Open rates falling? Worried your emails aren’t getting delivered? 

Can’t figure out what’s triggering their spam filters?

Fear not, we certainly have you covered. By the end of this blog post, you should be able to diagnose exactly what’s keeping your marketing emails from your subscriber list and, consequentlyhow to fix it.

In this article, we’ll cover…

1) How Spam Filters Work
a) Red Flags
b) Good Signs

2) 4 Common Problems and How to Fix Them
a) Your Subscribers Don’t Know Who You Are
b) You’re Sending the Right Stuff to the Wrong People
c) You’re Sending Emails to Dead Addresses
d) People Can’t Reply to You

Let’s get started!

How Spam Filters Work

The important thing to remember is that spam filters; a) aren’t psychic and b) aren’t operated by a real-life human being who sifts through every email to figure out whether it should get through. They automatically assign a spam label based on common clues and behaviours like these:

a) Red Flags
For instance, if someone deletes your email without opening it, that sends out a signal that you’re sending content they don’t want. Likewise, if they move it to junk, that’s much worse. Furthermore, if a large proportion of your subscribers start doing this, you will very likely be labelled a spammer – and even subscribers who do usually open your emails will stop seeing them!  

b) Good Signs
High open rates as well as subscribers moving your emails back out of the junk folder, adding you to their address book and/or replying to your email all help to signal to the spam filter that your emails are wanted and should head for the inbox.

4 Common Problems and How to Fix Them

Now let’s look at the factors that affect your subscriber score in more detail, as well as how to tackle any problems you’re experiencing.

1. Your Subscribers Don’t Know Who You Are

If your subscribers don’t recognize your email address or company in their inbox or don’t know why they are getting emails from you, it stands to reason that they’ll be more likely to delete your email on sight, making it look like spam.

How To Fix It: Firstly, don’t buy subscribers. Everyone on your list should have chosen to be there and should have an easy way to unsubscribe; if they’ve changed their mind. Make sure, too, that you reach out at regular intervals so that people don’t forget you and do know what to expect. Make sure your emails are set to send from your company’s domain name and use a recognizable name/email address.

If you can get subscribers to add you to their address book, even better.

2. You’re Sending the Right Stuff to the Wrong People

People’s inboxes clog up fast and they will just delete anything that doesn’t immediately seem relevant. Your content might be awesome for certain people, but if you are sending it to people on your list who aren’t interested in it, that will drag down your spam score.

How To Fix It:  Segment your email lists carefully and, certainly, tailor your marketing emails to the interests of each demographic. A simple way to do this is to ask plenty of questions during the initial signup process so that people can set their preferences from the get-go.

3. You’re Sending Emails to Dead Addresses

One thing that will put an immediate black mark against your name for spam filters is if you send a lot of emails to inboxes that rarely, or never, get opened. It stands to reason, really – if you have out-of-date email addresses, you probably got them from a third party or from people who handed them over reluctantly and don’t actually want you to contact them.

How To Fix It: Regularly prune your list to get rid of people who don’t open your emails. Moreover, don’t buy lists! You have no way of knowing how many of those email addresses will drag down your spam score… and if they’re getting sent a ton of unsolicited emails by others who also bought the list, they might well have abandoned that email address already.

4. People Can’t Reply to You

Getting replies to your emails raises your score sharply and means you’re much less likely to be labelled as spam. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible with a do-not-reply email address.

How To Fix It: This one’s an easy-peasy. Send your emails from an address people can reply to -even if it’s just or – and make it clear they can reach you that way!

Now you know how to diagnose exactly what’s holding your emails ‘hostage’ and away from your subscriber list; and also, how to fix it.

Obviously, we know how important open rates and deliverability are for businesses. Therefore, we decided to be even more awesome (shockingly it’s possible) and give you 16 Bite-size Hacks to Improve Your Email Open Rates.

Oh, and by all means, if you’re looking for a platform that will help you send out emails everyone wants to read, look no more. Just sign up for your free email marketing account, today, and start spreading awesomeness.

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