A lot of people use their email every single day.
But the fact that some emails that you send are flagged as spam and end up in other people’s spam filters is something of a disaster!
If you have emailed someone and never received a reply, you do not know if your communication has arrived. You will walk around and think for days about different reasons why you do not get an answer ?! If the email is stuck in the spam filter, you may never know either.
For those of you with a mailing list for your company or blog, it is also super sad if the emails you put time and energy into composing end up in the track or spam filder of many of those who have actually chosen to receive your emails!
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to avoid that situation arising.
What is spam?
In the digital world, spam is a name for annoying and irrelevant mass mailings with advertising, fraud or other things that we simply do not want in our inbox.
We share our email addresses in a variety of databases all the time, for example when we join a customer club, sign up for a service or buy something online. Some of these databases have been leaked or hacked and then sold on the black market to spam creators. In other cases, they have been sold and bought, perhaps several times over.
In any case, the result is that our inboxes are bombarded day in and day out with spam. We’ve won a million dollars, our old uncle has left us inheritance, hot deals on cosmetic surgery or drugs and so on.
The better our spam filters have become, the harder the spammers work to get through. Which means that even completely honest and good emails are also affected and get stuck in the spam filters
What does a spam filter react to?
Different email services have spam filters that work in slightly different ways. But simplified, there are a number of different criteria used to review incoming mail.
Some things that can tell a filter that an email is spam are:
- The sender’s email address has been flagged as spam in the past
- The sender’s IP address has been flagged for spam in the past
- The title or email text contains a lot of capital letters and exclamation marks
- The To field does not contain the name of the recipient
- The title or email text contains one or more trigger words such as: free, winner, just for you, money, millions, etc.
- The content of the email contains with HTML formatting or images than plain text
- The text is strange or carelessly formatted. For example, that the text is copied from a word document, contains different sizes of text, contains text with different colors and so on.
- Suspicious attachments and links
This is how you avoid being flagged as spam and end up in spam filters
Send from and to real names
First of all, it’s good to put your name on the address you are sending from, not just for example the name of your company. So “John Doe from Spotify” is better than just “Spotify”.
In mailing list services such as Mailchimp, it is possible to register first and last names together with the e-mail address when people choose to sign up. Then when you send, you can ensure that the email is sent with the name as recipient, which helps the email program to see that you have permission to send out the email.
This is also why many newsletters use a function to put your name in the heading “Hi Elin”.
Select a relevant subject
Make sure the subject line matches the content and avoid words or phrases that may appear “spammy”. Rather write: “New post and thoughts about the summer” instead of “Tips for the summer you do not want to miss”.
If the title of the email is too much click bait and the content does not match what was promised, it can give negative reactions from the recipients. Which can result in the email ending up in the spam folder.
Review your email signature
Many people choose to have HTML-coded email signatures, logos and lots of logos / images. It may look nice and cool, but it might put your email in the spam folder.
For example, if you only send a short email, the amount of HTML-formatted text can be greater than text in the email, which is a trigger. If the HTML code is written incorrectly, this can also stop the email.
Be careful when copying and pasting text into your email
Often when we copy and paste text in emails, we include the formatting as well. That is, text size, color, font and even hidden codes that say if the text is a title, body text, link or bulleted list.
This can make your emails end up in the spam filter!
So when you paste, right-click and select “paste and match formatting”, then only the text is pasted and adapts to the formatting you already have in the email. On a Mac, you can use the shift-alt-cmd-V keyboard shortcut.
In some programs, you can click on an option to “paste plain text” or select the pasted text and select “delete formatting”.
Clear the mailing list from inactive or uninterested recipients
If you have a mailing list that you have used for a long time, some email addresses may become inactive or completely stop opening your emails. Mailing services can usually flag such addresses so that you can remove them from the list.
Many inactive addresses on a mailing list are a trigger that spam filters can react to. So make sure to only email people who want your emails and who open them.