How To Avoid Spam Filters... There Are No Magic Bullets

Date posted: Wed, Jun 27, 07 | Author: Alynn Gillespie | Category: best practices, email marketing

You may be subjecting your campaigns to undue attention and unnecessary spam filtering. Most spam filters use a concept of a "weight" or "score" to decide if the email you're sending is spam. The higher the score, the higher the chance that the message is spam. Like golf, you want the lowest score possible.

Follow these tips and you'll have a better chance of getting your message through.

1. Give Careful Consideration to Subject Line and Body Content
Subject line content is important because spam filters first scan the subject line. It is also where the recipient determines if it is something of interest or trash. To see a list of words, terms and phrases that will trigger spam filters visit our Spam Triggers FAQ.

2. Use Capitalization Carefully
The amount of capital letters used will add to your spam score proportionately. Do not use all caps in the subject line.

3. Keep HTML Simple
Here are some elements to avoid:

  • An HTML table with a thick border
  • JavaScript contained in the message
  • An HTML form in your email message

4. Watch Your Hyperlinks
SpamAssassin scrutinizes the links in your mailing, so be careful where you link to. Links without an http:// prefix are penalized. Also, don't link to URLs using IP addresses instead of a domain name.

5. Use Color Carefully
Highly colorful emails will raise your spam score. A font color tag that isn't formatted correctly, special font colors or hidden letters (same color as the background color) are going to add to your score.

6. Use Large Fonts Sparingly
Fonts larger than +2 or size 3 (normal) can also boost your score.

7. Spam Law Compliance- Let Your Actions Speak for You makes sure that you stay in compliance, but mentioning it, or the specific bill number, in your email message will add to your penalty points. Spammers like to announce their compliance in the attempt to win confidence.

8. Whitelisting
Whitelists are lists that can allow unconditional delivery to a recipient. Remind your Subscribers to put your address in their "Whitelist" or Address Book so that your messages get through every time.

Every time you send a message, you have to contend with delivery issues. Rather than figuring out how much you can get away with before you're visited by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), bite the bullet and get CAN-SPAM compliant. It isn't just the FTC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) you need to worry about, it's the goodwill and reputation of your company.