Delivering malware and malicious attachments, email spam has a proven track record of devastating impact on businesses and unsuspecting users, which is why effective email spam filtering should be a vital part of your marketing and cybersecurity plan.
With the sheer quantity of emails that are sent out every single day, it’s hardly surprising that a huge quantity is actually spam. In fact, nearly 46% of all emails sent out every single day are spam, which accounts for well over 150 billion emails.
With the spam epidemic only getting worse over time, your marketing team needs to understand why emails go to spam in order to ensure your marketing communications end up in the right place.
Luckily, there are a number of tactics that reputable companies can use when attempting to avoid triggering the spam filter.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of spam emails, highlighting the reason that email service providers are so vigilant and exploring exactly how marketing teams can prevent ending up in the spam pile.
Why Are Email Providers So Focused on Spam?
Without a doubt, spam is one of the worst parts of the email. When we think of spam, we think of random messages that have absolutely nothing to do with us, often coming to us in poorly written English, or being almost illegible. While spam can be annoying, these messages are actually mostly harmless.
Google, Outlook, and other email service providers actually block the majority of spam based on it containing ransomware, malware, or being a phishing email. 95% of all cybersecurity breaches within business come from phishing emails, demonstrating just how powerful these can be as a vector of chaos.
For email service providers, their constant vigilance is an attempt to completely eradicate these malicious emails, stopping them from ever arriving in our accounts. Of course, the logic here is simple. Email services can’t control someone’s level of email literacy, and cannot trust them to avoid spam by themselves.
Therefore, by removing spam and malicious emails before it ever even reaches our email accounts, they can radically decrease the chance of any negative impacts from occurring. Yet, their technologies are far from perfect. They operate on a strict security policy, rejecting emails that show even the faintest signs of being fraudulent or spam.
That’s why it’s essential to understand these spam filters, allowing your marketing team to create emails that don’t accidentally trigger these filters.
Choose Subject Lines Carefully
Your subject line is quite literally the first thing that a consumer is going to see, meaning you want to make it punchy and attention-grabbing. Yet, this is also the first thing that will pass through the spam filter, meaning you need to make sure it doesn’t get flagged.
A lot of the time, spam and phishing emails are after specific things – money, account details, passwords, etc. With that in mind, words and phrases that relate to these things are often going to instantly trigger the filter. Avoid things like:
- Earn $
- Earn more
- Make Money
- Password breach
- Double your money
Anything that could be closely related to these scam endeavours will almost instantly be blocked.
Make Sure Your Emails Are Worth It
Especially for newer businesses, email services may not be familiar with your IP address or your business as a whole. With this in mind, they’re going to keep a close eye on you if you suddenly start sending emails to hundreds of people. To ensure they look upon your address favourably, you need to keep your engagement rates up.
Gmail will track engagement rates to see if the content that a business is sending out is actually wanted by customers. If your engagement and opening rates are too low, Google will likely mark your business as spam.
To avoid this, make sure your emails are packed full of great content, delivering real value to the people you contact.
Be Careful with Attachments
Attachments are a fantastic vector for those with malicious intent to get a piece of software onto your computer. With that in mind, many email providers are hesitant to include attachments from unknown email addresses. If your company is new, be sure to forego attachments altogether until you build up a bit of a reputation for yourself.
While attachments won’t instantly trigger the spam filter, it’s always better to use a CTA button that goes directly to your website instead.
Keep in Line with Regulations
If your business isn’t already aware of compliance laws like GDPR, it’s time to bring yourself up to speed. Your emails need to include disclaimers and usage information to keep your consumers in the loop. Not only emails without these aspects much more likely to be marked as spam by email providers, but these emails could also get you in trouble down the line.
It’s always a good idea to understand the regulations for the territory that you work in and ensure that your emails are in-line with current recommendations.
Check Your Email Signatures
There is a common misconception about email signatures within IT, that they instantly trigger emails to be sent to spam. This couldn’t be further from the truth, with email signatures actually helping to increase the return you’ll get from email campaigns.
From a customer’s perspective, a well-formatted email signature will demonstrate that you’re a professional company that’s committed to delivering great service. Including additional elements like other contact addresses and further information about your company will go a long way in providing you’re reputable.
That said, email signatures that aren’t formatted properly can become a problem for businesses. That’s why it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re using a secure email signature that will fly through the various firewalls that users have on their accounts. The best email signature provider services will never host your emails, and will always ensure that you align with the best GDPR recommendations.
If you notice that your marketing team reports a high bounce rate on outgoing emails, revising where you’re getting your email signatures from can help.
For marketing teams, email is the holy grail of communication. Not only does this provide you with direct access to your audience, but it also allows for further analysis and data-driven optimization, which will make your strategies more effective over time.
Without a doubt, an email is a vital tool in our strategy book. But, without understanding spam filters and what they look for, you could end up doing more harm than good. Moving through the strategies and tips we’ve outlined on this list will point you in the right direction toward creating effective, profitable, and spam filter-cleaning email marketing campaigns.