This week SugarCRM Gold Partner EnableIT SugarUK‘s Mike Gee shows how you can increase your chance of getting that all important email through the Spam filters.
So… you just sent out your best ever mail campaign. SugarCRM has pulled the results back into your Campaign Status showing it went out to every recipient, yet there are no reads, no click-throughs and no useful data to go prospecting from. Did they actually receive the mail? If they did, was it simply deleted as soon as it arrived? Are you sure that you are doing everything you can to ensure that your all-important mail or newsletter campaign gets into your recipient’s email box?
With more and more security being set up on mail servers across the globe by both Internet Service Providers and company IT departments, it is becoming all too easy to fall foul of the SPAM/JUNK filter, resulting in your mail being quarantined, marked as junk or, worse still, deleted before it’s even made it through to the mail server itself!
In order to help you avoid some of the commonest pitfalls in an effort to increase your hit rate to your targets I have created this “Top 5” list.
1. Don’t sound like a spammer from the start.
Normally, email filters examine the words in the email “subject line”. This is the header that you see when an email shows up in your email box. A good subject line can encourage people to actually click on and open an email, but you need to exercise care when creating your subject headings to prevent filtering.
Frequently, more sophisticated anti-spam methods used by Internet Service Providers use a “points system” that identifies trigger phrases commonly used by Spam. If an email goes over the “points limit” it is filtered out and is never delivered to a customer.
Some of the more commonly used phrases that Service Providers and mail clients filter out include:
Double your income.
You’re a Winner!
Information you requested.
“Stop” or “Stops”.
Multi level Marketing.
Search Engine Listings.
There are other problematic phrases that can trigger some Spam filters, or start adding “Spam points” to emails sent out, which should be avoided. These include:
As Seen On…
Consolidate Your Debt.
Give it away, Giving it away.
No cost, No fees.
Save up to.
Unsecured debt or credit.
Visit our web site.
While Supplies last.
Why pay more?
Work at home.
You’ve been selected.
Using quotation marks, dollar signs and exclamation points in subject lines will frequently trigger mail filters, as well as using all capital letters (shouting).
Make sure you use valid ‘From’ and ‘Reply-to’ addresses. Clearly identifying the sender is one way to convince the filter you are legitimate. Using a generic address is also one sure fire way to get added manually to recipient’s spam lists. If you’re sending them information you think they want, then be upfront about who you are and make that connection count. Research shows that most users judge the legitimacy of an email by the sender’s name and email address.
3. Calm it down
Using multiple exclamation marks or capitals (SHOUTING) to get your point across is certainly going to annoy the reader. Assuming it didn’t get caught in the spam filter already, that is.
4. Link the Link.
It is quite possible that you created a tracker URL to see when people clicked through to your company’s website. However, there is a mistake which many people (myself included) get caught out by – linking the link. Put simply, this is when you’ve created a tracker to go to your company website (http://www.sugaruk.co.uk) and have used the same address as the hyperlink text within the email “visit our website – http://www.sugaruk.co.uk”. It’s something we’ve all done. We want the person to see our website address in the email, as it will then get magically lodged in their brain and they will think of it all the time.
However, because the tracker in Sugar is replaced with a unique URL in the code of the email to allow Sugar to track WHO clicked on that mail, some mail clients see it as spam because the address being referenced is not exactly the same as the address being displayed in the email.
So how do you get around it? Simple. Use something like “Visit our website” as the hyperlink text instead of the address. Sure, keep the address visible in the body of the email if you really want to, but link from some standard text not a different URL. That way, you can be sure your mail won’t get filtered for linking the link.
5. White lists.
Get your prospects to add your address to their “White list” (a list stored within their email program to say which email addresses they trust not to spam them). This can be as simple as putting a link at the footer of your email called something like, wait for it… “Add my address to your safe senders list” which can send them to a page on your website or blog explaining how to add an email address to their white list in common mail clients (Outlook, Googlemail, Hotmail, AOL etc.). That way, you know that even if their mail server has passed it through, it’s not going to get caught by the spam filter on their personal machine.