Ray, bad idea.
Save the images for your website
that you link to from your email.
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