Episode – 008- How to Keep Your Newsletters Out of the Spam Folder
The dreaded spam folder. Your wonderful newsletters don’t deserve to end up there, and yet, it does happen. So what can you do to actually avoid that?
In this episode, I’m sharing with you simple actions you can take today to lower the chances to end up unseen together with scam emails.
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Hello and welcome to Episode 8 of The Online Business Tech Hub. This is Alessia, tech expert for online coaches and consultants, on a mission to rescue my clients from tech disasters.
Today, I have a really juicy topic for you. Today’s topic is how to make sure your newsletters don’t end up in the spam folder. This is a hot, hot, hot topic. This is really something that I get asked a lot. This is a problem that many of my clients have, but it’s also a very, very, very common problem. And so in this episode, I want to give you some tips on how to make sure you can avoid your newsletters ending up in the spam folder.
Even though this is important to keep in mind, we can take these actions, but this doesn’t guarantee that our emails will not end up in the spam folder because there are much bigger things that control this.
But we can definitely take some actions to make sure that at least we lower the chance of our emails go unread, and have a sad, sad ending if the spam folder.
So one thing that I want to clarify immediately, even before we start, is that, for example, Hotmail and Outlook tend to filter out genuine emails. It happens all the time and there is nothing we can do about it. I’ve got people in my list that have a Hotmail email account, and no matter what they do, they whitelist my email address.
They, you know, add me to the contacts, they star it, whatever they can do, my emails always end up in the spam folder. Now, what can we do? Let’s start to take action. One thing that you really need to do regularly at the very, very least, twice a year, is a regularly screening. By this, I mean that you should regularly clean your list. And the leads from your e-mail marketing platform, all the inactive, bounced and unconfirmed subscribers, the inactive subscribers are the cold people, people that haven’t been opening and interacting with your emails for, I don’t know, for example, six months. Bounced contacts are those that, for example, signed up with the wrong email address.
So I get a lot of people signing up to my email list for my freebies and they sign up with, I don’t know, email@example.com.
And that’s obviously a bounced subscriber because the email address is wrong.
Some other examples of bounced subscribers are when the inbox is being shut down so that email address doesn’t exist anymore. The unconfirmed subscribers are those contacts that, for example, if you have a double opt-in, where I sign up for your free resource, I get the confirmation email than I need to click a button that I am confirming that I want to be in your email list and only then will I get your free resource. If you have a double opt in active and I get the confirmation email and I don’t click on the button, then I am an unconfirmed subscriber.
I am in your email list. I’m taking place. Maybe you are even paying for me, but I will never get your newsletters because I am unconfirmed because I never got the confirmation email or because I got it and I completely ignored it. OK, so make sure you get rid of the inactive, bounced, and unconfirmed subscribers regularly at least twice a year.
Next thing to keep in mind is to never, ever send a single graphic image. So do you have, for example, in mind those fashion magazine or fashion newsletters that there are a lot of graphics, a lot of images, and if you send a newsletter that it’s one image you created, for example, on Canva that has a lot of chances to end up in the spam folder because there is also something else you need to keep in mind. There are many inboxes, Gmail included, that the default setting is not to display images.
OK, have you ever noticed that sometimes if you have a Gmail inbox, when there are images in a newsletter you get that is on top, a warning or a message from Gmail saying that “this email contains images, click here if you want to display the images from the email from this person”, make sure that you never send a newsletter out where it’s just one image, OK? And that’s it, because there are always inboxes that will either send it to spam or they have the default setting turned on that doesn’t display images.
Absolutely. Never, ever use a free email address to send your newsletters. Never sign up for an email marketing to an email marketing platform with an address like firstname.lastname@example.org or gmail.com or whatever. OK.
Always use your professional email address. So for example, email@example.com, send your newsletter consistently from the same from address, same name, and same email address. So for example, my newsletters always come from Alessia and the email I use is firstname.lastname@example.org all the time. Make it consistent because if you change the name and the email address you used to send the newsletters, the inbox can filter it out, send it to the spam folder because it doesn’t recognize the sender as a person that has been already in touch literally with the owner of the inbox.
When you send newsletters, don’t use link shortening services like Bitly. Bitly is the service that you can use to shorten very long links or that you can customize to track, for example, the clicks. This is very useful on social media, but if you use it in in your newsletters, there is a higher chance that your newsletters will end up in the spam folder.
Another thing which is rather intuitive, but please make it really easy to unsubscribe. Don’t hide the unsubscribe link because this will just piss off people. Let people unsubscribe from your newsletters because you want in your email list people that are happy to hear from you. You don’t want to force people to stay in your list they will just get upset. So make it easy to unsubscribe. Don’t make it complicated. Don’t hide the unsubscribe link even because if you hide the unsubscribe link, a person that wants to unsubscribe from your list and doesn’t find the link may report you as spam.
That’s no good. OK, pay attention to the spam filter before you hit the button send. There are some providers like for example, Active Campaign that when you are ready to do schedule or to send the campaigns, that is a spam check. So it tells you if something is wrong, if something looks a bit shady or if it’s good to go. If your email marketing platform doesn’t offer that, you can always go to www.MailBashTester.com.
I will put this in the show notes as well, and you can test the newsletter you want to send and this provider, this service it’s absolutely free and will tell you if it has a lot of chances to end up in the spam folder or not and what you can do to fix the problem.
So that’s absolutely a brilliant software, brilliant service. And last but not least, make sure you don’t use spam words like risk-free special promotion. This is not spam, winner, free, discount, and so on.
OK, I can also put in the show notes the link to a very good article I found where they list a lot of these spammy words. So make sure you don’t use any of these. I know that sometimes it can be complicated. Just to give you an example, Active Campaign flags as spam if you use the word money, like making money and you can obviously decide to send it anyway, or you can find the way to go around it and paraphrase the sentence make money for example, and send it. So obviously make sure you don’t use spam words but sometimes it can be a bit hard.
Alright, these are really quite a lot of actions that you can take to avoid ending up in the spam folder. So in this episode, I wanted to share with you the best practices, some tiny, simple actions you can take now to at least increase your chances to make sure that your emails end up in the main inbox and that your newsletters are being read and appreciated by your subscribers.
So before I bid you good bye bye for this week. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button to get your ears onto the latest episode when they are published. And also, don’t forget to start my email marketing free 5-day Email Course where I teach you all the ins and outs of MailChimp and Active Campaign and how to set them up to start building a list of raving fans. All the links are in the show notes and I will talk to you virtually next week.