Successful Email Campaigns Strategies: Outsmart the Spam Filters

Even an effective campaign such as the email marketing one has to face the challenges of the changing digital market. In order to ensure that your message will reach your clients, it should first pass through a spam filter defense and then be attractive enough to convince the end user open it. This means that we can divide the challenges in two groups – administrative and behavioural.

Administrative filters

It is important to understand how spam filters work in order to be able to go around them and deliver the email campaign in the user’s inbox.

Spam filtering is based on a combination of different techniques that minimise the number of received unsolicited emails. Every mail administrator decides how to use and combine them in order to meet the business requirements. The most common spam filters are based on analysis of the content or other properties of the message. Content filters work by using algorithms to detect which words and phrases are the most frequently used in spam emails. Some of them have a list of criteria according to which each phrase gets certain points. Whenever you reach the ‘spam score’, which is set by the administrator of the server, your email is automatically marked as spam.

Don’t (according to MailChimp)

> Use too many exclamation marks!!!

> CAPS, which is like yelling in the email

> Use different colours

> Use the word “Test” in the subject

> Send emails to multiple recipients within the same company

The other common technique of minimizing spam messages is property-based filtering. This is done by checking different properties of the message for compliance with standards, as well as verifying the reputation of the sender IP against different sources. If the server sending the e-mail is known for delivering huge amounts of spam, its IP reputation will be affected and this will lead to its emails being blocked immediately. There are different types of IP reputation lists, called blacklists and whitelists. Compliance with the standards is also an important factor when deciding whether the system will accept the email or not.

Behavioural challenges

In order to secure that the message you are sending through email campaigns will actually reach the user, you need to make sure that the email is attractive enough to create interest in the receiver and make him/her open it.

The statistic shows that 20% of Internet users change their email addresses each year to avoid spam or start over and escape from the email account, which has gotten out of control. Another challenge is the fact that people rather choose 'report as spam' than unsubscribing and that cuts all your options of reaching that person again (in case the account has decent spam filters). The growing usage of mobile devices to check your mailbox will also change the user’s perception of the email. That creates more work for the companies as now they should focus on better-looking and mobile-friendly email campaigns.

However, probably the biggest challenge will be to survive from being reported as spam. Research shows that between 65% and 90% of the daily-received mail is considered spam. Another problem with email campaigns is the fact that the advantage of having an attachment with more information becomes a disadvantage, as today’s spam filters are more likely to mark e-mails with attachments as spam.

Nevertheless, the internet marketing is changing and companies will continue to find new ways to go around spam filters. At the same time administrators will find new solutions to detect spam. One thing is certain, though – with or without attachments emails are very likely to survive among the other digital ways of communication.

Flat Rock has recently added a new solution for our customers – digital email campaigns. We design unique campaigns that can successfully trick spam filters. The first email shot is for free. Contact us for more information.

About the author:

Polina Ilieva is a Solution Specialist at Flat Rock Technology and focuses on web solutions such as content management systems, e-commerce platforms and mobile applications including Windows 8, Android and iOS.


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