Emails are one of the most effective forms of digital marketing today.
Of course, to see results from email marketing, you need to know how to use it correctly. But even if you send out regular emails filled with valuable information, there is always a risk that not everyone will receive them! In fact, 16% of all emails never make it into the inbox.
So if not in the inbox, where do those emails end up?
While some of them go completely missing, others are caught by spam filters and land in your audience’s spam folders.
When your emails go to spam, you don’t only lose engagement and your open rate goes down. You also lose potential profits you could have made if your emails landed in the right place.
Email service providers try to serve their customers better and protect them from unwanted emails, however, the filtering process isn’t exactly perfect. This means that even genuine emails can end up in a spam folder.
To avoid your emails being marked as spam, you need to understand what triggers those spam filters. Here are a few reasons your emails might not be reaching your customers:
Your emails have low engagement rates
Engagement from your existing customers plays an important role when it comes to detecting spam.
Most email service providers document how often the emails from the same sender are opened and how often deleted.
So if your emails are deleted more often than opened, they are more likely to be marked as spam.
The average email open rate across all industries is 30.35%, so if yours is lower than that, make sure you do everything you can to improve it. To do so, you should identify the best time to send your newsletters, don’t oversend emails, and create subject lines that make your customers open the email to find out what’s inside!
Another thing you should do is keep your mailing list clean. Regularly delete those contacts that never open or engage with your emails. The chances are those email addresses aren’t in use anymore and sending emails to them only harms your open rates.
Misleading subject line
The subject line is one of the most important things when creating your emails. As it’s the first thing the recipient sees, it has to be attention-grabbing and make a reader want to find out more.
However, it’s important to keep the subject line accurate. Don’t try to trick people into opening the email just to find out the actual content is completely unrelated to what you promised in your subject line!
Some examples of misleading subject lines that can also trigger spam filters:
- RE or FW. Don’t start your subject lines with “RE” unless you’re actually replying. Similarly, using “FW” can make the person think they know you.
- Personal messages or questions. Asking questions such as “Did I leave my wallet at your place?” or “Have you heard about…?” in the subject line might make recipients question whether they know the sender.
- Writing in all capitals and adding too many emojis or symbols such as $, might not be inaccurate but it does make you look unprofessional. When you go over the top in your subject line, it looks like you’re desperate for people to open your emails.
You’re sending emails with inaccurate “from” information
The “from” line is another important thing people see before they even open your email.
Think about yours.
Is it the name of your business? Or is it your name?
If it’s your name, think about whether your audience actually remembers who you are. They might remember your business name but not your actual name! And when they receive an email from someone they don’t know (or in this case can’t remember), they’ll be more likely to flag it as spam, especially if your email contains some type of offer inviting them to buy from you.
If you want to include your name in the “from” line, you can do that followed by your business name. It would look something like this – “Name from XWY”.
This way the recipients will know what business the email is coming from and including your actual name will make your newsletter more personal.
There’s no option to unsubscribe
Are you afraid to lose people from your mailing list? Is that why you haven’t included an option to opt out?
However, it’s one of the worst things you could do when trying to avoid your emails landing in the spam folder.
If there’s no way to unsubscribe from receiving your emails, customers who are no longer interested in your brand will have no other option but to mark them as spam themselves!
It’s always better to have a smaller mailing list filled with people that actually open your emails, read them and buy from you as a result than have thousands of contacts that don’t care about all the hard work you put into creating those newsletters, don’t even open them and have no plans to buy what you offer.
You can’t convert those leads that aren’t interested in your business! And those who mark you as spam instead of unsubscribing only ruins your reputation. If a big part of your mailing list flags you as spam, your messages may end up in the spam folder, even to users who haven’t explicitly flagged you in the past.
You’re using spam trigger words
There are some specific words you might be using in your email copy that make your newsletters land in spam instead of inbox.
Let’s have a look at a few examples of spam trigger words:
- Dear friend
- Easy money
- Increase sales
- Extra income
- Free trial
- Text written in all capitals
For some businesses, avoiding spam trigger words can be impossible. But the good thing is, you can still use them as long as you don’t repeat them over and over again! So try to be creative with your copy but if really needed, don’t be afraid to use a few of those words every now and then.
Although email marketing is one of the most effective tools you can use for your business, to see the results, it has to be done right.
However, we understand that not every business owner has the right knowledge about it and doesn’t always have time to research and learn the best practices.
To help you with that, we have created a number of short but informative courses that focus on email marketing. You can find them at our EMS University!
And if you’re looking for other ways to grow your business, check our Growth Programme, which is designed for you to re-evaluate your business and change things that don’t work.