8 Tactics for Sending Emails That Never End Up in Spam

spamIf you’re an email marketer, you know that getting customers to not only see, but open your emails, can be a very tricky science. A large piece of the puzzle, however, comes from making sure your emails never get marked as spam or categorized into your customer’s junk folder.

Below are eight ways you can make sure your emails never get flagged as spam, and instead, get into the hands of your fans and customers.

Never Use All Caps In Your Subject Line or Body Text

It’s easy to get into the habit of capitalizing important words, phrases or entire sentences when you’re trying to get your reader’s attention. However, when it comes to emails, it’s important to avoid using all caps in any scenario or context. Instead, italicize or bold words that are emotive, important and need extra emphasis. Adopt that best practice and you’ll have a much better chance of ending up in the right inbox folder.

Avoid Exclamation Points

Like capitalization, it can be second-nature to some marketers to use exclamation points when trying to grab your reader’s attention. That said, you should refrain from doing so in emails being sent to your current or prospective customers. Don’t let your email read like a birthday party invitation. Keep it professional and avoid using too many, if any, exclamation points in your company emails.

Scale Back on the Number of Images

Image-heavy emails are much more likely than text-heavy emails to get flagged as spam. Research shows that people respond best to emails that are short, informative and use only one font.

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The most effective emails use few, if any, images. If you do choose to use images in your emails, ensure they’re original, high quality and in full-color. The safest bet, however, is to simply send high-quality emails with very few to no images in the body.

Don’t Mislead People With Your Subject Line

Email subject lines have become the new clickbait of the Internet. Companies have started using “Re:” and “Fw:” at the beginning of their subject lines to trick readers into thinking they’re about to open a personalized email. Instead of trying to mislead your audience with subject lines that truly only lead to disappointment from the customer, try being honest instead.

Your email subject line is like a first impression; you don’t want your audience to lose faith in you before you even have a chance to form a relationship. Be honest in your attempt to catch your audience’s attention in your subject line and you’ll be laying the foundation for a much more reciprocal relationship with your customers.

Make Sure Your Email List Opt-in Is Truly an Option

This is the fastest way to get labeled as a spammer. When collecting email addresses on your website or through another portal, make sure you offer your recipients a chance to opt-in or decline being added to your list. By doing this, you’re not only reducing your risk of getting flagged as spam, but improving the quality of your leads and ensuring that your recipients are actually interested in hearing more about what you have to offer.

Let Go of People Who Don’t Open Your Emails

To maintain a healthy, highly engaged list, it’s important to monitor your recipients and regularly measure who’s opening your emails and who’s not. A simple email-tracking tool can show you these analytics and more. If there are users who aren’t opening your emails consistently, that’s an easy sign that you should remove those individuals from your list to focus instead on the recipients who are making a positive impact.

Separate Your Follow-up Emails

While it may be tempting to send follow-up emails one right after another, patience is key when it comes to attracting quality customers. Even if you’re not seeing immediate engagement from your list, it’s crucial to wait a responsible amount of time between email sends. There is no magic bullet in email marketing, but the one thing you can do to set your brand apart is to adopt a quality-over-quantity mindset. Quality content will win out over frequent, poorly crafted content every single time.

Personalize Your Emails

In today’s digital world, it’s all about the details. Little things like using the correct name of your recipient in an email’s header or subject line go a long way when it comes to creating a personal connection with your customers. Focus on creating a positive experience with your emails by making your customers feel known, understood and appreciated by your brand. When companies make the extra effort to personalize their emails for their customers, it doesn’t go unnoticed and is a refreshing change from the status quo of generic, overly promotional emails.

Although the rules and regulations for email marketing are constantly changing, these are best practices that you can follow no matter what and ensure your emails never get marked as spam. Above all, focus on providing your customers with well-crafted, quality content and you’ll build an active, engaged list of customers who look forward to opening your emails.

Ashley Brucker Stepien is director of product marketing and strategy for Indianapolis-based IT consulting company Appirio. Reach her via astepien@appirio.com.