Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Makes an Email Spam? How to Avoid It

By Kim Bowen

In today's world of technology, we spend much less time writing letters to business associates and more time composing emails, so there is a large concern about what differentiates true email from spam email. Most people have reported that nearly half of the emails they received on a daily basis are actual spam emails. With tight deadlines to meet, many people do not have the time to filter through each one of these emails to filter out the true emails.

Many companies and ISP's have created their own spam filters that will deliver any spam-like email to a specified folder that you can review later or simply delete its contents altogether. Knowing how spam filters work and how to avoid triggering them will keep your emails in your recipient's inboxes and out of their spam folders.
There are several things that email filters will search for when reviewing your content for spam. Anything that contains words such as "guaranteed," "free" and "credit card" is a red flag for spam filters. Using different colors in your email, such as the color red, will also tip off a spam filter. Using numerous symbols and excessive punctuation marks will also flag spam filters, as will using all capital letters.
When your content requires the use of symbols, you are better off spelling out what you mean, or using symbols sparingly. For example, if you are discussing last week's profits in your email, you may want to write something such as, "Last week our profits hit an all time high of 20 million dollars." This is better than using "Last week our PROFITS hit an ALL TIME HIGH of $$$20 MILLION!!!!!" While the latter may show more enthusiasm for this great news, chances are the excessive symbols and capitalization will trigger a spam filter.
You can avoid the spam filter trap by following the simple guidelines stated above, or you can hire an email marketing service to help you. Email marketing services will take the time to walk you through the best ways of composing emails and will take the time to test the effectiveness of your email's wording to ensure that your messages do not end up in spam folders. Additionally, email marketing services will create reports for you to analyze that show statics on how well your email campaign is working. Some companies also offer you the ability to see which of your emails are forwarded to others and if they are even opened. This kind of data will help you to create efficient emails to send your customers and will increase your business potential.
As you can see, spam filters use many deciding factors when reviewing your emails. If you are someone who sends out a small number of emails, you may want to follow the rules of using fewer symbols and punctuation marks in your writing. However, if you are working on building a business and are looking to send out emails advertising your company, you may want to hire an email marketing service to do the work for you. These services can deliver many reports and guide you through the best practices to avoid hitting the spam folder, so this may be well worth the investment of your time and resources.
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