How To Avoid Having Filters Eat Your Emails
You've probably read 1000 times that "the money's in the list." If you're an Internet or email marketer, that's only partly true. The truth is that the money is in properly written emails, that get delivered to your list members. That last part is what most online marketers are missing!
An article in the June 2004 issue of Time Magazine reported that 40% to 70% of email sent to the four major ISPs is deleted at the server. Those ISPs are MSN (including Hotmail), Yahoo, Earthlink and AOL. That simply means that there's a very good chance that your legitimate email is not getting through to those subscribers using those ISPs.
The bottom line for you and I as email marketers is that building huge opt-in lists, seeking JVs, or publishing an ezine is largely futile, unless you correct the above problem first.
So how do you correct the problem? Many people who send emails know that many ISPs score emails as they arrive at the server. Email that scores above a certain score is identified as probable spam, and is deleted. So, many of us go through our email messages before sending them out and delete or modify trigger words.
I'll let you in on a big secret. Most of the words that you see cleverly disguised (often with extra spaces or characters) aren't what causes most of the problem. It's combinations of words that causes the problem. It's those combinations of words and a few other major mistakes that gets your email killed.
To find out what those major mistakes are, you can get a free report called "The 21 Deadliest Spam Filter Violations" here:
The typical ezine that I see makes over half of these mistakes every issue. Does yours?
There are two major things that you can do to avoid having your emails "eaten" by the filters.
The first one is to have your list members "white list" you or add you to their address book when they first subscribe. Right on your confirmation page, instruct them to add your from email address to their address book or to their approved list. How they do this is different for each ISP. Generally adding the from name and/or email address to their address book or approved list will do the trick. Also tell them to periodically look through their junk email folder to confirm that your email is getting through. If they want what you're sending them, they will do this. Often moving an email into the inbox will cause the system to stop filtering your email too.
You can also tell new list members to do this in the confirmation email, but that's a little late, since they may never get that email.
The second thing you can do is run every email that you plan on broadcasting (or even some personal emails) through a system that scores the email. Email above some magic score (around 5 at many ISPs) is guaranteed to be deleted.
There are a lot of tools for scoring your emails. The one that I prefer is called E-filtrate. You can check it out at:
which is where you can also get the report mentioned above.
What I like about E-filtrate is that it's a browser-based system that allows you to score an email, suggests 3-7 substitutes for each trigger word (that you can make right within the program), and even allows you to do test sends to confirm that your email will get through.
The system also allows you to check to see if your domain/IP is blacklisted. If your domain is blacklisted, then all email from that domain is blocked by certain ISPs. So you could have a "perfect" email, and it could still not get through. The solution there is to get the domain de-listed or to send from a different domain.
Once you have a reliable system in place for "quality controlling" your email communications, *then* you're ready to put your list building on steroids. Then you're ready to set up all kinds of joint ventures, and benefit from that huge, responsive list.
Implement the simple steps outlined above today and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Something this simple can multiply your profits many times over. It can actually be the one thing that turns a struggling business into a major success ;-)
Copyright 2004 Willie Crawford