When sending out newsletters there is always a danger of ending up in the SPAM filter. E-mails may end up in the SPAM filter because of many different reasons and this article describes some actions you can take to reduce this risk.
SPAM filters are built up with algorithms that evaluate your e-mail and then give you a SPAM score. If the score is too high, you end up in the SPAM filter and your e-mail will perhaps never reach the recipient. If you are lucky, you end up in the recipients trashcan. The algorithms are updated constantly to improve efficiency, so this is a must watch.
Capitalization and special characters in the subject field
How you write the subject field also impact your SPAM score. AVOID SUBJECT FIELDS WITH ALL CAPS. Also avoid too many special characters in the subject line. If you have a subject line with both exclamation point and percent sign your SPAM score will increase.
Words in the subject field
What words you choose to use in the subject field of the e-mail you send out may affect whether you end up in the SPAM filter or not.
Unfortunately there is no exact list of words and phrases that trigger SPAM filter. There are countless different SPAM filters and in addition, these are modified differently by the owners of the servers.
Typical words that trigger SPAM filters are: Dating, Singles, Sex, Viagra, Babes, Quick Money, Credit, Low rate, Get your hair back and so on.
Not sure what kind of subject-fields that work?
If you have two subject fields and are not sure which one is the best, you can set up an A / B test in isave.DIALOG. The two subject lines are sent to around 10 % each, and the one that is opened the most, will be sent to the remaining 80 %. This will make sure that you get higher opening rates. Read more about A/B-testing here.
Send your newsletters to hot lists
Recipients who receive unwanted e-mails from you are more likely to report your e-mails as SPAM. Each time a receiver report your e-mails as SPAM, it decreases your credibility in the SPAM filter. Therefore, send only to recipients who have requested to receive your newsletters, thats hot lists. Do not send newsletters to people who haven’t requested it. This actually not allowed. Read what the law says about e-mail marketing.
Set up SPF Record
To reduce the likelihood that bulk email is stopped as SPAM, it is desirable / advisable to specify SPF (Sender Policy Framework). The purpose is to inform the recipient recruits that these messages come from an allowed server.
SPF was initiated by Meng Wong Wong (pobox.com) and enables validation of legitimate sources of email for a domain. This is now IETF-standard.
All newsletters that are sent from isave.DIALOG are sent through a service provided by Evry Norge AS. This SMTP service has the following domain: infostorm.no
This is how the test results will look like if you have set up an SPF record (in this case the domain isave.no).
This is how the test results will look like if you have not set up an SPF record (in this case the domain kunde.no).
How to set up an SPF record
If you do not already have SPF in place, you should consider whether to go for a “softfail” or “neutral” exit code. Further description of these are mentioned later in this article. If you already have SPF in place and in use, it is enough to include the new rule set.
For a customer with existing SPF with domain kunde.no, who wants to go for nutral termination, it must be created a TXT record that looks like this:
kunde.no IN TXT ”v=spf1 include:spf.infostorm.no ?all”
If you use a DNS control panel of some sort, you can specify the type as TXT and this string:
”v=spf1 include:spf.infostorm.no ?all”
Note that quotation marks are part of the text and should be included.
For a customer with an existing SPF with a domain name customer.com, an SPF looks like this:
kunde.no IN TXT ”v=spf1 ip4:kundes-ip-nett/24 include:spf.infostorm.no ~all”
For assistance with the creation of this record the clients should contact their DNS provider, as this procedure will differ from provider to provider.
Explanation of the various exit codes:
“?all” – neutral – SPF queries that do not match any other mechanism will return “neutral”. Messages that are not sent from an approved server should still be accepted as if the SPF record did not exist.
“~all” – softfail – SPF queries that do not match any other mechanism will return “softfail”. Messages that are not sent from an approved server should still be accepted but may be subject to greater scrutiny.
“-all” – hardfail – SPF queries that do not match any other mechanism will return “hardfail”. Messages that are not sent from an approved server are rejected.
We do not recommend using hardfail unless you have complete control over the servers that send email on behalf of a domain.
Do you experience problems with your SPAM filter, please contact us in Isave AS, so we can help!