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Email Marketing: 7 Ways to get Past the Spam Filters

 by ryan on 06 Feb 2014 |
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Email marketing is a great way for online retailers to get in front of their customers. It’s the easiest way to let advertise offers, new products or even just share information that they might find useful.
Many retailers use third party email providers to maintain their email lists and create campaigns. Meanwhile, Ashop merchants can use their own built-in ‘Newsletter Management’ tool. Both of these let you manage detailed contact lists as well as gain valuable insights into your email campaigns including open rates and click throughs and more.

How to Avoid the Dreaded Spam Folder
Unfortunately, we’re all too familiar with email spam and most email hosts like Gmail, Yahoo have strict conditions set up to try and filter out as much of it as possible. Some of the ways they can do this include:

Trigger words in subject lines and in the body of the email.
Sender reputation. Repeat offenders are usually sent straight into the junk box
User reports. Most email hosts allow users to flag spam from a particular sender.

Of course, as a retailer, there’s nothing more disappointing than having your beautifully crafted email end up in some one’s junk folder!
Never fear - here are 6 steps and stay in the good graces of email providers and recipients.

Check your language

Email hosts look for trigger words to determine if a message is likely to be spam. It doesn’t mean you should avoid these words completely, but be mindful of their use in your emails.  

Send to Those You Know

It’s tempting to buy mailing lists to get a foot in door, especially if you’re looking to reach specific niche audiences and communities. Meanwhile, some businesses will just dump email addresses given to them by other people and blast out unsolicited emails.

However, the downside to these tactics is diminishing your sender reputation. Your company is more likely to be flagged as a spammer if the recipient doesn’t know about anything about your business. Instead, make sure you have a clear opt-in option for receiving email communications when you collect addresses.

If you’re adding a large cluster of emails at once – say from a business card draw – it might be a good idea to add these gradually or create a separate list that you transfer over in order to maintain a clean contact list. It’s better in the long run.

Try to avoid generic email addresses

An address such as,, and are often a red flag for spam. These are the types of addresses that spammers use to force their campaigns into people's inboxes. Always try and get personal email addresses when you can.

Watch your links

Third party email providers are on the lookout for an overload of links in newsletters, invitations, and announcement emails. A few links that connect your audience to useful information or products are okay. Too many links look bad and are a Spam trigger. Make sure you have a much higher ratio of regular text to links.

Keep your lists up to date

Regularly review and maintain your lists and contacts, purging them of any invalid emails and bounce backs. As a general rule, if a recipient hasn’t bought from you or opened one of your emails for over a year, you should consider taking them off of your lists.

Include an Unsubscribe Button

The unsubscribe button is the olive branch to ‘mark as spam’- it lets users who don’t want to receive communications remove themselves from the list. By offering them the ability to take themselves off of your mailing list, you'll lower your Spam count and allow your audience to maintain your lists for you. Many disgruntled recipients will unsubscribe instead of clicking Spam, lowering your Spam rate and keeping you in the clear.

Rein in those exclamation points

It might seem obvious, but it isn't a good idea to include four (or really even two) exclamation points in a row. Terms like ‘Amazing Sale!!!!!!’ won't endear you to readers and it sends up more flags to Spam monitors. Let your amazing sale speak for itself. One exclamation point does the job just fine! What are your experiences with email marketing? What would you include in your list of Dos and Don’ts?


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