Even though it's on the decline, spam still represents a whopping 85% of email sent worldwide, according to Cisco IronPort. While you hopefully are not yourself a spammer, it's a mistake to think that spam does not affect you. No longer is spam defined only by compliance to relevant legislation. Email recipients now have a say in the matter as well. Tools such as inbox filters, junk folders, blocked sender lists and spam buttons make it easy for recipients to classify your email as spam. For b-to-b marketers, these tools are great because they help improve the email experience for your recipients. But they also mean you need to clearly set yourself apart from real spammers. Read on and find out if you're making the mistakes that make you look like a spammer:
- Using a “From” name that nobody knows. The “From” name is the first thing people see when viewing your email in their inbox. If they don't recognize and trust the sender, they won't open the email and are more likely to mark it as spam. Avoid generic words such as “Sales” in your from name. Instead, send emails from your company or brand name as these generate the highest level of brand recognition.
- Trying too hard in the subject line. Look at the emails in your spam folder and pay close attention to the subject lines. Often you'll see the overuse of capital letters, exclamation marks and sales pitches that make you cringe. These subject line techniques try too hard to capture the reader's attention and just don't work. Quite simply, they make the email look like spam before it is even opened. Avoid these techniques and write subject lines that inform the reader of the value inside the email.
- Sending boring content. Sending content that is boring and repetitive is one of the most cited reasons why people unsubscribe. Don't make this mistake and differentiate yourself from unwanted emails by sending valuable, interesting content. You work hard to grow your list and get noticed by your recipients. So do yourself a favor and check that you're not doing anything that could cause recipients to mistake you for a spammer. Matthew Johnson is the EDM specialist at Vision6 (http://www.vision6.com.au), an Australian email marketing software company.