Your email can be marked as spam by email service providers based on it's content or technical details (SPF, DKIM records). Email marketing services take care of the technical side of things, that's why it's the best option for better deliverability. Check the following tips to avoid being classified as spam.

Three issues which influence the email reputation:

  1. Technical settings
  2. Email content and design
  3. Recipients’ reaction to your bulk emails

Technical settings

Correct formatting of the headers.

First of all, emails should undergo an accuracy checkout of SPF-record and DKIM-signature. SPF-record must be present in the domain of DNS and allow email sending on behalf of the domain’s name from a certain IP-address. DKIM allows to identify a sender.

Ensure the email underwent a checkout

To ensure if the email underwent SPF and DKIM checkout, open its headers in the email client, find Authentication-Results and make sure there is “pass” after SPF and DKIM. It means that the email underwent a checkFout.

 Carry out SPF and DKIM checkout

In Gmail it looks like this:

SPF and DKIM checkout in Gmail

In Mail.ru:

SPF and DKIM checkout in Mail.ru

Use a special header

Use a header “precedence:bulk” in bulk emails for people to know what you send.

Include unsubscribe link

Be sure to include unsubscribe link in the email. It should be easy-to-see, have adequate size and font colour.

If you don't add an unsubscribe link, SendPulse will do it automatically to keep your mailing list active.

Own mailing list

Never buy mailing lists from other companies. These people are more likely to mark your email as spam as they may be not interested in it. Collect the client base with the help of evident subscribe link and double opt-in. It implies registration and subsequent email campaign in case a user confirms the accuracy of the data – email. A user receives the confirmation email with the link. This way, your client base will contain only valid and legal addresses for bulk emails.

All subscription forms created in SendPulse use double-opt in confirmation.

Reputation of the IP-address and domain

Your sender’s reputation consists of 2 components: reputation of the IP-address and of the domain. 

Bulk emails sent via our service get high reputation due to the domain's authority. If you want to be fully responsible for your reputation, you can buy a dedicated IP-address and link with your domain.

Email content and design

Avoid using spam-like words

They look like this:

Spam-like words

Don't use suspicious links and attachments

Links are extremely important. If it brings to a suspicious resource, it will be blocked. Don’t put links into the subject line and avoid shortened links, it may be a fraud.

The same is with the attachments and documents. Files with suspicious titles, archives (especially password-protected ones), links for downloading a file from free file hosting services.

Check design

Keep far from using Caps Lock, exclamation marks, hidden text (extremely small font), too many images and very little text, spelling mistakes.

Provide a plain-text version

Include a plain-text version into your email, as spam filters don’t like its absence and it can be useful for some recipients. A lot of email clients cut off HTML version of an email and show simple text. If HTLM version can’t be shown, a recipient will see a plain-text.

Recipients’ reaction to your bulk emails

Include unsubscribe link

Every email must contain this link as it allows to rather unsubscribe than mark emails as spam.

Use familiar name and sender’s address

Make sure that your subscriber knows that the email is yours, but not the spammer’s one. Familiar name, company name, email address don’t arouse any suspicions. 

Maintain email sending frequency

Even if the content of your email is extremely interesting and relevant, don’t send emails every day. The optimal frequency is not more than once a week and not less than once a month for your subscribers not to forget you.

Send relevant and valuable emails

Take care of your subscribers. If a person subscribed to your bulk email, send relevant content to every subscriber. Use segmentation for this purpose, as it is a customer-oriented method. Segment your subscribers according to gender, city, age, interests and preferences. 

How to track the spam-level of your bulk emails?

There are 2 ways:

1. Assess your emails with Spam Assassin

Email marketing services will help to identify reputation rating of senders of the email, spam-level and find out the recommendations how to improve each email. Popular program Spam Assassin assesses spam-level and gives a general score: 0-4 (green background) – an email won’t get into spam folder, 4-6 (yellow background) – an email contains incorrect text and will probably be in spam folder, 6 and more ( red background) – an email is a spam and will be blocked.

2. Track abuse complaints

If you get abuse complaints, you can get into the blacklist even if your email is relevant to your mind. Your subscribers may be not interested in your bulk emails or your unsubscribe link may be hidden. They can’t find the way to unsubscribe, so they mark an email as spam.

SendPulse allows you to track abuse complaints.

Emails marked as spam

It includes metrics on email campaigns and the list of subscribers. You can track regularly the number of delivered and opened emails, click-throughs, abuse complaints, errors, etc.

Before sending a campaign, ask yourself: “Would I like to receive this email? What is valuable and useful in it?”

So, follow the recommendations, take care of your subscribers and you won’t send spam.

Send bulk emails

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