March 10, 2010

Spam filters and email marketing

I have heard good e-marketers lament about email black holes! (spam filters) . So here is a post with some context stats and info. on how I have managed to beat spam filters.

I started regularly designing and sending emails to QLogitek's subscriber community over the last 12 months. Since then I have reduced the our average bounce rate from 11% to 2.2 %. The reported industry average bounce rate for email campaigns according to Mailchimp and Verticalresponse is 10-20% . So it is fair to say I am doing some right things.

Here are things I do and dont do when it comes to email marketing (to avoid email black holes).

  1. I read and understand how spam filters work. One excellent source is Apache's Spam Assassin project.
  2. I pay attention to the emails that end up in my junk email, to avoid doing what they do.
  3. Follow good HTML coding practice. Especially avoid converting word docs to HTML. If you want a good guide try the W3School.
  4. Avoid phrases in the email that bring you penalty points. The common penalty phrases capitalized "CLICK HERE!" or "FREE! BUY NOW!." There is no definite set of phrases that I have come across. If you know any resource please do share it.