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By Chris Pentago 

I recently had a discussion with a friend that does lead generation and email marketing for pet supply companies. He admitted that his job has gotten tougher over the past few years, but it isn’t because of problems in the industry itself. If anything, demand for pet supplies is growing faster than ever. However, spam filters are making it harder for him to create successful email marketing funnels.

My friend isn’t the only person facing this problem. An estimated 21% of legitimate emails sent for legitimate marketing purposes end up in the spam box. Of course, some marketers have a much higher rate of being flagged by spam filters than others, because they aren’t aware of the causes.

Here are some tips to make sure your emails don’t trigger spam filters.

Use a reputable email server

Once somebody flags an email, the IP address of the sender is recorded. They may never get another email from that IP address again.

This means that you need to be careful when choosing email servers. If you choose a delivery service that has lax content policy standards, then there is a good chance that spammers have been abusing it. This means that if you share an IP address, you and other legitimate marketers trying to use the service will get filtered by the reporting users as well.

Instead, you should use more trusted email marketing service like Campaign Monitor. They have strict policies, which protects all marketers from being flagged for spam.

Get custom authentication

Adding a custom authentication to all of your emails is very important. This tells users that your emails are legitimate.

Make sure they have a verified SPF and DKIM setting on all of your emails. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to set it up on your own. Most modern email marketing solutions resolve it for you.

Know which keywords trigger spam filters

Some words are highly likely to trigger spam filters. Many spam words are fairly common in the English language. The good news is that modern spam filters are much better at understanding context than they used to be. However, it is still a good idea to use these words sparingly to maximize the likelihood that your email will be delivered.

Here are some of the keywords that are most likely to accidentally trigger a spam filter:

  • 100% free
  • Mail in order form
  • Reverses
  • Meet singles
  • Month trial offer

You can find a full list of keywords that can trigger spam filters here, but this should give you some ideas.

Pay close attention to sentence structure and spelling

While it is still a good idea to pay attention to words that may trigger spam filters, there are bigger factors to pay attention to. Modern spam filters place a lot more emphasis on readability than the presence of certain trigger words.

Make sure all email copy is crafted by a skilled writer. Don’t use a content spinner to create unique variations of webpage content to use in your emails. If you do want to repurpose existing content for your email marketing strategy, make sure that it is as high-quality as possible. Spam filters know how to detect spun content and will penalize you for sending it.

Test your emails before sending them

Even if your email looks fine, it could still get caught in a spam filter. It is a good idea to test every email before you send it. If it doesn’t get delivered, you need to figure out what caused it to get flagged as spam.

Don’t be too aggressive or repetitive with your content

Spam detection algorithms rely extensively on machine learning and a pre-existing knowledge of spam tactics. However, they also depend on email recipients to alert them to spam.

Two of the biggest reasons that people flag emails for spam are:

  • The copy is overly aggressive with its sales approach.
  • The marketer sends the same type of message over and over again.

Look out for these pitfalls while creating emails. Many recipients will flag your email for spam rather than opting out of your subscriber list if you consistently failed to deliver valuable content. Always keep their needs in mind.

Feature Image Credit: OvidiuTepes / Pixabay

By Chris Pentago 

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