How to Avoid Hitting Spam Lists: 10 Powerful Email Marketing Tips for 2023!

Are you scratching your head over a sudden drop in your email open rate? It could be due to updated filters redirecting your brand's emails to your subscribers' spam folders. However, don't lose hope. There are steps you can take to help your emails avoid being blocked.

First, it's important to understand what an email spam filter is. Essentially, it's a technology that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and prevent unsolicited, unwanted, and virus-infected messages (commonly known as spam) from reaching the primary inbox.

It's important to note that while a spam filter can determine where an email ends up in the recipient's system, it does not impact your email delivery rate. However, since emails that are marked as spam are still delivered, a decrease in access to these emails can affect your overall open rate.

Spam filters use various factors to determine whether an email should go to the primary inbox or the junk folder, such as suspicious or false subject lines, blacklisted IP addresses, spam-related words or phrases, and input from recipients' own rules for eliminating spam emails.

While you can't completely avoid spam filters, you can take steps to lower your spam scores and improve email deliverability by following these 10 tips.

10 Powerful Tips to Avoid Hitting Email Spam Lists

1. Use a Business Name and Email Address

One of the key factors that spam filters consider when determining the legitimacy of an email is the sender's email address. Using a personal email address for business communications can increase the likelihood of ending up on a spam list. 

This is because personal email addresses are often associated with spam, as they are more likely to be used for sending unsolicited or unwanted messages.

To create a professional email address, it's best to use your company's domain name. For example, instead of using "johndoe@gmail.com," use "johndoe@yourcompanyname.com". 

This immediately establishes your brand as a credible and trustworthy sender and makes it easy for recipients to identify and remember your brand. 

Additionally, it's also necessary to ensure that your email address is consistent across all of your company's communications and platforms. This helps to build brand recognition and further establishes your credibility.

Other tips for creating a professional email address include using a consistent format for all email addresses, like first name+last name@yourcompanyname.com, avoiding using numbers and special characters in the email address, and keeping it simple.

Also, it’s important that the email address should be easy to spell, as this will make it easier for your recipients to remember and type in correctly.

2. Avoid Using Certain Trigger Words

Certain words and phrases, also known as "trigger words," can trigger spam filters and increase the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam. 

These words and phrases are often associated with unsolicited or fraudulent messages, and include things like "free," "limited-time offer," and "act now."

Using these trigger words in the subject line, body, or email address can increase the chance that your email will be marked as spam. 

Spammers often use these phrases to trick recipients into opening their emails, and spam filters are programmed to flag messages that contain them.

Here are some common trigger words to avoid in your email:

  • Free
  • Limited time offer
  • Act now
  • Undisclosed recipient
  • This isn't a scam
  • Riskfree
  • 100% satisfied
  • Bonus
  • Congratulations
  • Money back
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Order now
  • Cures wrinkles
  • Earn $
  • Remove
  • Increase sales
  • No catch
  • No hidden costs
  • No fees
  • No hidden fees
  • No purchase necessary
  • No strings attached
  • No membership required
  • No credit card required

It's essential to keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and new trigger words and phrases can be added to the list by spam filters.

So, it's always a good idea to regularly check your email spam score to see if there are any words or phrases you should avoid in the future.

3. Limit the Use of Capital Letters and Exclamation Points

The overuse of capital letters and exclamation points in emails can indicate to spam filters that the message is unsolicited or fraudulent. Spammers often use excessive CAPs and exclamations to grab the recipient's attention and trick them into opening the email.

To use capital letters and exclamation points appropriately in your emails, it is vital to be strategic and use them sparingly.

Instead of using all caps or multiple exclamation points in the subject line or body of the email, use them selectively to emphasize important information or calls to action.

It's also a good idea to proofread your emails before sending them to check for overuse of capital letters and exclamation points and make sure to use them appropriately.

4. Personalize Emails

Personalizing emails means adding the recipient's name or other information specific to them to the email. This can make the email feel more genuine and less like a mass-generated message, decreasing the likelihood of it being marked as spam. 

Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and read by the recipient, which can improve engagement and conversion rates.

To personalize emails, you can use the recipient's name in the subject line or body of the email and include information specific to them, such as their past purchases or interests. 

Also, you can segment your email list based on recipient information, such as location, job title, or industry, and tailor your messaging to those specific groups.

It's also a good idea to use a merge tag system to make sure the email is customized for each recipient.

5. Keep the Email Format Clean and Simple

Complex formatting, such as using many images, videos, or tables, can make the email look spammy and trigger spam filters. 

Spam filters are designed to detect and block emails that look like they are trying to conceal their true intent, and emails with complex formatting may be more likely to be flagged as spam.

To keep the email format clean and simple, consider the following tips:

  • Use simple and clean HTML formatting,
  • Use plain text as an alternative to HTML formatting,
  • Use a single call-to-action per email,
  • Keep the number of links and images to a minimum,
  • Use alt tags to describe images,
  • Keep subject lines short and to the point.

6. Use a Reputable Email Service Provider

Using a reputable email service provider can help avoid spam lists as these providers have strict policies and use advanced technologies to ensure that their users' emails are not flagged as spam. 
They also have established reputations and are less likely to be blacklisted by major email providers. 

