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How to guarantee email deliverability

The title of this article is a little misleading because there’s really no way to guarantee delivery of your email marketing sends. Depending on the end users spam settings and a million different things within the email that you’re sending, it can sometimes become a big struggle to ensure delivery of your email messages to your clients and subscribers.

Fortunately there are some rules that you can follow if you want to take the time and refine your messages. As with everything on the web, if you take the time to read, learn, test and continue to make changes and improve, you’ll surely increase your email deliverability.

Learn how to write an email that will get past the spam filters.

Make sure there are not any “spam flags” in the messages you send. This is one of the most important parts of building an email that will arrive safely. Obvious flags include words in ALL CAPS (yelling) in your subject and email, words that wreak of spam like “sale”, “cheap, etc. Emails will also be flagged if there is no real content, just images. Take the time to learn what will throw up a flag and replace those words or tactics. Depending on the end user’s spam settings it might only take 1 or 2 suspicious flags to end up in the junk folder.

Here are a few suggestions:

Do not “shout” in your email campaigns by using caps lock

Avoid using multiple exclamation marks

Do not embed scripts in your email

Use valid HTML

Use a proper title tag – not the default used by your web page editor

Don’t use light colored fonts on a light background or dark font color on a dark background.

Definitely do not state “this is not spam”. It’s a line that spammers use.

Use terms like “free”, “limited offer”, “bonus”, “buy now” and related terms sparingly.

Using an image to display poison word text may work, but bear in mind that an email containing only images will also throw up a red flag.

Here is a long list of “flags” from the program that we run on our server called Spam Assassin:

Give the end user some instructions so you’re added to their address book

When someone signs up, modify the message they see on the site and tell them to mark the welcome message as “not spam” when it arrives or manually add the address you’re sending from to their address book. Obviously if they’re confirmed to the list they’ve received at least one message from you so use this as a way to guarantee delivery in the future. They need to ensure on their end that you’ve been marked as legit and there is a lot you can do to remind them of that.

Provide them with a link to unsubscribe

Make sure you’ve included an unsubscribe link. It’s not a big one but it does show that you’re legit.

Test, test, test

Before sending your campaign, send it to a Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and to yourself to make sure that it’s getting through. If it’s not getting through you should look to make some changes if possible.

Tell them at every step to add you to their address book

Make sure to put a note in your email sends that explains to people that they should add you to their address book. This will greatly improve deliverability. Any chance you get to be in front of someone you need to confirm that you won’t end up in their spam folder or junk mail in the future.

Send you emails from a server with a good reputation

Not all services are of the same quality. Choose a highly regarded service that only accepts “opt in” list building so to ensure that thousands of users are not flagging the server as a spammer. Services that help you optimize your sends are an obvious first choice.

Sanctuary Marketing Group provides email marketing services, email design and optimization services. Please contact us today for an affordable, trusted and very easy to use solution.

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About Chris Auman:

Chris Auman is a veteran digital marketer with over 25 years of experience in the trenches. As Sanctuary’s founder and President, Chris has successfully guided online marketing efforts for companies large and small.

Learn more about Chris.

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