Why Spam Filters & Blockers May Not Be The Solution To Unsolicited Email

One huge advantage of email marketing is that it is free. But one major disadvantage is spam. Would spam be so popular if it were not so cheap? I do not think so.

There are some simple steps that you can take to help reduce the number of messages that get blocked by spam filters. Of course, this may result in more people actually getting your email messages, thus making your marketing efforts more profitable.

1. Word selection. The words you use in an email are analyzed by spam filters. There are many obvious spam trigger words that you should avoid while remembering to keep your messages as professional as possible.

2. Formatting. Just keep it simple. Avoid using different fonts, sizes, images, colors. Keep it clean and stick to normal size fonts while avoiding large fonts which will flag your message as spam.

3. Be consistent. If you send out a newsletter then make sure to use a template. This will help to brand your newsletter and also will enable your readers to pick out your newsletter and not report it as spam.

4. Use double opt in. When someone subscribes to your newsletter or list they will then be sent an email with a link that they must click on for confirmation. This actually can help you build a valid mailing list since some people may accidentally enter a wrong address.

5. Unsubscribe. You should always include a way for your readers to unsubscribe.

6. Contact information. Display your contact information in every email you send out so your potential customers can contact you and so that you conform to spam laws in the US.

7. Test. One of easiest ways to avoid spam filters is by testing. Send your newsletters to different email accounts and see if they end up in the junk folder. If they do, then you have some work to do.

8. If you are sending out a newsletter use marketing software or a service that allows you to send out both an HTML and text only version of your newsletter. There are many email clients that only accept text only messages.

9. Avoid using to many caps in the subject line and make sure you do not have to many blank lines in your message.

By using the above techniques you could keep your newsletters and messages out of the spam folders while building your mailing list and thus benefiting from the time spent actually getting your email messages to your recipients.

One way that providers are using to combat spam is through the use of volume filters. This may seem like an easy way to fight spam, but it could be a big problem for affiliate marketers.

What is an average volume of email? This varies from provider to provider, but depending on the amount of email you send an hour then you may not know whether your email has ever arrived at its intended destination.

Once your provider sets a volume per sender, anything over that gets set aside. There are ways around these volume filters, but they are mostly illegal.

When a volume filter blocks your email, there is no way to know that it happened. Most of the time the email is not bounced back, and you think it went through – but there is just no way to know for sure.

What can you do?

– The obvious solution is to send fewer emails. If you have a big list then find out who really is opening your emails and remove the people who are not. Most marketers get 10 percent open rates, so that means 90 percent of your list may be ignoring your messages.

– Separate your list into smaller groups. You could have one list for prospects, one for buyers and one for multiple buyers.

– Make sure your list does not contain addresses from only one provider. It should contain different providers or you will increase your chances of your email getting blocked.

– Put your own free email addresses, such as Hotmail or Yahoo on your email list and then verify that your message got through or if they are filtered.

Just like search engine positioning, getting your messages to your recipients and having them opened is a game that can change monthly. Successful email marketers learn to adapt and be vigilant.

Be aware of the impact these filter are having on your efforts. Think of it as part of the normal process of online marketing.

Having a targeted email list can be much more valuable then a list of 10 million useless names.

In the end, less can be more and this will make your email marketing better and more profitable.

Copyright 2007 by Joe Rispoli