3 Hacks for Outsmarting Spam Filters

You may have a great list, but if your emails aren’t getting into subscriber inboxes, you’ve lost the game. As any business owner knows, it takes a lot of time, money and energy to pull together an effective email campaign. No business can afford to let this effort go to waste.

Are you letting spam filters get the best of your email campaigns? Boost your email deliverability with these 3 hacks for outsmarting spam filters.

Subject Lines

Crafting subject lines that entice readers to open your emails is an art unto itself. And while there are plenty of copywriting strategies to write amazing subject lines, there are tactics you should always avoid – especially if you want your email communications to show up in subscriber inboxes.

Such tactics include using all caps to grab your reader’s attention or the overzealous use of exclamation marks, both of which scream spammy (literally). Also, don’t be misleading in your subject line. If you announce a coupon code is inside your email, be sure to include it in the body of the email, too.

According to MailChimp, including certain promotional words or phrases, like “free,” “no obligation” or “reminder,” may also get you flagged by spam filters. You can’t skip them all the time, so be sure to use them carefully. Here’s a list of keywords you should avoid in your email subject lines.

Double Opt-Ins

There’s an abundance of free information available out there, and people subscribe to all kinds of newsletter lists to get their hands on it. The problem: people don’t always remember having signed up for said lists later on. So if they get your newsletter and it appears to be coming from left field, they’re far more likely to unsubscribe and report it as spam.

The solution: the double opt-in. Sure, you’ll have slightly fewer subscribers on your email list. But you’ll benefit in every other metric – like higher open rates, more click-throughs and fewer unsubscribes – because people who confirm are generally more interested in hearing from you.

The double opt-in helps reduce spam complaints by ensuring explicit permission, which boosts your deliverability. New subscribers will instantly receive a confirmation email, by which they must click a link to confirm they want to be added to your email list. If they don’t confirm, they won’t be added. Here’s a quick overview of how the double opt-in works from MailChimp.

Content Red Flags

What’s inside your email matters, not just to your readers but also for deliverability. If you want your messages to be successfully delivered, here are some things to consider when creating your email copy:

  • Include options for both HTML and plain text emails. This will show ISPs you’re a legitimate sender (plus your emails will be more reader friendly).
  • Make sure you have a good text to link and text to image ratios. If your links and images are on the heavy side, it may get triggered as spam.
  • On the same note, use full links from your domain rather than shortlinks, as these are popular among spammers.
  • Run a quick spell check or have someone proofread your emails before sending them. Too many misspellings can trigger spam filters.
  • Include your physical mailing address, which is required by CAN-SPAM. If you run your business out of your home and you’re not comfortable using your home address, rent a P.O. box.

Over to You

What methods have you tried for boosting email deliverability? Share your smart advice with us in the comments!


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