How to ensure your emails don't end up as SPAM | Act! Emarketing How to ensure your emails don't end up as SPAM | Act! Emarketing

How to ensure your emails don’t end up as SPAM

How to avoid emails ending up as spam

Email marketing can be a very effective way to stay ‘front of mind’ with your customers but before investing time and resources into creating an email campaign there are several elements to consider.

You need to design and create effective content, calls to action and landing pages and make sure that it looks good in multiple email applications. Then you need a catchy subject line in order to get the recipient to even open the email. If you miss the mark on just one of these, your email might trigger a spam filter and your hard work will be sent straight to the subscribers’ spam folder.

Follow our 8 steps to increase the chances of your email reaching the inbox.

1. Be Spam Compliant

As an email marketer in Australia, you are required to adhere to the SPAM Act 2003. If you’re interested (and have the time), you can read the fine print otherwise you can simply follow these 3 basic rules:

  • Make sure you have permission to email the recipient. An opt-in email facility will enable people to actively request to be added to an email distribution list by submitting their email address. Additionally, you can also email contacts that have had interaction with your business. With implicit permission however there is a responsibility to send emails that are appropriate in frequency, relevance and value. If you exploit the opportunity they will opt-out straight away.
  • Your email must clearly identify your business and location. The common way to meet this requirement is to put your address in the footer of your email template. Subscriber’s generally know to scroll down to the footer for contact information plus you are not taking up valuable real estate elsewhere in your email template.
  • Provide a clear and simple opt-out method that is honoured promptly. We suggest using an e-marketing solution that has an automatic opt-out process that will remove subscribers from your list or block you from sending to them. Using manual process is susceptible to human error and is bound to get you in trouble. In saying that, some recipients may choose to reply to your email and personally ask you to unsubscribe – make sure you have a process in place to identify and fulfill these requests.
2. Manage your Mail List

In order to gain accurate information from your campaign results you need to ensure that you have a quality list of subscribers. Implement a simple opt-in method (e.g. email signup on your website) or a multi-question form to gain more information for targeted marketing. A double opt-in method (recipient receives a confirmation email) is a great way to confirm that the subscriber really wants your information as well as verify that their email is valid. Automatically sending a quick thank you email to new subscribers will give them an idea of what they can expect from you. Include a note suggesting they add you to their safe sender list. This will help gain your subscribers trust and get you on their personal whitelist. After each campaign, update your mail list up with bounced emails, as continually sending to an email that is no longer in use will get you on that ISP’s blacklist. See how to update your mail list.

3. Email Content

It might seem obvious but the content of your email needs to be relevant and valuable to the reader otherwise you’ll risk being passed to the junk mail folder (or the recipient will simply unsubscribe). In addition to your amazing message, there are a few do’s and don’ts to consider to avoid triggering the spam filter.

  • Customise your email templates with your website theme and logo to clearly identify your brand.
  • Don’t overuse spam keywords such as free, buy now and click here.
  • Don’t use exclamation marks or capital letters to shout at readers e.g BUY NOW!!
  • Balance the text to image ratio to around 60/40. Spam filters cannot read images however embedding text in images is not going to trick them either. Even if you make it through, 60% of customers have images disabled so you’ll risk your message being missed.
  • Keep your HTML code to less than 50% of the total message, as spam filters are more likely to let simple rather than complex messages into a recipient’s inbox. Converting files from Microsoft Word, webpages or other emails create redundant HTML code. If you don’t have the capacity to edit this code, use a specialised emarketing tool to re-create templates. Find out what tools to use with Act!
  • Avoid unnecessary or hidden text and certainly don’t use false or misleading information.
  • Don’t attach files to your email – include a link instead. Your images should reference online files so they don’t end up as attachments to your email. Act! emarketing tools enable you to upload your files and images to their server to make this easy for you.
  • Make sure the links in your email are valid and include the http:// in the URL
  • As a final test, run your email through a Spam Checker to identify areas that may be an issue e.g. or
4. Subject Line

The subject line is the doorway to your message so take some time to make it effective. Take note of the email subject lines that you click on and use them for inspiration.

  • It should be short and to the point and reflect the actual email content.
  • Never include “re” or “fw” to make them believe it’s a reply or forward from a previous conversation.
  • Don’t use special characters
  • Never make it sound like spam
5. Who is it from?

Emails from unknown senders are immediately reported as spam so try to use a recognisable ‘From’ name and build a good reputation for that address.

  • Include a clear, trustworthy ‘from’ address such as ‘newsletter@’, ‘info@’ or better still a personal email.
  • Avoid from addresses like ‘noreply@’.
  • Set the ‘from’ name to be a person, not a generic name like ‘Marketing’ or ‘Sales’.
6. Use a reputable ESP (Email Service Provider)

It’s important to send marketing emails through a reputable ESP, rather than sending emails from your own email server or email account. ESPs that send only solicited emails and ban spammers from their platforms have greater credibility with mailbox providers. The Act! Emarketing solutions (AEM and SPE) enforce strict spam policies to protect you and your email.

7. Stay in touch

Sending emails once every two or three months can be more detrimental than sending multiple emails daily. Why? If your subscribers fail to recognise the From field, they may delete your message. Even worse, they may forget signing up for your list and generate negative feedback by marking messages as spam.

8. Monitor your success

The average email open rate is around 20%-30%. If you are not achieving these results, review the above steps to ensure you are giving your emails every chance of deliverability.

If you have any questions or need help with emarketing, please call us on 1300 362 046.

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