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The Ultimate Email Game Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding the Spam Folder

The Ultimate Email Game Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding the Spam Folder
The Ultimate Email Game Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding the Spam Folder

Getting your emails into the primary inbox of your recipient's email is essential for any email marketing campaign. We all know how important it is to avoid ending up in the Promotions tab or the Spam folder. However, the reality is that no one knows all the secrets behind reaching the primary inbox all the time. There are many factors involved, and some of them are beyond our control. However, there are ways to improve your email deliverability, assuming that you have taken care of the basic tech stuff, such as a solid sender/domain reputation, custom authentication with DKIM/SPF/BIMI, and a good ESP. Here are some straightforward tips to improve your email deliverability.

Optimise for engagement

Sending emails that prompt engagement is one of the best ways to improve email deliverability. It signals to ISPs that people like getting your messages. You can elicit a response to your email in many ways, such as offering something valuable in exchange for a reply, asking a question in your email, or having the reader confirm that they got your email or download with a reply. Having high engagement early on in your welcome emails is the best way to ensure that the rest of your emails end up in the inbox.

Get whitelisted

Fast-track to the inbox by asking users to whitelist you, or add you as a contact. This tells providers that you're essentially a VIP and shouldn't be sent to spam.

Ask for a manual move

Suggest that users drag your email to the primary inbox from promotions or spam, which will make it more likely that your subsequent few messages end up there. A nice little Gmail shortcut is to "star" the email, automatically moving it to the primary. These strategies may not keep you in the inbox indefinitely, so you might need to include reminders once in a while.

Avoid "trigger" words and phrases (especially in the subject line)

While this isn't a sure bet, there's a theory that certain words, phrases, and tendencies trigger providers to send your email to spam. This is especially true when it comes to your subject line. Some spammy triggers to avoid include all caps, excessive and unnecessary use of punctuation or special characters, the words "free," "urgent action," "XXX," and many more.

Test variations in your "From" line

Use your brand name in your "From" line. This helps reduce spam complaints and improve open rates, which will help deliverability. You could also test sending emails from a company individual to give messages a more personal feel.

Consider simple emails

Image-heavy emails with very little copy can be hallmarks of spammers, so providers tend to be wary of them. Additionally, some ISPs don't display images by default, which means they may not even show up for some users. Many brands are experimenting with simpler, text-based emails to improve load time and deliverability.

Clear Unsubscribe button

Make sure your unsubscribe button is easy to find because if readers can't see it, they're more likely to hit spam/complaint.

Practice good list hygiene

Regularly cleaning your list is an excellent idea. Unopened emails, unengaged subscribers, and bounce rates can all affect your sender reputation and overall deliverability. Build out re-engagement campaigns to regularly check-in with short-term unengaged subscribers and periodically segment unengaged subs into their own lists and remove them from regular mailings. In conclusion, getting your emails into the primary inbox is not a simple task, but implementing these tips can help improve your chances. Remember, it's not just about avoiding spam filters, but also about delivering engaging and relevant content to your recipients.