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Keys to Avoiding the Junk Folder

Aug 17, 2007
One of the biggest problems facing e-mail marketing is keeping your mail out of the junk folder. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and anti-spam software that is installed on users computers will often automatically assign incoming e-mail messages to junk or spam folders. Unfortunately, this happens without you even knowing about it resulting in your message being unread. There are a few precautions that you can take to reduce the likelihood of your message being flagged thereby increasing the chances of your message being read.

Use of Trigger words
There are certain words that will trigger spam filters to flag your message as spam. A good practice is to check your email or newsletter through a program like Spam Assassin. Such a spam program will identify the words that may increase the message spam rating and some will even eliminate or disguise them. This action will ensure that your mail will pass through the filters and get to your subscribers.

Care with subject line
An important measure to reduce the likelihood of your message being identified as spam is to use an appropriate subject line. It is good practice to identify your message to your subscribers by placing your name or publication in the subject line. Some will use brackets to surround the newsletter publication name to reduce spam identification. In order to make sure that your message is read, it is good to use an interesting subject line that readers will be excited to open.

Short and honest
Try to reduce hype and advertising jargon from your messages by including only important information. Do not try to lengthen your message by adding sales copy or advertising language. Often times, the more concise your message the less chance that it includes triggers words and most readers also enjoy targeted messages.

Request a white listing
A white listing from your subscribers will ensure that your messages reach their inbox. In the welcome letter of your autoresponder, request your subscribers to white list your publication. Some even place a white list reminder on their thank you pages after a subscribers opts into your list. You may even want to spend a few minutes to set-up some test accounts with popular, free email clients like; Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, Gmail etc to check if your newsletter is being sent to the junk folder.

Use a reputable e-mail list management and autoresponder service
One of the most important steps that you can take to increase the deliverability of your messages is to use a highly respected list management service. Services that are tough on spam are recognized by ISPs and enable significantly higher deliverability rates. Most of these services require (or strongly recommend) the use of double opt-in list building. Be sure to review your deliverability and bounce reports to fully understand your deliverability rates.

Send a web link for your newsletter
Another method often used to minimize the effect of spam filters is to minimize the number of words that are in your e-mail or newsletter. By minimizing the number of words, you reduce the risk of being nabbed by a spam filter. Many publishers will send an introduction paragraph to their newsletter or blog post and provide a web link where the reader can find the remainder of the message.

Quality is the key
Make sure you send only a quality publication to keep your user open rate high and to prevent subscribers from blocking your e-mail or reporting your messages as spam. Continued spam reporting can result in an ISP shutting down your website.

Follow these points and you will be able to get a higher percentage of your e-mails to reach the intended recipients. Higher deliverability combined with a sufficient open rate will make your e-mail marketing campaigns more effective.
About the Author
Brad Semp uses his Cashmap techniques to lead entrepreneurs and business owners to higher revenues and profits. Brad provides free, step-by-step help for setting up an e-mail list management and autoresponder service in his Listping Cashmap product at http://www.ListpingCashmap.com
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