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Amanda Harvey
Amanda
Harvey

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What to do if newsletters are going to the spam folder

Last modified: 2019/02/06 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Inbox irrelevance is a term that many email marketers should be familiar with. You craft a beautiful email marketing campaign, send it to all of the necessary clients and connections. But, hours after sending it off, you’re noticing low open-rates or hearing nothing at all. Well if this is the case, chances may very well be that your email is ending up in the spam or junk folder.

Spam filters are working significantly harder to keep inboxes from filling up with irrelevant emails. Thus, as an email marketer, it’s crucial to understand what spam is, how these filters work as well as how you can avoid being lumped into the junk category!

Here’s what to do if your emails are ending up in the spam folder

email spam folder

source: unsplash

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What is email spam exactly?

We’re certain by now most of us have received an email or two that we’d classify as spam; an unsolicited, irrelevant email that is generally addressed to a large number of people. Spam is content sent without explicit permission from the receiver, and therefore this unrecognized email will end up in an adjacent folder to the receiver's primary one. Technology is growing smarter and more innovative every day, meaning that the number of emails being delivered to the worthy folder is on the decline. Even if you’re attempting to send perfectly legitimate and well-thought-out content, there is still a huge chance that your email may be marked as spam.

Now, getting down to the legalities of spam. There are spam laws in place in many countries. In Canada, the Anti-Spam Legislation or the CASL is the anti-spam law applied to all electronic messages that are sent from commercial organizations. Enacted in 2014, if a commercial organization is not given consent for an email sent, this constitutes a refusal to comply with the law. This could mean penalties including criminal or civil charges as well as monetary penalties that reach huge sums between $1-10 million dollars. It’s important to mention that in Canada, this law governs all electronic messages and not just emails. For all the details, we’d suggest reading on the subject further.

Spam has a negative impact on deliverability rates. Of course, we’d assume you’re looking to create effective email marketing campaigns and have your emails reach the desired individual or business. Since it’s common for email campaigns to end up in the spam folder, don’t feel too discouraged. Instead, take on the necessary strategies to fight back against your hard work and effort being categorized as junk.

Spam filters: how do they work?

Many have taken the initiative and installed spam filters on their email accounts. These filters have long criteria as to what constitutes a spam email. The filters themselves sus out individual emails, rate them and assign a spam score. This score determines whether the marketing campaign makes it in an inbox and if your email is flagged, it will get dropped directly into the junk folder.

Every spam filter functions a little bit differently than the next. The score given to your marketing campaign will come down to perimeters set by the server admins, and so some of your contacts may allow your emails while others will not. The specific list of criteria is difficult to pin down, as it is continuously changing and evolving. What is regarded as spam will be based on what the inbox you’re sending your email to has previously marked as spam. As a result, there are no clear definitions that garner what works and what doesn't. However, there are specific steps that will help to avoid the spam folder as best as possible.

Tips and tricks to get your campaigns in the right folder!

hello sign

source: unsplash

Now that we’ve determined what spam is and how spam filters work, we can begin to think about ways to make sure your content avoids this folder.

Campaign metadata:

Most spam filters are looking for emails where the IP address is not recognized so that they can slot them into the junk folder. To avoid this, we are suggesting that you experiment with personalization. Try using merge tags to change them To: marker in your campaign. Also, ask anyone you're sending your campaigns to add you to their address book. Lastly, send your emails through verified domains whenever possible.

IP address:

As we mentioned, your IP is crucial to whether or not your marketing campaign ends up in the spam folder. If past emails you’ve sent have been reported as spam, then chances are it could affect your deliverability. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to curve this fate, but it is something to bear in mind as you send campaigns moving forward.

Sloppy code:

Who is writing your code for you? If the backend is sloppy, then you won’t have much chance of getting your emails to the desired inbox. If your code is a mess or is pulled from Microsoft Word, the chances that it will be flagged are much higher. Work with a designer who offers acute attention to detail or by way of an approved and trusted template.

Format:

Of course, an email marketing campaign will need to contain quality and informative content including the text itself, images and the way that this information is formatted. Certain filters will flag emails if they have something unwanted. There’s no one thing to avoid when it comes to the content you include in a campaign email, but we’d suggest having a clear and concise structure with all the necessary information. If you’re sending these campaigns to people who’ve received others in the past, make sure they’ve chosen to like and subscribe. Keep branding and design features consistent and of course, always AB test to learn about your customer engagement levels as well as areas where you could ultimately improve.

Looking for some newsletter or marketing campaign inspiration? Check out the ones we adore!

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