6 ways to avoid the spam traps

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In this blog post I am going to list 6 ways in which you can improve your email marketing practice to avoid your email being caught by a spam filter.


Spam filters are designed to keep unwanted mail from clogging up your inbox but sometimes genuine emails can offend these filters and be marked as junk. Most spam filters work on a scoring system, where they will score your email on any bad factors and if the score reaches the threshold (usually 5 points) the email will be marked as spam.


Below I have listed ways in which you can try to avoid your emails falling into this trap, I hope this helps you!



Don’t be afraid to ask

Do you have a message asking your subscribers to be added to their contacts or safe sender list? Well, you should. Just by adding this request at the top of your email will encourage subscribers to add you to their address book or safe senders list. This will make your from address trusted and avoid the email being junked in the future.


Setup your SPF Record

Whenever you send an email, whether it be from you Outlook or an email marketing system it will have a from line which will contain a domain. By having an SPF record will show that you are giving NewZapp permission to send mail on behalf of your domain, so should any spam filters look this up they will see we have permission to send using your domain. To do this you will need to add "include:newzapp.co.uk" (minus the quotes) to your SPF record. It is recommended to ask your hosting company or I.T Team to handle this for you.


Spammy words and actions

Certain spammy words or actions can cause your email to be zapped by a spam filter. A spam filter will look for certain words and score your email accordingly, if it reaches a certain score (usually 5 points) it will mark the email as spam and place it in the spam folder. Here are a few points that you should avoid;

  • Excessive use of exclamation marks!!!!!!
  • Use of words in red
  • MS Word Coding
  • Embedding a video or form - these have scripts that will most likely be disabled making them useless

On the subject

If you have a badly chosen subject line this can sometimes cause your email to be marked as spam, depending on how bad the subject is. Some email filters will let the email through if it doesn’t score it high, and some will junk the email due to the filter being offended. It is recommended you should avoid the following sensitive subject lines;

  • A very long subject line could get you scored higher, also it would not fit in the recipient’s client
  • Free or money off
  • Special offer
  • Limited time offer – today only!
  • Save 20%
  • Gift certificate discount

Alt text on images

By setting the alt text (alternative text) on your images, you will display the text if the email client block the images – most do this by default. By setting the Alt text on your images you will display the description of the image so your subscribers can be see the content of the email, this is your chance to encourage subscribers to download the images and view the email in all its glory!


Send both HTML and Plain Text

Here at NewZapp, our system will always create a Plain Text version of your campaign and send this out as a Multipart email. A multipart email will be sent out to each subscriber and the email client at the recipients end will decide whether to display the HTML or plain text version, depending on which is settings are set to render. For example, on a very old phone it could choose the plain text version, whereas a Smartphone would opt for the HTML version.


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Mark TaylorPosted by:
My name is Mark Taylor and I've been working in Email Marketing support for over 5 years. In that time I've helped many customers for a variety of UK based Email Marketing providers. I've seen many tweaks for issues that pop up as well as tearing most of my hair out over Outlook 2007! @emtee


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