Email communication is a vital component in every business’s digital marketing toolbox. While social media engagement and website SEO might be the hotter topics, there is still nothing to equal a simple email for direct one on one engagement with the people that matter.

Of course, that dialogue can only get underway if the recipient receives your message in the first place, and for a growing number of businesses, this is becoming a bigger problem. Spam and spam filters are nothing new, but today, they are reporting more false positives than ever.

Why the growing problem?
On the one hand, spam filtering is becoming more sophisticated, so the issue of false positives should become less of an issue. But at the same time, a growing number of businesses are using freeware from the likes of Google, Hotmail and so on for their email needs. These have their own inbuilt filters, and they can take a sledgehammer approach to what they do.

Marketers need to pay closer attention than ever to make sure their communication negotiates the filters and arrives safely at its destination, as reported earlier on this blog from The authors have a unique view on the topic of spam filtering, and have an inside perspective on the challenges of false positives that senders can face.

Keep it simple
Many of the most successful things in business are stunning in their simplicity, and this certainly applies to marketing messages. If you stuff your email with links, images, videos and multiple fonts, it will look like an advertising flyer and be treated accordingly by the spam filter – and by the recipient in the unlikely event that it makes it through to the inbox.

A professional subject heading

If you saw an email from an unknown sender that read “DON’T MISS THIS GREAT DEAL!!!” would you even open it? It is a moot point, because the example breaks every rule in the book and would never get past the filters. CAPS, exclamation marks and phrases like great deal should all be completely avoided. Make sure the subject heading is professionally worded but at the same time interesting enough to catch the attention. It is not an easy balance to strike, so take time over it.

And professional content

Sometimes it is the simplest things that catch us out. Spellcheckers are wonderful things in that they ensure you do not describe them as wonderful things. But they are no help if you accidentally describe them as wonderful thongs. Mistakes like these make for good entertainment on a coffee break when someone else has made them – but let them slip into your marketing communication, and not only is the entire message ruined, but you will be creating more spam triggers, too.

Watch your bounce rates

We all get mail failures from time to time, but if there are addresses on your distribution list that keep bouncing, take ten seconds to remove them. ISPs use bounce rates to assess a sender’s reputation, and if you have too many, it gives the impression that you are sending out spam in a scattergun style.