In any marketing campaign, we would like our emails to land in the intended recipient’s inbox instead of their spam folder, so as to have more “opens” and “clicks” from the email. The intended recipient’s mailbox decides whether to mark the received email as a spam or to let it land in the inbox. The mailbox does this activity based on the contents of the email like the subject, body, words used in the email body and so many other factors. Moreover, if an email lands in a particular mailbox’s spam folder, it does not automatically means that it will land as a spam in every mailbox. This activity is very much personalized for every mailbox.

Note: You can use this link to check the quality of your email contents, if it adheres to the best email practices.

Here are some pointers which can enhance the chances of your emails being delivered in the intended recipient’s inbox rather than their spam folder:

1.Avoid using spam triggering keywords: Do not use any words which flag the email as a spam to the mailbox. The more spam triggering keywords you will be using, the more probable it will be for the email to land in the spam folder rather than the inbox.

Note: Find the list of spam triggering keywords in this link.

Note: You can use the below mentioned links to check the quality of your email contents from the spam triggering aspect:
http://www.emailspamtest.com/
http://info.contactology.com/check-mqs

2. Maintain high “text to image” ratio: The email body should have a high “text to image” ratio. In case, the email body has a lot of images, try to fit in as much relevant text as possible, both above as well as below the images. This will convince the mailbox that the images are informative to the intended recipient and should not be categorized as spam.

Text only emails have a 10 times higher open rate

3. Keep the text and html versions of the email identical: You must maintain exactly the same version for the text as well as the html version of the email so that the intended recipient’s mailbox does not get suspicious and lands the email in the inbox rather than the spam folder.

4. Have “Unsubscribe” and “Report Spam” links in the email body: Having these links convinces the mailbox that the email has come from a responsible source and thus, it will be less likely that the mailbox will land the email in the spam folder.

5. Add your postal address in the email body: This makes the email more reliable and trusted from the mailbox point of view. Moreover, in some countries, it is compulsory to add your postal address in all of your email campaigns.
Keep “reply to” same as the “from” field: This makes your email more reliable as the mailbox understand that the received email can be replied to easily by the intended recipient.

Note: It is highly recommended that a decision should not be made about “spam” based on a small amount of email samples. Email campaigns should be carried out and the email open rates as well as the email clicked rates should be monitored for at least 2 to 5 weeks before coming to any decision about the “spams”.

There is a law which covers all commercial messages and emails. This law is known as “CAN-SPAM Act” and was initiated into law in 2003 by President George W. Bush, to limit the amount of junk emails that is delivered to the email accounts. In 2008, the law was updated by the Bureau of Consumer Protection stating that “Can-Spam Act” not only apply to the bulk mailers but also covers every business, who emails about business, for business.

It covers all commercial messages which is defined as “any electronic mail message, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service, including emails that promotes content on commercial websites”

For every email that violets the “CAN-SPAM Act”, the FTC can fine the organization upwards of $16,000.

So, if your business requires to communicate with your clients or intends to get new business through email messages, you need to follow the below mentioned simple buy specific rules.

6. Avoid using false or misleading header information: The “To”, “From”, “Reply-To” and the routing information, including the originating domain name and email address, must be accurate and must easily identify the organization or business who sent the email.

7. Avoid using deceptive subject line: The subject line must accurately state the contents of the email.
8. Specifically acknowledge the email as an advertisement: The email should be clearly and specifically disclosed to be an advertisement.

9. Add your postal address in the email body: Each email sent should include the valid postal address of the business or organization, sending the email. This address can be a street address, a post office box registered with the U.S. Postal service or a private mailbox established under Postal Service regulations.

10. Add an easy “opt-out” option with every email: The intended recipients must be able to easily opt-out or unsubscribe from your emails. This option should be available with every email. The opt-out option should be clear and should be easy to read, recognize, understand and implement by an ordinary person. This can be a simple “unsubscribe” link or any other web based feature in the email content.

11. Honoring “Opt-Out” request promptly: Any “Opt-Out” mechanism offered should be able to process the “opt-out” requests for at least 30 days after the email is send. Any “opt-out” request should be processed within 10 business days. While processing “opt-out” requests, one cannot:

– Charge a fee
– Ask a recipient for any other information other than the email address
– Ask a recipient to take any action other than sending a reply email or visiting a single webpage
– Sell or transfer the recipient’s email address

12. Being responsible of what others are doing on your behalf: Even if you are not doing the email marketing, but have assigned some other organization to do the task on your behalf, you cannot escape away from the legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the organization whose product is promoted in the emails as well as the organization which is sending the emails can be held legally responsible for any lapse in the compliance of the law.

Note: For more information on the “CAN-SPAM Act”, please go through the link.

Also, you can fine the rules and guidelines for using Ariticmail Whitelabel here.

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