How to Help Stop Genuine Emails Getting Caught In Spam Filters
While the Earth may be closed today, business for the most part does go on. With your customers at home wondering what is still open and running, you need to keep them informed and you’ve probably seen a lot of COVID-19 email updates in your inbox and your spam. A mass email to your clients is a great way to keep them updated, but is your email going to get caught in their spam filters?
In reality, there is no definite way to stop your emails ending up in a spam box, but there are ways to help reduce the risk.
How Do Spam Filters Work?
There are a lot of different spam filters out there and they work in a variety of different ways, but in general they work by the following:
- Content filtering – A spam filter will review the content of the message and determine if it is spam or not
- Header filter – A spam filter will also review the of the Header of the email in search of falsified information
- Blacklists – A spam filter will stop emails from blacklisted addresses
- Engagement rate – Spam filters will monitor engagement rates, which is where they look at how many emails are opened and how many are deleted without being opened and looked at. Suffice to say, if you have a high number of emails that are sent, not looked at then deleted, you will have a higher chance of being caught in a spam filter.
- Low mailbox activity – If you have a mail box that is never or rarely used and then sends out a large number of emails, it’s a massive red flag.
Remind Customers to ‘Whitelist’
Some filters are over-zealous; they are tuned to be strict and filter out as much spam as possible, leading to legitimate emails ending up caught as spam as well (false positives). There are many reasons this happens. The most common is frustrated customers fed up with getting too many emails, this leads to IT departments turning the spam filter sensitivity up. Erroneous identification of legitimate emails as spam is usually caused by this extra-sensitivity. Get into the habit of asking customers to whitelist your email address in their spam filter, or add your address to their contact list. Most spam filters, including those used by the major email providers like Google mail, Yahoo and Microsoft will automatically exempt whitelisted addresses from further scanning.
Make Sure Your SFP and DKIM Records Are Set Up Correctly
SPF and DKIM are technical ways to identify emails as genuine. They are set up by your email provider or IT team, and are pretty complicated when you get into it. If SPF and DKIM are set up incorrectly, or not set up at all, this will increase the chances of your emails getting caught as spam.
Be Aware of Spam Trigger Words
Undoubtedly you have had emails from customers stating, “I’m sorry I didn’t see this earlier – it went to my spam folder”. Legitimate emails go to spam folders, even when the customer has not labelled it as such. The main reason is the use of trigger words. These include the following words and terms and variations: sale, great deal, discount, don’t miss out, Free!, this is not spam, click here. Most commercial content is labelled as spam even from legitimate businesses as filters look for these terms. Try to avoid using them.
Proofread Your Content
The occasional grammatical or spelling error isn’t going to flag your emails as spam. However, if they are consistently badly written, there is a high likelihood email filters will perceive your email as phishing or other scam content. There are other reasons to ensure your emails are worded well and spelt correctly. Firstly, it looks more professional; constant poor attention to detail will reflect badly on your business. Secondly, a poor brand message will confuse the customer and they will look elsewhere.
A Recognisable Name
Most important of all, be consistent. Your customer is likely to mark your content as spam if they do not recognise the sender name. It’s best to use the brand in the sent from name, for example “Mike at ABC Solutions”. There is much higher chance your customer will open an email when there is a personal name attached and a lower likelihood of the email going directly to the spam folder. With multiple team members, be consistent in who emails about which products or services.
Like we mentioned above there is no definite way to stop your emails ending up in the spam box, but by implementing these steps, you will have a higher chance of keeping your clients informed and update with information.