In order to avoid being flagged, it’s important to understand what spam is, how spam filters and firewalls work, and some steps you can take to avoid being flagged. By avoiding the spam folder, you can reach a broader audience and make more sales.
Understanding spam filters is key to avoiding them. Spam laws, spam types, and what spam is are explained in this guide.
Spam is composed of unsolicited, irrelevant emails sent in bulk to large lists of people. This includes unsolicited commercial emails or fraudulent messages, such as lottery scams, phishing scams, or computer viruses. Let’s say that you bought an email address list from a local organization.
Your business might find some great prospects in that list of addresses, and you want to send them an email with an offer they can’t refuse. Emailing that list would be considered spam since those people didn’t give you explicit permission to contact them.
What causes my emails to go to spam? Because spam filters are constantly adapting to new types of spam emails, certain emails that weren’t previously marked as spam may now be sent to the spam folder. In email marketing, small business owners must keep up with spam filters.
Spam laws are enforced by businesses not just because it is a legal requirement, but also because it is the right thing to do. Spam has a high cost since it negatively impacts your email delivery rates, and we want your marketing emails to be effective and reach their recipients. For spam to be stopped, there are a number of rules that must be adhered to in all countries, but you may find that your country has its own rules. These are the laws in the US and Canada.
CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
On January 1, 2004, the CAN-SPAM Act became law. It is possible to get fined $11,000 by the Federal Trade Commission if you violate this law-that’s $11,000 for every email address on your list. Under this law, ISPs have already successfully sued spammers for millions of dollars. You should familiarize yourself with CAN-SPAM requirements if you send commercial email (generally sales or promotional content).
The law includes the following key points:
- Do not use deceptive headers, From names, reply-to addresses, or subject lines.
- Provide an unsubscribe link at all times.
- Unsubscribe links must remain active for at least 30 days after being sent.
- Your physical mailing address must be included.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
Upon violation of the CASL, penalties range from $1-10M. The CASL is similar to the CAN-SPAM Act, but it covers all electronic messages, not just email. CASL is explained in this article.
Deliverability rates are negatively affected by spam, so we want to ensure that your emails reach their intended audience.
How do I stop my emails from going to spam?
When your marketing emails wind up in people’s spam folders, your small business marketing efforts can be seriously harmed. Making sure your emails end up in people’s inboxes instead of their spam folders requires understanding spam filters and firewalls.
The recipient may repeatedly mark your emails as spam, resulting in your emails being marked as spam. The spam filters adapt to users’ preferences, so several people marking your emails as spam may lead to your emails ending up in the spam folder. Making sure you don’t send too many marketing emails to your mailing list can help you avoid people marking your emails as spam.
It is possible for your emails to end up in the spam folder due to the content or subject line. Typically, email spammers use certain phrases to trigger spam filters, which are usually the types of phrases that trigger spam filters. By avoiding these spam triggers you can keep your emails out of the spam folder, but you can also avoid appearing like a spammer when you deal with customers.
It is sometimes possible for an email to be marked as spam because the sender does not have permission to receive emails. If you want to send marketing emails to recipients, you must obtain their express permission. Purchasing an email list or sending emails to unauthorized addresses can trigger spam filters. Take the time to build an organic mailing list for your email marketing campaign, so your recipients are interested in your emails and they’re not marked as spam.
Your email can also be marked as spam if you don’t include an unsubscribe link, have too many attachments, or haven’t set up email authentication. It’s your job as a small business owner to figure out why your messages are going to spam folders and fix the problem.
When determining an email’s spamminess, spam filters take into account a number of factors. To determine whether a campaign will pass through the filter, they’ll weigh each factor of the spam you receive or send. Your email will go straight to the junk folder if the score exceeds a certain threshold.
Spam filters work differently, though, and “passing” scores are typically determined by server administrators. Consequently, an email could pass through Spam Filter A without issue, but get flagged by Spam Filter B.
This list of spammy criteria is always growing and adapting, based at least in part on what people identify as spam with the ‘Mark as spam’ or ‘This is junk’ buttons. Even spam filters share their learnings with one another. Spam filters don’t publish details about their filtering practices, but there are steps you can take to avoid landing in subscribers’ junk mail folders.
Among other security issues, firewalls also help to combat spam and are similar to spam filters in that they are designed to reduce the amount of spam you receive by regulating incoming email according to rules set by the email server.
Consider them gatekeepers, especially when spam volumes are high. ISPs, large corporations, and small businesses all use them to identify spamming techniques, detect spam, and stop spammers.
But how do firewalls identify spam? The recipients themselves teach them this. Your list can report you if they believe you sent spam, do not remember opting in, or did not have permission to receive your email.
All firewalls calculate sending reputation differently, so they block emails before they reach the content-based spam filters. As soon as you’re reported, you’re on the radar of these firewalls; this prevents someone from switching between email servers to send more junk. All emails with your name in them will be blocked from now on, regardless of who sent them or where they came from.
When people receive spam email, they can easily label it as such by clicking a button in their email client. When that button is clicked, an abuse report is created and sent to the recipient’s email program or ISP. An automated warning message will be sent to the sender if enough reports are received.
ISPs and anti-spam organizations can denylist IP addresses that send high levels of spam and abuse. You can affect hundreds of thousands of other legitimate marketers’ deliverability if you use any email marketing service.
Make sure you don’t become an email spammer
It’s important to avoid alienating potential customers by appearing as an email spammer. It can be challenging to market via email, but doing what you can to avoid ending up in recipients’ spam folders is the first step. Email addresses can be converted into sales as long as they reach people’s inboxes.
Understanding spam filters, email firewalls, and other potential spam triggers is essential if you want to avoid becoming an email spammer. In order to maximize your email marketing campaign, you must adhere to certain rules as a small business owner. You may be flagged as spam if you don’t provide an unsubscribe link or you use confusing “From” information.
Sending too many messages can also result in your messages landing in the spam folder. You can update customers about new products you’re developing or sales you’re having, but you don’t need to send out several marketing emails every week. People will mark your emails as spam if you flood their inboxes with marketing emails.
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