Try as we might, many of us end up with a painstakingly developed email that unfortunately goes into a spam queue or junk folder while testing or sending. While it’s not possible to backtrack and get the email back into the inbox if it’s already hit spam, there are some preventative measures you can take to increase your overall deliverability.
Set up an SPF record
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records are a fairly easy set up and can have a large impact. When you send out an email through ClickDimensions, our ClickDimensions processes handle and actually deliver that email message. When your receiving email client software gets that message (whether that’s Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), it sees that ClickDimensions is the one actually sending the email, even though the branding on the message is from your company. This can appear suspicious to some particularly strict email clients or networks.
The SPF record acts like a little note that essentially says “We give ClickDimensions permission to send emails on our behalf.” This lets the email client know these types of messages are expected and allowed, not a take-over of your network.
For more, see our article on how to set up an SPF record here: http://help.clickdimensions.com/spf-records-for-clickdimensions/
Check the Spam Score while Testing
Once you’ve loaded your Email Template into an Email Send for a live test, make sure to check the Spam Score on the test window. The Spam Score is run by Spam Assassin and will give your email an overall score based on code and content. A score of 3.0 or higher is what you’d like to avoid, but the lower the score the better. The score will come with rules that will tell you what about your email is raising your score; you can check the Spam Assassin website or the web to see what exactly about your template you should tweak in order to get a lower score.
More information on testing an email with ClickDimensions is available here: http://help.clickdimensions.com/test-an-email/
This Spam Assassin page has information on some of the things they check your template for: http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_3_x.html
Read through the Content—Critically
If your email still consistently comes in as spam, double-check your content. Most of the time the Spam Assassin report above will catch keywords that can trigger a spam delivery, but another read-through can help you spot potentially problematic words and phrases. Words like “discount,” “pharmacy,” and even “spam,” as well as large numbers or amounts of money can make your message seem less credible. Using professional language and punctuation as well as providing relevant content with an appropriate subject line will also help boost the legitimacy of your communication.
How Many Times Have You Sent the Email and Who Are You Sending To?
While we do always recommend thorough testing, when you continue to send the same, slightly modified email to yourself, it can over time land in the spam box. Your Outlook or Gmail won’t necessarily know that you’re intentionally sending the message to yourself and may decide after a few sends that the repeated message looks suspicious.
This can especially be a factor when sending to many of the same internal email addresses; it can sometimes be interpreted as an attack on your network. This is normally not indicative of a problem with the content, and in most cases the real send will go out fine. As a test, you can try sending to a few other platforms such as Gmail or Yahoo to see how those get processed.
ClickDimensions helps get you off to a great start by providing trusted sending IP’s, but sending consistent, relevant content will help boost your deliverability and trust amongst your recipients. If you can aim to send clear content to clean lists, your emails should continually go directly into the inbox.
Read these other best practices that will help your emails land in the inbox:
Written by Courtney Smith, Marketing Success Manager at ClickDimensions