Content is still important when seeking to avoid the spam folder, but spam filters have moved on to focus on engagement.


Now that GDPR is in place, you can be secure in the knowledge that your email newsletter subscribers have opted to receive the information you send them. But how can you be sure that it gets to them? The last thing you want is for the email newsletter you spent valuable time crafting to end up in a spam folder.

How to avoid this is one of the most common themes of the customer support questions we receive.

The bottom line is that whether your message goes to an inbox or a spam folder is down to what you put in the message and the level of engagement you have with subscribers. It’s important that you don’t give spam filters the opportunity to filter your message out because of anything amiss in your subject line or the body text of your email, but it is of greater importance that you keep on top of your list – if engagement is low, your email could be flagged as spam, so you may need to re-evaluate what you are sending subscribers.

Of course, you can and should perform a spam check in GroupMail prior to sending to ensure the deliverability of your newsletter. We’ve teamed up with ‘isnotspam’, a free service that performs a spam check for you at the click of a button. It’s an excellent service but the fewer spam issues it flags the fewer you have to fix so ideally you should keep the following tips in mind when creating your message:

Avoid trigger words – This is less important than it used to be as spam filters have evolved to focus more on engagement than content, but it is still something that you should be reasonably cautious about. As Marketing Profs notes: “Today’s spam filters rely heavily on sender reputation and subscriber engagement. The actual content of the email plays a relatively small role in filtering decisions—because content-based spam filters return too many false positives—and they can be easily thwarted by crafty spammers.”

So, you can use offers, bargains and even offer free stuff from time to time, and if you are a responsible sender with clean lists and reasonable levels of engagement, spam filters should not come into play.

No one likes it when you YELL – This is as important in an email message as it is in the quiet confines of an intimate restaurant. In this case, keeping your voice down means not using CAPS to get your message across. Similarly, don’t go wild with fonts and formatting. Again, this is something that today’s spam filters are less concerned about than in the past, but it annoys recipients – and that could lead to an engagement problem that spam filters will pick up on.

Monitor your subscriber list – This is the key point. It’s all very well knowing that your subscribers opted-in but if they are not opening your emails, or are deleting them unread, something is amiss, and your emails could be marked as spam. Perhaps your content isn’t as relevant to recipients as they thought it would be when they signed up, or perhaps it is, but something in the subject line, body text or presentation of your email is putting them off. Either way, these problems can be fixed.

So, make sure your list is up to date, keep a close eye on engagement and tweak things if it’s falling away. If some recipients are never opening or engaging, find out why. You could survey them on what they would like to receive from you or craft a re-engagement campaign. Ultimately, consider deleting unresponsive recipients. After all, they are only useful leads if they are engaging with you, and their lack of activity may be causing your campaigns to go into spam folders.

Do get into the habit of running a spam check before you send your GroupMail emails and, as always, if you have any questions or need some help along the way, don’t hesitate to contact our technical support team.

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