1.    Avoid Purchased Lists

  Purchased lists are ticking time bombs, waiting to devastate your reputation as a sender.

  Overwhelmed with dead emails and spam traps, they quickly inform mailbox providers that

  you break the rules by sending unsolicited emails.


  At best, your messages may end up in junk folders. At worst, you may be branded as a spammer.



2.    Watch What You Say

  Spam filters analyze your content. There are no magic keywords to enhance deliverability, but limiting

  the use of risky words—such as free, buy, promo, etc.—reduces the likelihood of your emails landing

  in the spam folder.


  Moreover:

  •   Link only to legitimate sites with reputable domains.
  •   Avoid large email size.
  •   Balance the image-to-text ratio.
  •   Host your images at credible services only.



3.    Team Up With A Reliable ESP

  Email Service Providers (ESP) are evaluated as senders based on the reputation of the

  Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and domains of their clients.


  Unfortunately, ESPs with low scores on the IP addresses of their senders are destined for

  spam folder delivery. Eventually, they will be blocked by the providers like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail,

  and Hotmail.



4.    Get Certified

  If you are on a dedicated IP space, you should definitely look at the certification provided

  by a company called Return Path. Once they audit your mailing practices, you can get a

  Sender Score Certified status which will guarantee that you inbox at most of the major 

  ISPs out there. 



5.    Avoid Dirty Tricks


  Avoid doing the below actions:

  •   Hashbusting: Inserting random characters in the subject line or content to fool spam filters, e.g.

                                    “F.ree. p.r!z.e”

  •   Deceptive Subject Lines: Starting the subject line with “Re:” or “Fwd:” to suggest an ongoing

                                                        communication with the sender.

  •   Misleading Claims: Subject line stating that the recipient has won a prize, while the copy lists

                                              conditions that have to be met in order to claim it.

  •   Image Text: Concealing a text message in an image to fool spam filters.



6.    Email Whitelist

  Your Email Marketing Service (EMS) asks mailbox providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail,

  to whitelist your domain or Internet Protocol (IP) address. That is why it’s important to send

  marketing emails through a reputable EMS, rather then sending emails from your own email

  server or email account.


  When confirming your new subscribers (e.g. via a welcome email), ask them to add your

  “From” address to their address books. It is a foolproof way to release all future emails from

  the constraints of the spam filters.



7.    It Matters Where You’re “From”


  Mailbox providers evaluate more than just the sender’s IP, domain and content. Yahoo! Mail,

  in particular, pays close attention to your From field addresses.


  Our internal analysts have even noticed variations in deliverability results from using the address    support@yourdomain.com versus newsletter@yourdomain.com.

  •   Avoid frequent changes of From field names
  •   Avoid obscure From field names, such as: “1338sdsd8@domain.com”, “noreply@domain.com”
  •   Use clear, trustworthy From field names, such as: “contact@”, “newsletter@”, “support@”, feedback@”



8.    No Risk, No Problem


  Your email campaigns may contain risky elements that are detrimental to the deliverability

  of your messages. Here’s a brief checklist to go through before you hit the “Send” button:


  •   Be careful with words associated with the language of sales. If overused, they may trigger spam

            filters and route your emails to junk folders. Risky words include: “prize”, “free”, “bonus”, “buy,

            “purchase”, “order” etc.

  •   Common sense will tell you that one exclamation mark per sentence is enough. Never shout

            at your subscribers, (e.g. “Buy my e-book now!!!”). Exclamation marks are especially risky in

            email subject lines.

  •   Never overdo the use of “ALL CAPS.” When emphasis is needed, use a maximum of one word

            per sentence in all capitals, never a whole sentence.



9.    Monitor Your Deliverability

  Want an easy way to monitor deliverability that costs you nothing? Add a “seeded” list of

  email addresses using ISPs that your customers use most often, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail,

  AOL, and Hotmail.


  Set up approximately 5 mailboxes at each provider then include the seed email addresses in your

  mailing list. After each newsletter is deployed, log in to each seed account and verify whether the

  email was delivered successfully by that provider. 


10.    Stay In Touch

         Sending emails once every two or three months can be more detrimental than sending multiple emails daily. 

    If subscribers fail to recognize the From field, they may delete your message.


    There are lots of good reasons for maintaining a steady flow of communication, rather than relying on

    infrequent, massive “blasts.”