eDM – Avoid Spam Filtering
Following the findings of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) annual report, Experian offers Marketingmag.com.au readers some top tips on how to avoid having your emails spam filtered.
One of the major findings of the report was a 21% increase in email spam over the last year. The ACMA received 2,955 complaints in relation to email spam for 2008-09.
John Merakovsky, director of Experian CheetahMail Australia New Zealand, told Marketingmag.com.au his top five tips for avoiding this category:
- Manage sender reputation:
ISPs use a range of variables to allocate IPs with a sender score, which is then used to judge the legitimacy of emails. Until marketers fully understand their sender reputation, it is difficult to know what needs to be done to improve email delivery rates. Are you mailing too often? Not removing your unsubscribes frequently enough? Do you have a poor email infrastructure? Are your bounce rates too high? Reputation management systems are available for marketers to help identify their sender score and manage their relationships with ISPs.
- Have a dedicated domain from which you send your email campaigns:
People decide if something is spam just by looking at the email address the message is sent from. Use your company brand in your ‘From Address’ to make it recognisable and don’t send from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Encourage subscribers to add you to their address book. Also, ensure the domain (everything after the @ symbol) is actually the one the email is being sent from (otherwise you’re email spoofing and you’ll get blocked).
- Subject line is critical:
Four out of five people don’t open marketing emails and a key factor in this is the subject line. If you send a high volume of emails, it’s a good idea to do a test email to 10% of your database using two different subject lines. Find out which one generates the highest open rates and go with that one for the rest of the campaign. It’s also important to be direct about what you’re offering in the subject line. For example, say upfront that you’re having a 20% off sale so people know what your email is about, but be sure to keep the length of the subject line short.
- Manage images and content:
Avoid too many images in emails as this increases the chance of getting caught in spam filters. Use call-to-action-links to drive subscribers to additional content. Remember the email itself is just the teaser to drive web traffic and, ultimately, sales. Also ensure a balance in image to text ratio. This will help with deliverability and enable recipients who don’t have access to images the chance to understand email content.
- Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe:
Marketers need to ensure they manage their email distribution lists, making it easy for people to unsubscribe and be removed from the list. This will help control complaints, which may include consumers simply hitting the spam button, even if they signed up to your email communications in the first place. The number of complaints made against a particular IP will impact on emails from this address making it through the spam filter.
“With the adoption of email marketing continuing to rapidly increase, marketers are facing an uphill struggle to be noticed in an over crowded inbox. The results from the ACMA prove the increasing abuse of emails by illegitimate organisations and fraudsters. They also show the growing challenge marketers are facing to differentiate their legitimate and authorised email content from spammers,” said Merakovsky.