If sending email to a mailing list is part of your marketing or business building strategy, you want to make sure your messages are reaching your audience. But is your email marketing effective? Are your readers getting your emails?
Due to the proliferation of spam, ISPs (your web access and email provider) have added content checkers to try to reduce the flow of unwanted mail. In principle this is a good idea. In practice, lots of spam is still getting through and many legitimate emails, possibly including yours, are being blocked.
You may assume that since your content is legitimate and because you only send messages to 0pt-in readers, your prospects and clients are getting all of your emails. But presently spam filters are blocking emails that include words such as:
- marketing s0lution
- click here
Even to send this article to the people who’ve requested it, I’ve had to write carefully and creatively to disguise these words to get them through the spam filters.
In an effort to eliminate junk mail, most email providers have spam filters in place, and, smart as these are, they don’t know you are not a spammer if it includes what it considers to be suspicious words. Some filters automatically dump suspicious email into a bu1k mail folder, others block them entirely.
Chances are you don’t consider your email marketing to be spam, nor do you consider yourself a spammer. You don’t blindly send mi11ions of emails a day to people who don’t want your information. You do respond to client inquiries and send information to people who request it. Even if you only send email to people who have double opted in for your ezine, you can have your newsletter or message labeled as spam if you’re not careful. 10-30% or more of your emails may be getting filtered by overzealous ISPs.
Usually, use of just one “offensive” word won’t get your email blocked, but repeat it or use it in conjunction with another “offensive” word and your recipients won’t receive your articles or notes.
I hate junk email as much as the next person. But if the recipient has requested your ezine or an email response, they should get it. In there effort to eliminate spam, the ISPs are beginning to infringe on legitimate communication and commerce.
What You Can Do
Review available lists of words that ISPs consider “suspicious”. I’ve posted one list of some innocuous and common words that if used together or frequently can get your email blocked at:
Use one of the online content checkers to see which remaining words could create problems with sp@m filters such as:
Where possible, replace “offensive” words. If you need to use a word like “marketing” because it’s the best word for the job, you can get creative with, as I did above, but some sp@m filters block emails containing odd characters.
No strategy for getting by the ISP filters is foolproof, but every effort you make to eliminate potentially problematic words will increase the likelihood that the people who want to read your emails will get them. Take a minute to check your email before you send it and you’ll increase the number of people who read it and respond to it.
Want more practical ideas you can implement to improve your small business marketing and your client communication?
My clients tell me over and over how easy it is to read and apply the ideas in my small business marketing manuals and start improving their marketing. Whether it’s the clear organization, synthesis of key concepts or professionally designed layouts, the manuals give you easy access to ideas that can help you attract more clients and grow your online and offline business.