Email spam filters not only examine the content within your email to determine if it should be directed to your customer’s spam folder, but they also consider the context in which specific words and main phrases are used.
Spam filters evaluate factors such as the following:
- Does the email subject look fake or suspicious?
- Is the sender using a domain that is blacklisted?
- Spam-related words or phrases
To reduce spam ratios, avoid common spam words & phrases. Find a common list of words and phrases to avoid here.
Other important details to consider
Avoid Using Too Many Symbols
ISP filters look for more than just spam trigger words. They also scan your content for symbols, punctuation, and capitalization.
- Multiple exclamation points – Use only one exclamation point at the end of a sentence. Expert copywriters often suggest you remove them altogether, relying on your words to provide the emphasis instead of an exclamation point.
- All caps – The only time this may be appropriate is for a call to action. Adding “BUY THIS AWESOME PRODUCT NOW!!!!” in the middle of your sales copy is spammy and can land you in the spam folder.
- overusage of dollar sign ($) – Like exclamation points, too many dollar signs can cause red flags with spam filters.
Try to find a nice balance of symbols in your email content, and stick to proper capitalization and punctuation as much as possible. You don’t have to avoid symbols completely, but it’s important that they fit into the context of the email.
Avoid unusual Formatting
How you format your content is just as important as the subject matter of the content. Try to avoid suspicious formatting in your email, such as:
- Using punctuation when it’s not needed !?!!
- Writing in multiple font colors for effect
- Using different font sizes in the same sentence
- CaPiTaLiZaTiOn issues
- Bolding or italicizing more than a few words in each sentence
Not only do these formatting issues cause spam filter issues, but they can also annoy your recipients. The suspicious nature of an email will encourage them to mark it as spam anyway.
Subject Line Context is just as Important
Think of your subject line as an article headline.
It’s arguably the most important part of any email message. Recipients will choose whether to open your email depending only on the subject line and pre-header text.
Our advice when it comes to subject lines:
Your subject line should match and describe the context of your email.
This is your chance to set expectations for recipients. The best subject lines tell recipients what’s inside instead of trying to sell them something. Trying to sell something in the subject line will usually involve spam trigger words... and there goes your chances of getting into the inbox!
Subject lines should also match expectations from your signup form.
Are your subscribers expecting a traditional email newsletter or are they expecting to receive your special offers and promotions?
Remember the verbiage you used on your signup form before pressing send.
Every case is different and it depends on the context, but here is what we suggest you do when writing a subject line:
- Make your subject line personal, if possible
- Make it relevant and within context
- Write like you’re emailing a friend
- Be creative, humor is allowed
- Promise something useful or actionable, if possible
Here are a few examples of subject lines that follow these guidelines:
- Thanks for Getting in Touch
- [Benefit] for [recipient’s company]
- [Number] tips for [recipient’s pain point]
- Your Next Step
- The [self-identifier]’s Guide to [Topic]
- Imagine [desired result] and Loving Every Minute of It!
Be creative with your content and be aware of how spam filters work to increase your email marketing conversion ratios.