1. Permission Based Email Contacts
We cannot accept any email addresses that have been obtained via a 3rd party data provider. Your email contacts must be permission based, whereby they have opted in to receive email from you about your products/services.
Please click here to read our policy on e-Marketing and spam.
Data cleanse your contacts to ensure all your email addresses are up to date, are the current email addresses in a company contact still valid – has the person left and been replaced?
When did you last touch base with this contact are they going to be interested in hearing from you now? If you have had no contact with a contact by email in 6 months or more then best practice would be to remove these contacts.
If you wish to re-engage with these subscribers then sending them a quick re-confirmation email will help to refresh your email contacts list.
By doing this you will be building up a list of email contacts who regularly engage with your email campaigns by opening and clicking on any links contained in your campaign. Emails sent to contacts that have not engaged in over 6 months are likely to end up in the spam folder.
Remove contacts who have unsubscribed and any contacts where emails have bounced. Cleansing the contacts will help reduce down the number of bounced emails and therefore improve the reach of your email campaign.
2. Has your Senders Email Address been Authenticated?
If the answer is no please contact our Support Helpdesk and provide us with the email address(s) you wish to be authenticated so that we can action this.
Authenticating an email address helps improve the deliverability of your email campaigns as the email is sent out directly from your address and not our e-Marketing service on behalf of....(your email address).
Please Note: we do not advise the use of free source email addresses such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail for when sending out e-Marketing campaigns as these are likely to receive high bounce rates and could be seen as spam by the recipients.
It is strongly recommended that you set up and use a domain email address.
It is better to use a persons name i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org so it is more personal rather than info@, admin@, sales@, enquiries@ which is more general.
The main reason is that the recipients email server will recognise emails that you have sent to them personally in the past so it knows your email address and therefore it is less likely that your email will end up in the spam folder or be blocked from reaching your recipient by spam filters.
3. Set up SPF and DKIM Records on your DNS
To improve your sender reputation and deliverability further, we strongly recommend that you set up a few DNS (Domain Name System) records.
As part of this you will need to add an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) record to your DNS which is done normally done by your system administrator by adding the SPF and DKIM records to your DNS via your domain host such as 1 &1 or GoDaddy for example.
SPF and DKIM are a DNS based email authentication mechanism which tells email recipients that we have permission to send email on your behalf.
To add the SPF and DKIM records for your sending domain, you will need to add records of type 'TXT' through your hosting provider, domain registrar, or DNS provider.
We recommend referring to your host providers help documentation for specific information on adding TXT records.
- If you have access to your DNS then we can send you information on what you need to do to add the SPF and DKIM records into the DNS settings.
- If you are not sure what to do but can give us your login details for your DNS host then one of our Technical team can login and set this up for you.
Once you have added the SPF and DKIM records to your DNS via your domain host then this tells the email servers that you are authorised to send emails and your email is less likely to be blocked by spam filters.
4. Add DMARC Records
As a further step to protect your domain name/brand from phishing attempts and help ensure that your email is accepted by ISPs you can set up DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) records which can be implemented in conjunction with SPF and DKIM.
DMARC helps you manage your domains email reputation as DMARC is a policy that tells the recipient servers how to react if they receive an email that appears to be sent by you (your domain) when actually it has not been sent by you at all and is instead a phishing attack (scam).
You can set your DMARC policy to simply monitor the email being sent using your domain, or you can tell mailbox providers to quarantine it to the spam folder or reject unauthenticated emails completely.
5. Email Subject Line
Think very carefully about the subject line of your email. This is one of the most sensitive areas and can easily prevent an email from reaching the inbox.
The best way to avoid any risk of your email either being blocked by spam filters or ending up in the junk folder is to have a professional title that does not use any catchy (spammy) words.
Best practice is to keep your subject line between 35 to 50 characters long. The longer your subject line the more likely it will be flagged as spam.
Some no-nos when it comes to subject lines are words in all CAPITALS and the use of any words such as: Free, Buy, Win, Cash, Help, Discount, Guarantee
Also avoid using text characters such as percentage signs (%), exclamation marks (!), pound signs (£) and dollar signs ($).
Please click here to see our guide on spam trigger words to avoid using in email subject lines.
6. Spam-like Content
Avoid using phrases that may appear as spam-like to email spam filters.
Sentences like 'Click here!' or 'Once in a lifetime opportunity!' or simply exaggerating with too many exclamation marks !!!!!! can hit the sensitive triggers of many of the popular email spam filters.
Using such spam-trigger words in combination with other trigger words such as "trial", "quote", "sample", "access" can really make your email inaccessible to almost anyone who uses a spam filter of some kind.
Instead of using 'click here' phrases to link to web pages or PDF documents use instead the full name of the URL or PDF document, so that the user knows what they are clicking on - this is less likely to be blocked by spam filters.
Make sure your content also contains nothing that is offensive - to help further please read see this link which you need to be aware of in order to help your email reach the recipients inbox and not be marked as spam.
7. Text-Based is Better
Make your email look more text based. Email newsletters are generally of one of two kinds - text-based and HTML-based.
If you want to increase the spam safety and accessibility of your newsletter then text-based is the safest solution.
Even if you choose to go the HTML route, make sure you format and layout your newsletter content "to make it look like" it was in fact a text-based one.
Also, do not send your HTML-based newsletter without a text-delivery option. If your email newsletter is in HTML and it does not automatically switch to text-format for those readers who cannot receive HTML, it will get filtered out.
If using images have the 60/40 rule - whereby you have 60 percent text and 40 percent images.
Do not send attachments. Attachments often carry viruses. In defence, they are frequently filtered out pro actively.
Even if an attachment gets through to your readers, it is a burden to expect them to run it through a virus protection program.
It is much better to create URL hyper links to PDF documents as this way you can analyse the number of 'clicks' so that you can see inside the e-Marketing reporting feature how many people have clicked to view your document and how many times they clicked on the link.
To see how you can use a URL hyper link instead of an attachment please click here.
9. Email File Size
The file size of your email does matter to anti-spam filters. Keep you email message size between 20K and 50K.
This is because the majority of spam emails weight-in most of the time at less than 20K.
However if you are going to be using images in your email then make sure that you resize your images before you insert them into your email campaign.
10. Bad HTML Code
Make sure you are not creating your email campaign by utilising bad HTML code generated by popular tools.
If you create your email campaign in Microsoft Word to then save it as HTML file, you should be aware that the code generated by MS Word and other tools may be incompatible when used with the e-Marketing tool.
Plus HTML code generated in software such as this can be blocked by spam filters.
Note: You can create your templates from scratch in our HTML text editor by choosing the New Campaign software.
It is recommended to have a text/image ratio of 60/40.
The theory is that emails containing images without much text can raise a red flag for SPAM filters.
This theory was formulated because spammers sometimes display information in large images instead of text so that the filter programs cannot “read” the content.
Because of this, most articles warn against sending image only emails and recommend the 60/40 text to image ratio to avoid deliverability issues.
Also, do not use large images inside your email in place of the text. Some publishers may choose to use a large image to display the contents of the whole email as it may contain lots of visuals and graphics.
12. Add the Unsubscribe Link