How to keep your sales emails out of the spam filter

Whether you’re sending or receiving messages, “spam” is an ugly word. For business email senders in particular, seeing your painfully crafted messages getting stuck in the spam filter is no fun. No worries, though – we’ve compiled a few tips below so that your well-intentioned messages won’t get lost in the shuffle.

First, though: If you’re sending outgoing business emails, you should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act and what it entails.

All set? Good.

1) Avoid using transactional words

Spam filters are vigilant about catching words related to money. If you absolutely need to mention details about your product’s pricing in an email, include a link to your site or put details in an image.

Some examples of words to avoid:
Free, instant, win, cash, bonus, membership, offer, call now, rates, $$$, success, discount

2) Don’t get *too* excited

The words you use matter, and so does the context you use them in. Spam filters pay close attention to punctuation and grammar.

Examples to avoid:

  • Gimmicky phrases, such as “Click here” or “Once in a lifetime opportunity”
  • Too many exclamation points!!!!!!!!
  • Typpos all ovear the placve

3) Don’t overformat

Those cases of spam that actually make it into your inbox are typically plain text emails. Most mail programs recognize elaborate, overformatted messages as characteristic of spam. After all, you wouldn’t send your friend a formal email with tables and tons of different font colors – would you?

Formatting no-nos:

  • Broken code in your emails
  • HTML emails with nothing but one large image
  • Unnecessary blank lines of text

3) Write a good subject line

If your subject line looks like spam, it will either automatically get caught, or your readers will classify your message as spam. Make sure to keep all the tips and tricks above in mind and, most importantly of all, keep your subject lines SHORT and to the point.

4) Test your content

What may be flagged as spam for some may go straight to the inbox for others. Whether you’re marked as spam is determined by numerous factors such as your recipient’s mail client, anti-spam add-ons such as Postini, and the behavior of the recipient. If they have a habit of marking messages as spam, they’ll set the threshold extremely high.

Sending a message through Tout will tell you when and if your emails were opened so that you can use our service as a gauge for deliverability. If you have any tips or tricks that have helped in getting your own messages delivered – we want to hear! Let us know in the comments.