Additionally, they typically provide tools and resources to help users improve their email deliverability, such as detailed analytics and best practices.

Some reputable email service providers to consider include:

  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • GetResponse
  • AWeber
  • Campaign Monitor
  • SendinBlue
  • Drip
  • ConvertKit
  • MailerLite
  • Mailjet

These providers are known for their reliable deliverability, user-friendly interface, and robust features. They also offer a variety of pricing options to suit different business needs. 

By using a reputable email service provider, you can help ensure that your emails are delivered to the inbox and not flagged as spam.

7. Avoid Sending Bulk Emails

Sending bulk emails or mass emails to a large number of recipients can increase the likelihood of ending up on a spam list. Spam filters detect and flag mass mailings because they are designed to identify them. 

Additionally, recipients are more likely to mark bulk emails as spam if they perceive them as impersonal or irrelevant.

Instead of sending bulk emails, focus on sending targeted, personalized emails to a smaller group of recipients. This will help ensure that your emails are relevant and useful to the recipients and less likely to be marked as spam. 

Here are some tips for sending targeted, personalized emails:

  • Segment your email list based on the recipients' interests, demographics, or behavior.
  • Use personalization tokens like the recipient's name to make the email feel more personal.
  • Use dynamic content to show different information or offers based on the recipient's interests or behavior.
  • Use A/B testing to test different subject lines, content, and calls to action to find the best-performing email.

For example, instead of sending a generic "Happy Holidays" email to your entire email list, you can segment your list by interests and send personalized emails like "Happy Holidays to our gardening enthusiasts" or "Happy Holidays to our fashion lovers". 

This way, you give them a more personalized experience and make them feel valued.

8. Include an Unsubscribe Link

It is important to understand that including an unsubscribe link in your emails can help prevent ending up on spam lists. This is because when recipients have the option to unsubscribe from your emails, they are less likely to mark your messages as spam.

When it comes to including an unsubscribe link in your emails, it's important to make sure that it's clear and easy to find. 

Many email service providers will automatically include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails. Still, it's a good idea to double-check that it's included and prominently displayed.

Another tip for including an unsubscribe link is to make sure that unsubscribing is a simple process. Recipients should only need to click the link and confirm their decision rather than entering personal information or going through a complicated process.

Moreover, it is important to honor unsubscribing requests promptly, as it is a legal requirement and will help you avoid spam lists and maintain a positive relationship with your audience.

Example:

  • "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the email, including the text "If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, please click here to unsubscribe"
  • A simple unsubscribing process that only requires clicking a link and confirming the decision
  • A confirmation message after unsubscribing to confirm the process is completed.

9. Monitor Your Email Reputation

Email reputation refers to the overall perception of your email campaigns by ISPs and email providers. A poor reputation can result in your emails being flagged as spam or blocked altogether. 

You can identify and address any issues impacting your deliverability by monitoring your email reputation. This can include monitoring your email bounce rate, complaint rate, and unsubscribe rate.

Tips for monitoring your email reputation:

  • Utilize email reputation monitoring tools such as SenderScore, ReturnPath, and TrustedSource to track your email reputation
  • Regularly check your email metrics such as open rate, clickthrough rate, and unsubscribe rate
  • Monitor your email bounce rate and address any issues related to invalid or nonexistent email addresses
  • Keep a close eye on your complaint rate and address any issues related to recipients marking your emails as spam.

Example:

Your company recently noticed that your open rates are dropped significantly. However, you discovered your complaint rate has increased upon monitoring your email reputation. 

After investigating, you realize that a recent email campaign included a subject line that could be perceived as misleading. By addressing this issue, you can improve your email reputation and avoid having your emails flagged as spam in the future.

10. Dont Include Inactive Users

Inactive subscribers can be a challenge for any business. No matter how often you reach out, some people may change their email addresses, lose interest in your content, or become too busy to engage. 

To avoid this problem, it's important to regularly clean your email list by identifying and removing subscribers who haven't opened your emails in at least six months.

One way to do this is by adjusting your send frequency based on their activity. For example, after 30 days of inactivity, send midfrequency emails. After 60 days, send low-frequency emails. After 120 days, send a reengagement campaign. 

If they still do not engage, it's best to remove or "sunset" their email addresses from your list. This will help improve your open rates and avoid getting flagged by spam filters.

Conclusion

As a B2B company, avoiding spam lists is crucial for your success in the digital world. First and foremost, ending up on a spam list can greatly reduce the chances of your emails being delivered to the intended recipient. 

Think about it: if your important message or newsletter doesn't reach your customer's inbox, that could mean lost business or missed opportunities.

Furthermore, being on a spam list can severely damage your reputation as a trustworthy and credible sender. This can make establishing a positive relationship with potential customers or clients difficult.

Additionally, there are many laws and regulations governing the sending of commercial emails, and being on a spam list may put you in violation of these laws, which can lead to fines or penalties.

Being marked as spam will also affect your brand's reputation, as it will be considered an unwanted or unnecessary email, which could lead to a negative view of your brand. 
An example of this would be a customer who receives an email from your company marked as spam and then decides not to do business with you because they perceive your brand as untrustworthy.

In summary, by avoiding spam lists, you can ensure good email deliverability, protect your reputation and stay compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

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