Ways to avoid the Spam folder

Building and sending a newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your past guests and to drive new revenues during holiday or slow periods. Ensuring that your beautiful new campaign actually makes it into the guest's inbox is a separate matter entirely.

Here are some great tips on how to keep your messages out of your guests spam folder. Note, these tips are adapted from publications released by our supplier Sendgrid.

1. Be Compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act
If you are sending “any electronic mail message, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” then you must comply with the following 7 main requirements (or face penalties up to $16,000):

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Identify the message as an advertisement
  • Tell recipients where you’re located
  • Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future email from you
  • Honour opt-out requests promptly
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

Your confirmation (transactional emails) are exempt from these rules; however, you must still not include false or misleading routing information.

2. Avoid Spam Trigger Words and Phishing Phrases Any email containing a spam trigger word is more likely to end up in your spam folder. Unfortunately, there is no definitive list of trigger words to avoid when constructing your emails but we suggest you refrain from using words like; Offer, Signup, discount, deal etc. If your email reads like a Walmart flyer then re-write it.

3 Sending HTML Emails Most email programs these days support HTML formatted emails, but that doesn’t mean you can just ignore the plain text version. Sending HTML only emails is a common cause for ending up in the spam filter. At Guestfolio we manage this process for you and automatically generate a text based version of your email. Ensure you read and format it during your campaign building process however.

4 Use Permission Marketing Techniques Permission marketing, a term coined by Seth Godin, defines permission as the privilege to deliver anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. Permission marketing maintains that treating people with respect is the best way to gain attention, and that you know you have real permission when people miss your emails when they stop arriving. The most difficult part of permission marketing is making a promise and sticking to it. Tell people what they can expect from your emails and how often to expect them. Once they opt-in, don’t change the rules.

5 Use Spam Checkers before Sending Your Emails Before sending emails out to your entire list, it’s worth the time to utilize a spam checking service. MailingCheck.com offers a free downloadable tool for Windows that uses SpamAssassin to check. If you prefer to avoid downloading any software, you can send email to the IsNotSpam. com service and they will also check a few other items important to email deliverability. Alternatively, ProgrammersHeaven.com uses a form-based solution to test your emails.

6 Get off All Blacklists A blacklist is a list of addresses and domains that have been identified as spammers and are blocked from sending to mail providers. If your email server ends up on a blacklist, it becomes extremely difficult to reliably deliver email, especially to new people on your list. To check to see if your email server is on a blacklist, use a free service like Return Path’s SenderScore or blacklistmonitoring.com. If you find that you are on a blacklist, you will need to follow up with the site that has added you to their blacklist. It can be tedious and time-consuming, but removing yourself from blacklists is crucial to ensuring your emails are received by the users who expect them.

7 Maintain a Good Text to Image Ratio It is usually best to not include images at all; however, if you must include images, here are some tips:
• Don’t send any image- only emails
• We suggest that for every graphic, include at least two lines of text
• Optimize your images the best you can
• Use well formatted HTML for email

8 Avoid Spam Traps Spam Traps are email addresses that are flagged by ISPs as being no longer used by a human. Since no one is using these addresses, the ISPs know that there was no opt-in for any email those addresses receive.

9 Avoid Large Attachments and Executable Attachment Types In general, .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf attachments are safe to send, provided you include some content in the email as well.

10. Make Sure You Setup a SPF record for Guestfolio to be supplied.