This post is part of a series of guest posts authored by popular bloggers and internet business consultants. Today's guest post is written by Daniela Baker, who helps entrepreneurs at CreditDonkey with evaluating the best credit card for small business.

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How to Keep Your Email Campaign Out of the Spam Folder

The spam folder—every email marketer’s worst nightmare. Once your emails are flagged as spam, your campaign metrics plummet, going from a potential success to an email flop. Thankfully, there are some tactics you can employ to help ensure your emails stay in your recipients’ inbox instead of their spam folder.

Here are the tips you can follow to keep your email campaign out of the spam folder.

Follow the CAN-SPAM Act

Whether or not your emails are getting sent to the spam folder, it’s important that you follow the CAN-SPAM Act. It’s a federal mandate that email marketers must follow. Included in the act are the following points, as outlined by the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Don’t be misleading or use false information in the header (“To” and “From” fields)
  • Skip the deceptive subject lines
  • Clearly identify the email as an advertisement
  • Include your business mailing address (this can include a P.O. Box)
  • Include opt-out instructions for future e-mails
  • Follow-up on opt-out requests in a timely manner; opt-outs must be processed within 10 business days

Also, it is important to note that you’re responsible for all email marketing efforts completed for your business. This includes email marketing that you pay another firm to complete for your company. This makes it important for you to do your due diligence and monitor any efforts that are being completed on your behalf.

Adjust your server settings

If you use a service for your email marketing campaigns, your service provider should take care of these set-ups for you. But, it’s always good to review server settings best practices to ensure they are following what is recommended to keep your email out of the spam folder.

  • Utilize domain keys to allow authentication of the DNS
  • Incorporation of SPF records; the records are included in the DNS settings to show authorized hostnames and IP addresses
  • Split up email streams so if one list is blocked, a large number of emails will still be delivered

Manage your email list

One sure fire way to get your email marked as spam is to send it out to old email addresses. Once consumers have lost interest in your emails, they want them to stop coming to their email box. And, unfortunately, many simply mark the message as spam instead of unsubscribing from your list. This is because it’s easier for them to flag as spam instead of opening your email and finding your opt-out link.

When a large number of your recipients have marked your message as spam, that email service provider will block your message from being delivered to the rest of the recipients on their server. This is a quick way to put the brakes on your campaign.

To help ensure your recipients aren’t marking your emails as spam, keep on top of your email list. Periodically go through your list and identify subscribers who haven’t responded to your emails in the last six months. Create a special email campaign for those subscribers offering a special welcome back offer to help entice them to open your emails. Make sure to craft a captivating subject line, so they will open your email instead of marking it as spam.

Watch your words

There are certain words and phrases that act as huge red flags for email service providers. Your use of these words could lead to your emails being automatically delivered to a spam folder instead of your intended recipients’ inbox.

The following are just a few of the words that could get your emails marked as spam; avoid using these trigger words in both the subject line and the body of the email:

  • Free
  • Opportunity
  • Subscribe
  • Bonus
  • Discount
  • Winner
  • Prizes
  • Information you requested
  • Great offer/deal
  • Amazing

Avoid attachments

Email service providers flag emails with attachments that are sent to a large quantity of email accounts. This is surprising to many people because they are able to send attachments to coworkers and friends with no problems. This is because it isn’t until the email is sent to a large list that it becomes a problem.

You probably would want to skip the attachments anyway, as email users are becoming much more savvy and cautious when it comes to opening emails. Attachments are generally a sign of a potential virus that will wreck havoc on their computer. These emails are typically deleted by users or flagged by them as spam.

About the author
Daniela Baker
helps entrepreneurs at CreditDonkey with evaluating the best credit card for small business. How do you ensure email deliverability? Leave a comment below with your strategies and tips.