Don’t Be Mistaken For A Spammer: Deliverability Part V

We already covered the most important matters about lists, so lets move on to content. I would like to point out here that content and list quality can be looked at as closely related subjects, as high quality content can improve your relations and engagement rates the same way bad content can put your subscribers off and make them unsubscribe, ignore, or even mark your messages as spam.

I’m going to start with a list of Don’ts. Working in Compliance, as you probably expect, I spend a lot more time focusing on bad senders and looking at their mistakes. There are certain trends, that seem to be repeating with a specific type of bad senders. A lot of people already faced them and started avoiding these messages (even instinctively), so getting into the same basket with those senders, even with your best intentions, can derail your results and make all the work that you put into collecting your list go to waste.

So here is the list of 5 most common spammer tricks to trick people in opening their emails that you should avoid at all cost:

 

1. Misleading subject lines or content

I already touched base on this in my previous post. This is basically the worst thing you can do. Period. This kind of trick will work only once, so you get one open/click out of it. After that it’s over, the subscriber is as good as gone.

I personally do not know anyone who would go “I was tricked into following link to something else entirely, but I’m glad they tricked me”. Maybe there is, in fact, someone like that out there, but risking your relationship with the majority of your list is not worth it.

It’s hard for me to give you full content, but here are some subject examples:

  • Your Order Purchase Receipt
  • Transaction ID# CC1-XJW-656 (FINAL Notice)
  • Important Information About Your Account

I don’t think I have to explain that neither of those messages were about what the subject suggested.

But the situation is not always as obvious as in these examples. What a lot of people also do not realize is that this can happen by accident while creating a message. You need to keep in mind that the same phrase can mean all sorts of things things while looking from a different point of view, so it’s a good habit to read your message again after you complete it, or better yet, have someone outside of you spec read it, to make sure that everything is clear and understood as it should be.

 

2. Generic subject lines

This is a most common spammer practice. A vague, non informative subject line that does not give you any information about the content inside. Again I could use a jack in the box example here. It’s used so often since spammer usually do not have anything of value to offer, and people already know that. To give you a couple examples of what I’m talking about here:

  • We need to talk..
  • Shock and awe…
  • What’s your big idea?

This kind of messages were used for so long that almost all email users will simply skip it, you can even say: on instinct alone.

 

3. Imitating private conversation

This is something that ISPs simply hate. Let’s be clear, a marketing bulk mailing is not a private conversation and should not be portrayed as one. Adding prefixes as RE: or FWD: in the subject line of your mass email will automatically get picked by most content filters and treated as spam, plain and simple.

Not only that, this kind of practice is also illegal in most of the countries with email marketing rules regulated by law, yet another reason to avoid it.

 

4. Masking links

I’m not talking hiding you link under a call to action button. That is perfectly ok. What I mean by that is using multiple redirections and link shorteners. This should be cut down to a necessary minimum.

Looking over results of many accounts of our customers I found that subscribers tend to click more often on a long link, and you can even say ugly links, that are on domain that recognize and know they can trust, than a nice and short link that they do not know.

Of course the more you build up your subscribers trust, the less of an issue it becomes, still making things transparent here should only work to your benefit.

 

5. Generic from address

I already wrote about this in one of my previous post, but I would like to mention it again. The from address is one of the most recognizable parts of your email, and same as with generic subject lines – having a generic from name decreases the credibility of your message. If you are using a public ISP take a look in your spam folder and see how many emails you get from: Support, Admins, or just a generic first name like Rachel or Phil. Would you trust this message?

This is another part of email that is simply loved by spammers, and again they do not want to be recognized so they do it intentionally. You should not have any reason to do that.

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Conclusion

Listed above are 5 most popular, in my opinion, tricks used by spammers to make you look into their messages. Again, these tricks are used so often and for so long that a lot of people instinctively connects them with spam. Avoiding any of those things should be an easy task that will already make you stand out.

You could actually shorten it to: be honest and open about what you are sending and remember to always properly introduce yourself, but we had to fill the page with something  :)

If there is one thing that I would like for you to take away from this lesson is that if your messages get mixed with the generic spam messages they will be treated as spam, so it’s important to separate yourself from this group as much as you can.

Next week we are going to talk about more specific parts of your content and how the mailbox filters react on them, so see you then! In case you missed our previous posts, here they are:

Don’t Be Mistaken For A Spammer: Deliverability Part V is a post from: GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips

The post Don’t Be Mistaken For A Spammer: Deliverability Part V appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips.

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