Best Practices for Email Marketing Today
In 2105 ReturnPath reported that "21% of legitimate permission-based emails also end up in the spam folder"
I ran across an article on email best practices. Below I have summarized some of the many suggestions from the article.
Tips to Avoid Spam Filters
Use a human subject line. Subject line & sender info are the top considerations someone uses in deciding if they will open the email or send it to trash.
Use a human reply-to address. People are more willing to open an email from a person than a company email such as noreply@companyx. You can create email aliases on other inboxes so you don’t create a deluge of responses in your inbox.
Stay in regular contact. This will keep your email list fresh and continue to engage your audience.
Know the trigger words that set spam filters off. List here.
Some software has a bad spam rating based on other users. "For instance, you might use technology to send batches of emails from an email design software company. Unbeknownst to you, they have a bad sending rating and have been blacklisted because of abuse and known spam."
Always include an unsubscribe button.
Add a preferred communications question to the sign-up process. Don’t assume an attendee always wants to hear from you. Always ask if you can contact them via email and the easiest way to do that is to add it to registration.
Don’t use a ton of URL links in your emails. It screams junk.
Only use 1 or 2 images in your emails. They will slow down open rate, and some spam filters flag emails with too many images.
Know that individual servers matter. Your email can be flagged by attendee B’s company and not attendee A’s. So don't assume that while it got through in one instance that it’s getting through to your entire email list.
Ask recipients to add you to their email acceptance list. If you’re in contact with the people you’re sending to then ask them to add you to their email address book. This will tell those nosey filters that you have a relationship with this person and they should leave you alone. Ask them to do it, tell them, even create a video on how they can do it, but make it a consistent message if you want to be heard.
Use an email template from a reputable company, a good designer
Keep an eye on your clicks and open rates and test different approaches to see if something seems to be affecting delivery.
Help people recognize you by being consistent in your branding.
Don’t buy or rent email lists. Permission-based email marketing is your safest and only bet now.
Remove bounced emails from your list. They’re not coming back. Get rid of them.
There are many more suggestions in the article referenced above.