The worst thing that can happen to you as an email marketer is that you get labeled a spammer. At the very least, this means that many of your emails are not getting read or even delivered. In extreme circumstances, you can get into legal trouble or have your website shut down by your host due to spam complaints.
Anyone who does Email Marketing must learn how to avoid being flagged as a spammer. In this article, we’ll be looking at ways to avoid having this happen. I am sharing these tips based on my experience as a successful email marketer.
1. Only send emails to people who opt-in to your list
This is the single most important rule of email marketing. If you are sending emails to people who never signed up to your list, you can be accused of spam no matter what’s in those emails.
It’s safest to use an autoresponder with a double opt-in setting. This means that people must confirm before they get on your list. With single opt-in, people may forget that they clicked on a link to receive your emails.
Never purchase lists from other people, no matter how tempting the offer. You have no way of knowing where these emails came from.
2. Pay attention to your subject lines
Using the wrong subject line can immediately get your email dumped into readers’ spam folders. There are many words and phrases that spam filters are set up to recognize as spam.
In general, you should avoid using words or terms that sound like hype. Some of these are quite obvious, like “money”, “cash” and “work from home”. Others are related to very popular niches, such as “diet” and “home mortgage”.
The fact is, you should be trying to come up with creative and interesting subject lines anyway.
3. Have a clear unsubscribe link
As an email marketer, you don’t want people to unsubscribe from your list. However, you must make it easy for them to do so. This is a way to protect yourself from spam complaints.
Even if people opt in to your list, they may forget that they did so. Some people are quick to complain about spam if they don’t like a particular email. Having a message and link on how to unsubscribe can help you to avoid such unpleasant outcomes.
Some email marketers start each message with something like, “I only send emails to people who agreed to receive them. If you don’t want to get any more emails from me click here.” If you don’t want to place this type of message at the beginning, at least include it at the end of each email.
4. Avoid anything that sets off spam filters
Aside from the subject line, there are certain habits you should avoid in your emails if you don’t want to set off spam filters. These include:
Using too many capital letters, exclamation marks or words that are likely to trigger spam filters – “urgent”, “free”, “money”, “winner” and many others.
You don’t necessarily have to avoid every word on the list (this would be difficult), but make sure you aren’t using such terms frequently in your emails. A good general rule is to be low key and avoid hype.
5. Don’t send attachments
This only applies to mass mailings, of course. Sending attachments in emails is one of the surest ways to have your messages labeled as spam. Many spammers and hackers send out emails with attachments, so this will raise the suspicions of your readers as well as spam filters.
Think of how you feel when you see an attachment in an email, unless it’s something you were expecting. You are probably inclined to delete this email to be safe.
You certainly don’t want to be accused of sending spam, as this can end your whole email marketing career. The above tips will help you to stay safe when you send out your messages.
It’s best to avoid any practices that could even be mistaken for spam. This includes using too much hype in your subject line or in the body of the message. You should also be careful about only sending out messages to people who opted in to your list.
Following these practices will not only help you avoid being flagged as a spammer, they will also help make your email campaigns more profitable. That’s because the same tactics that make you look like a spammer are a turnoff to most readers!