We all know those words which we must not use in email marketing. They are the same as those that are not mentioned on websites for SEO reasons. So how many are there?
We all know that gender is perfectly fine but its alternative is not. Then there’s the magic pill that will almost certainly get you dumped into the spam folder. Those senders posing as some form of medical company use words which should be avoided at all cost.
You might well have been told to avoid 'free', 'buy now' and 'massive savings' but the evidence of my inbox shows that this is not so. If you subscribe to a number of email marketing lists you will have a number of ‘limited time’ offers sitting in your inbox.
Some companies try all sorts of desperate contortions of the English language in order to evade the filter and, ironically, this often generates the interest of the spam filters. Masking suspect words and phrases is much worse than actually using them. Herein lies an explanation of what you should avoid.
Whilst the occasional use of the phrase ‘buy now’ is no problem in the main, if the bots find it in every other sentence your card will be marked. Mixing up such catch words also generates the same response. It might not be of itself sufficient for your marketing email to be diverted, but it is flagged.
Move on from the idea of a word or phrase being the main problem. Filters are much more complex. What spurs them into action is, rather obviously if you think about it, what spammers do.
Spamming changes in response to the sophistication of the filters. It is evolution in progress. Only the cleverest get through. You might agree with me that if successful spammers concentrated on genuine marketing rather than their chosen irritation, they’d be phenomenally successful.
There is an unending, unfortunately, source of examples of what to avoid in an email in order to get past the spam filters. It is called your spam folder. For one email address I have an average of around 60 new arrivals per day. Many are crude, some are not quite clever enough and the more recent ones give examples of what used to work but has since been determined by the filter as contraband.
I noticed this morning that I have a considerable number with underscores in the Subject Line. So don’t try that. Careful perusal of the content – do not click on any links – shows no such easily identifiable commonality other than a general lack of sophistication.
Some spam still gets through and these provide an example of what will be binned in the near future once the spam filters react. There can be no list of specifics telling you what to do and what not to do apart from the basics of eschewing caps and more than one exclamation mark. The simplest answer, and one that is true, is to use simple phrases that have no unfortunate connotations, employ good grammar and check your spam folders.