Deliver content straight to the Inbox; How to Surpass the Spam Filter

Communication and the Spam Filter: Ways you can avoid your emailers from getting blocked

By Rajdipkumar Gupta


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Communication today is targeted to the end-user to gain the right traction and response, whether it is ads, social media, SMS, or emails. To gain the attention and SOV (share-of-voice) of the target consumer it needs to be segmented to the objectives of the target user. Email marketing does just that. It scours out the profile and customises ads or emailers to that sequestered audience. The appropriate delivery gets the necessary action.

Things to do to avoid the Spam Filter

But there is always a catch. And it comes in the way of the Spam Filter. A spam filter is a software that processes incoming emails so as to prevent junk from reaching a user's inbox. Email spam is ~50% of the 269 billion email messages sent each day. Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) is the digital junk mail known as spam. Spam is a nuisance and an access point for viruses and malicious code and this necessitates the need for an effective Spam Filter. This ubiquitous spam filter is the only barrier between your email and the inbox.

Although no spam filtering solution is 100per cent effective, a business email system without spam filtering is virtually unusable. Hence, your email should surpass the spam filter's criteria to maximize its way into the customer's inbox. There are various protocols to determine whether the message is junk or not. Spam is determined and checked by filters namely

Content Filters: Reviews the content within a message for spam. The software checks for indecent/abusive language, even symbols and all caps.

Header Filters: Email headers highlight the product, solution or service. Header Filters review the email header line in search of falsified information and language.

General Blacklist Filters: Stops all emails that come from a blacklisted file of known spammers. This is to avoid viruses, phishing attacks, compromised web links and other malicious content.

Rules-Based Filters: Uses user-defined criteria to block spam, such as specific senders or specific wording in the subject line or body. Many servers will not allow for words which are suggestive or not polite. E.g. a surname "Kiss' or "Love' may have to be white-listed.

Permission Filters: Requires anyone sending a message to be pre-approved by the recipient. Usually, in high sensitive organisations, the receivers' id has to be approved.

Challenge-Response Filters: Requires anyone sending a message to enter a code in order to gain permission to send an email. This is like the two-way authentication in banking.

Reputation-Based Filters: Use an established email marketer. Some emailing marketing platforms are trusted as they incorporate software that prevents malicious-ware.

Spam filters have to evolve constantly, adapting new scrutinizing techniques for deflecting unsolicited mail. Due to such elusive parameters, at times even genuine campaigns land up in junk boxes. Ultimately, it is the onus of the recipient's Internet Service Provider (ISP) to control, filter and combat spam.

In order to ensure effective email communication, marketers need to devise new techniques to

  • Ensure email deliverability

  • Develop positive and exciting content

  • Grab customer attention

  • Generate enough click-throughs.

Spam filters can be complicated, fuzzy and a challenge for marketers to navigate. Critical evaluations are done by various spam-wares often slip by even the most creative emails to junk folders. But there are some effective ways to safeguard your messages by which you can dramatically reduce the chance of your emails being filtered.

  1. Filter Inactive Contacts: It is very important to have a clean updated database. Remove inactive subscribers off the list, and replace and add names of the opt-in subscribers

  2. Segment Your Contacts: Create a list of users, who are interested in your email subscription. It is advisable to ignore the unengaged user's list, which isn't opening your email or marking you as spam

  3. Create Engaging Content: Fresh and personalized content always drives high engagement, hence update and refresh content regularly

  4. Choose to Subscribe: Give users the power of decision, to subscribe or unsubscribe. When people do hit unsubscribe, it is advisable to allow them to opt-out and follow regulations laid by spam rules

  5. Use Double Opt-in: Using the double opt-in is the best practice for marketers. It requires users to check their inboxes and confirm the subscription. This process ensures you generate quality leads and that subscribers have willingly subscribed to your list

  6. Codes in Your Campaign: Spam filters often get triggered by chaotic codes, extra tags, or code pulled in from Microsoft Word. Use templates that are user-friendly and have compatible formats

  7. Refrain Using Large Images and Attachments: Some filters cannot interpret attachments and large images often believed to be carrying hidden messages get flagged as junk

  8. Shoot a Test Email: Send test emails to popular email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, etc. to see if they go to spam. Try using innovative subject lines and attractive content with test emails

  9. Check for Language: Watch your language; go easy on symbols and using all caps. Good content always gets noticed

  10. Choose a Reputable Email Marketing Service Provider: Enables you to avoid the mistake of being classified as junk; an established name most often liaise with top security measures.

Spam is a multibillion-dollar industry; they constantly improve their tactics to wreak havoc on your servers; Spam Filters too evolve consistently to combat them. Applying these tactics adds value to the overall marketing campaign thereby optimizing spends and reducing bounce rates.

Rajdipkumar Gupta

MD and Group CEO at Route Mobile Limited

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