No matter how beautiful your email template or copy, if it is reaching recipients’ junk folders rather than their inboxes it is not going to be read.

Internet Service Providers are currently waging a war against spammers and, unfortunately, a lot of legitimate commercial emails get mistakenly filtered out as junk. But don’t panic, here are nine ways around it.

1. Don’t rent lists

The temptation of having instant access to a list of thousands without having to put in the hard graft is high. However, these lists do more harm than good.

They are full of dead addresses and spam traps, and using them will only alert mailbox providers that you are sending unsolicited emails. By using these ‘targeted’ lists, you will end up in the junk folder quicker than you can blink and will possibly be blacklisted as a spammer.

If you are going to rent a list ensure it is from a reliable source and ask for proof the recipients have given their permission to be on these lists.

2. Get whitelisted

When confirming new subscribers to your mailing list ask them to add your ‘from address’ to their contact book. This is a quick and easy way to make sure you always reach their inbox.

3. Become verified

Get email sender accreditation from a third party like Return Path so that ISPs know they can trust you.

4. Spam score email

There are free online tools like Contactology that determine the message quality of your email. Using tools like this will help you to create spam-free copy.

5. Do a pre-send test

Step one: Set up two or three email accounts with all of the big mail service providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo, as well as one or two generic office addresses viewed within Outlook.

Step two: Send a test email.

Remember to make sure that you send all of your test emails from the same server and that the email is exactly the same as the one you will be sending to your mailing list.

Once you have sent out the test, check to see if it reached the target inboxes. If it ended up in the junk folder on the test, it will end up in the junk folder when you send it out for real.

6. Provide a clear unsubscribe link

The more spam complaints you receive, the higher the chances that you will end up marked as junk mail. Providing a clear unsubscribe link and honouring it in every piece of mail that you send out will leave your audience less likely to junk you.

7. Your email should be accurate and concise
Spellcheck your copy. Misspelt copy is a red flag for mail providers.

Keep emails short. If you have a longer message that you want your list to read, link your mail to a blog post that includes all of the relevant copy.

8. Prune your email list

Check your bounce rate and weed out the bad email accounts (accounts with full inboxes, dead addresses, or ones that have been disabled).

Remove accounts that have not opened your emails for a long time and follow up with people that open your email infrequently by sending them a personalised email to see if you can re-engage them.

9. Use a trustworthy field name

Mail providers not only evaluate the sender's IP, domain and content of your email, they also assess the from field.

You can build a good reputation by sending out your emails from verified and recognisable from fields. Options such as ‘support@’ or ‘info@’ tend to be better than ‘noreply@’ or a numbered field.  

By following these simple tips you will improve the deliverability of your email. For further help and information about email marketing please contact Marc.