How did your emails get caught in the spam trap filters? How can you prevent this from happening in the future?
You weren’t even concerned about the email spam trap. You worked for weeks to perfect your first email in your digital marketing campaign. You found just the right balance in your writing between informative and friendly. You had friends and colleagues read over your email for grammar and content. You double-checked all the links to be certain they were active and resolved to the correct internet pages. Finally, you were ready to go.
You hit the “send” button just before you left your office for the weekend, confident that your first marketing email would result in hundreds of hits on your website and other social media platforms over the weekend, as well as an inbox full of queries from prospective patients.
On Monday morning, you noticed that you had a large number of emails waiting in your inbox. Hopeful that your marketing campaign had already paid off, you opened your inbox to take a look at your emails. Unfortunately, the majority were the result of spam filters bouncing back your emails before they could reach the intended recipient. All of your hard work seemed to have mostly been for nothing. What exactly went wrong? How did your emails get caught in all those spam trap filters? Most importantly, how can you prevent this from happening in the future?
Know the law
The Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act establishes a set of requirements for commercial email messages, provides recipients with a way to opt out of receiving such emails, and lists penalties for violations.
These regulations apply to both B2C and B2B emails, as well as any outside contractors you may use to handle your email marketing needs. Violations can be applied to each individual email, carrying fines up to $43,280 per violation. Ultimately, following CAN-SPAM guidelines will go a long way toward preventing your emails getting stuck in spam filters and bouncing back.
The From line
To comply with CAN-SPAM, you must be absolutely transparent as to who you are in the From line of your email. This means you must include your name or business, and accurate originating email and domain name information.
In other words, a recipient must be able to verify that the email did actually come from you or somebody acting on your behalf.
The Subject line
Similar to From lines, CAN-SPAM also sets down rules regarding Subject lines in commercial emails. You must accurately reflect the content of your email in the Subject line.
For example, a monthly newsletter with health tips can include Newsletter in the Subject line, as long as you are not offering anything for sale in that same email. On the other hand, if your email promotes a discount on a line of nutritional supplements you sell in your office, the Subject line must clearly identify the email as an advertisement.
CAN-SPAM also requires that you include a way for recipients to opt out of receiving future emails from you. It should be clear and conspicuous for the average person to find and understand, and should not require more than clicking to just one page. You must also honor any opt-out request within 10 days.
You must not charge a fee to remove any recipient from your email list or sell their email to anyone else after they have opted out of receiving further communication from you.
Avoid spam trap filter trigger words
Are you likely to open an email with a subject header that reads ONCE IN A LIFETIME, GUARANTEED FOOL-PROOF OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE $$$? You should probably send that straight to the delete folder and tighten your spam filters because the header is chock full of obvious filter triggers, such as ONCE IN A LIFETIME and FOOL-PROOF.
Such words are making promises that obviously cannot be delivered upon. Furthermore, a header all in caps and bolded, particularly with excessive use of exclamation points or emojis, can also easily spam filters. Obviously, if the subject header looks suspicious to you, it probably also will do so to a spam filter.
Beyond following the legal regulations laid down by CAN-SPAM, other good rules of thumb to avoid getting your emails stuck in spam traps often simply come down to common sense. Read over your marketing emails with an eye toward whether or not anything you see might cause a recipient to think it might be a spam trap.
Put simply – would you think it was spam if you received it? Your gut may be your best guide in helping you craft marketing emails that won’t get stuck in spam traps.