A recent blog post on the The Non-Profit Times’ web site prompted me to ask, “Why ask how?” when it comes to avoiding mistakes that will land you in the Spam bucket. You and I are probably the least qualified to know the best answers to this critical issue, so don’t take it on.
Any emailer worth her salt knows that today’s email management programs pre-screen emails for “spamability” because it’s their servers who suffer from blacklisting.
If you are not using an email management system, you should be. Even the smallest lists are better handled by companies like MagnetMail or ConstantContact, and cost little to nothing to get started.
Most importantly, they think about spam every day, all day, and how to avoid that label. They are more up to date than you will ever hope to be at understanding spam filters and the latest changes in technology.
If your email is CAN-SPAM compliant, you should be fine – unless you’re using unacceptable language. And these programs automatically analyze your emails, before they are sent, for all compliance issues.
Average spam clicks should be no more than 1 or 2 per 1,000 emails delivered. More than that, and your practices are suspect.
Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how to get through the filters – let the pros do it for you. You can then concentrate on the message itself. Which, if done correctly, will encourage an “Unsubscribe” rather than “Spam” click from an uninterested recipient.
[2017 update: OK, relax. This was written before the anti-spam automation systems were so easy and built in. Today, this is pretty much a non-issue because virtually all email solutions have skin-tight control over spam compliance.]