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Get your emails past spam filters

You’re probably aware of common spam avoidance techniques such as not using certain words in the subject heading or text, but is there anything else you can do? Here are some tips that may surprise some of you:

Font size

Check that you are using a normal size font. If the text is too small or too large, it might alert spam filters. The email needs to look as normal as possible simply because spam filters have gotten wise to previous spamming techniques. This also means don’t use all CAPITAL LETTERS anywhere in your email or subject line.

Your spelling

We say this often, but you have to proofread your messages before you send them. This is not just for professional reasons, but because spam filters pay attention to anything that you wouldn’t normally see in an average person’s email. If there is a lot of repetition, too many spelling mistakes and gaps in words, it will be noticed. Spam filters are also looking for too many underlined words, loads of exclamation points and different colored fonts.

Image and text ratios

Emails can appear suspicious if the link-to-text or image-to-text ratio is too high. Spam filters can’t read images, so many spammers use the tactic of displaying the majority of their offers in text or links. It is important to have appropriate links, but think about how these need to appear in the text and don’t include too many. Also, remember to add alt text to all images so that they can be easily read by all email clients.

Don’t be illegal

The CAN-SPAM Act was passed in 2003 and sets the rules for commercial emails. Make sure your emails comply in the following ways:

  • Don’t create deceptive content – never lie in your header, subject lines, reply to addresses, call to actions or from-names.
  • Make unsubscribing easy – always have an unsubscribe link, which stays live for at least 30 days after sending.
  • Include your real mailing address – you must include your actual physical posting address in your email.
  • Always have consent – never send any emails without getting the express permission of the recipient.

If you are emailing to Canada, you also have to be aware of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL). For more information, visit our dedicated website.

Use online tools

There are online tools that you can use to test your marketing emails before you send them. A simple Google search will point you in the direction of numerous free spam testing tools that will save you a lot of problems.