Though very basic and “old school” compared to all the methods we use today, email marketing is still one of the main methods of communication for contacting customers and leads. Although widely used, email marketing has some limitations and challenges. Interestingly, one of the biggest hurdles for email marketing is actually getting the emails to your customers! Today there are more filters than ever on various popular email providers that determine a number of pretty simple things to be “flags” for spam. It’s important for you to learn how to avoid the spam folder. It could vary with email provider and then certain customers may or may not know what’s improving and changing.

There are several tricks you should be aware of sending emails to avoid the spam folder as well as other options for communicating with users that avoid the problem all together. Try a few or all of these tips to guarantee that your customers get your messages loud and clear and stay engaged with your company.

Here are the top 5 tips for how to avoid the spam folder:

Make personalization a priority.

Even if it’s automated, personalization on emails is one way to look more “legitimate” to both email providers and the receiver themselves. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Using an email marketing tool like Mailchimp that allows you to add personalized tokens to email subject lines, preview text, and body text can help you avoid the spam filter and get a better response from the receiver.

avoid the spam folder

Avoid too many images.

Although more visual images are popular and people expect a certain level of visual appeal when they open an email, it can be a red flag for email providers. Too many images and graphics can make an email too large and may run the risk of getting blocked by some email providers. It can be difficult to create an engaging and interesting update without some level of design. An easy fix is to limit your graphics to 2-3 and resize them to fit the email dimensions (width: 550-650px) so you’re not sending a large email unnecessarily. It can actually be to your advantage for sales emails to stick to short, personal, no-nonsense messages with text and maybe a logo only. These can actually be very well received as they look authentic and personal to the receiver.

avoid the spam folder

Send the right amount of text.

Not only is text length a potential red flag for email providers, but it also can determine whether your email is going straight to the trash or not. According to researchers, emails should ideally be short enough to keep attention but for spam filters, a little longer is better to make an email feel more substantial and legitimate. Your words should be direct, informative, persuasive, and actionable to get the receiver to initiate a conversation with your team. Save too much excess detail for later.

avoid the spam folder

Don’t include promotional words in your subject line.

One of the most obvious red flags for “spam worthy” emails is sales-y or promotional words used in the subject line or preview text. Not only does it just look obnoxious but ALL CAPITAL phrases are too be avoided because they trigger spam filters quite often. Using certain sales jargon like “Deal”, “Offer”, “Sale”, “Sign up”, and about 200 others are also likely ways to get sent to the spam folder.  Replace these with subject lines you would want to open: ones that sound personal, intentional, and informative without being too long.

Be careful with attachments and links to avoid the spam folder.

Spam filters are also sensitive now to excessive links and attachments. Try to avoid attachments at all costs. If you’re running an incentive sign up, set up your automatic email to send a link to a place to download your attachment off your site instead or link directly to a publicly shared Google Doc. Speaking of links, try not to add too many links to emails as well. A link off the bat just doesn’t look good and it can also flag as spam. Instead, work links into the text of the email intentionally and in context or introduce them in a CTA button instead.

avoid the spam folder

Incorporate other methods of communicating with customers.

Even though emails are the default method for communication with customers and potential customers, it may not be the most effective all the time. Emails are lucky to get between 15-20% open rate and even less of a click through rate. It’s not very effective when you look at it. It’s absolutely worth exploring the other ways of communicating with customers.

One such alternative is Beamer – an easy-to-use newsfeed and changelog you can install in your site to make your important announcements. Beamer integrates directly into your user interface with an icon or “What’s new” option on your navigation menu. You can share visual and engaging updates with images, videos, GIFs, links, and CTAs easily. Your updates are in context as well on your site so you’re more likely to get higher engagement on your CTAs. Customers can interact with what you’re announcing immediately instead of clicking through an email they’re not likely to even open. Customers can also leave comments and reactions like Facebook which you can analyze along with plenty of other detailed data with Beamer analytics. You can segment and filter your updates for better personalization based on language, demographics, and past behavior on your site. It’s easier than managing multiple lists and email flows. Most importantly, Beamer updates stay in one central place and never get lost in the spam folder. Customers, new and returning, can see all news and updates in one feed.

avoid the spam folder

Beamer is incredibly easy to install and is a perfect compliment to email to better communicate and engage with your customers for your most important announcements. Try Beamer on your site to make sure your important updates make it to who matters!

Ps. Want even more tips for how to avoid the spam folder. Check out this great infographic on email deliverability by Moonsend:

email deliverability