Email is one of the oldest Internet tools, and has survived to the present, practically unchanged; however, it has acquired a huge amount of associated standards and application practices documented nowhere else.

In the email standards themselves, there are no ways to check the sending or prevent unwanted mailings and spam. Therefore, any mail server (Gmail.com, Yahoo.com, etc.) performs a number of additional checks to weed out unwanted correspondence.

We have compiled a list of tips that will help you pass these additional checks. Many of the recommendations below are not mandatory, but the more of them you will do, the higher the probability that problems with the delivery of of emails will not arise.

InfluencerSoft service gives you the opportunity to send emails with pre-defined settings, so that your emails will reach the “inbox” folder; however, we remind you that the delivery of emails to the “inbox” largely lies with the author of mailings!

Basic recommendations for mailing

Do what you promised!

The content of the newsletter must match the promises you made on the subscription page. Write honestly, do not deceive the expectations of the recipients.

If the subscriber does not receive what was promised – in the best case scenario he will simply unsubscribe from you, and in the worst case scenario he will click on “SPAM.” Each click on the “SPAM” button from the subscribers’ side lowers the loyalty of the mail services to your mailing.

The ideal scheme is to get a subscriber and “fill up” with his advertising, with his (and not only his) projects with minimal impregnations of valuable content – this is the inevitable way to get into spam. Hence the following three rules:

Do not burn out the base by mailing

It is strongly advised not to send more than 1 email a day to the same subscriber groups without a good reason, otherwise the mail services are guaranteed to class you as a spammer – it’s only a matter of time.

Many people agree that the optimal frequency of mailings is not more than 3 times a week and at least once a month. If you send more often – your newsletter may get boring (which will increase the number of clicks on the “SPAM” button), if less – subscribers will not recognize you and forget that they subscribed to your mailings (which will also increase the number of clicks on the “SPAM” button) .

Be careful with reciprocity and advertising

Many authors in the pursuit of financial gain begin to actively participate in promotions of mutual piracy or in advertising of other projects.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with moderation on using such methods of monetizing traffic and increasing the subscriber base. But this becomes a serious problem when advertising or reciprocity becomes:

  • Persistent and intrusive
  • Not belonging to the subject of your newsletter

A subscriber is not a callous idiot who throws away money – he is a person. Email distribution, despite all its mass character, is a means of maximally close communication with your target audience. Respect and love your target audience!

In our practice, there were paradoxical cases when authors threw the subscribers dozens of rambling emails a day, starting from computer literacy courses and gardening tools to offers for increasing male dignity. Of course, such authors are forever blocked by mail services and were not our customers for long.

Be loyal to your style of mailing

Spam filters of email services are extremely complex systems that track tens and hundreds of parameters. They monitor the indicators of your mailings hourly: from which IPs they are committed, from which domain, and with what function. Based on this, the mailing-service workers build a model of your behavior and make a prediction for the future.

If you start to behave atypically for your model of behavior, for example, dramatically increasing the number of emails sent or changing the sending IP server, mailing-service workers can treat this with suspicion.

From this there are two very important points:

  1. When moving to a new mailing list service, never start sending your messages right away through the entire database. Select several target segments and carefully increase the number of messages sent
  2. Frequent travel (with service to service) adversely affects the delivery

Segment the base!

Who said that sending all the emails across the entire database is a good idea? This is an awful idea. A good idea is segmentation of the subscription base.

Segmentation of the base is the division of the whole subscription base into smaller groups according to the interests and preferences of subscribers. The opening-rate of your emails is directly related to how well your subscription base is segmented. In addition, segmentation has a positive effect on the delivery of messages by mail services.

Very convenient methods of segmenting the database are:

  • Segmentation through a survey
  • Segmentation via a quick subscription/unsubscription link

Data substitution variables allow you to insert individual values into the message text for each subscriber.

Variable Link for quick subscription/unsubscription allows you to insert a link into the message, when clicking on which the subscriber will automatically be moved from one group of subscribers to another without entering any data into the subscription form. This is an important tool that allows you to segment the subscription base.

Do not be afraid to clean the base

Do you hope that subscribers who have not opened your emails for many months will suddenly start reading them? This probability is very small. Most often these subscribers are no longer interested in your newsletter.

On the other hand – what harm can there be from such subscribers? Enough! A little higher even. We already wrote about how seriously the mailing system tracks the metrics of your mailings. Another such metric is the opening-rate of your emailss. The lower it is, the less likely subsequent emails will be delivered.

Accordingly, it is better to get rid of inactive subscribers without regret. For this you can use the “auto-cleanup of subscribers who did not read 15 emails in 45 days” settings in the mailing lists and the auto group of inactive contacts (if you still want to save them for some reason).

Do not be afraid of the links “Unsubscribe” and “SPAM”

You do not need to be afraid of the variables “link unsubscribe” and “complain about spam,” which InfluencerSoft offers.

If a person wants to unsubscribe – it is better to give him this opportunity and put it in the most prominent place. Of course this will slightly increase the percentage of unsubscriptions, but it will significantly reduce the clicks on the “spam” button in the mailer. The result is obvious – fewer clicks on “SPAM,” the less chance of getting into it.

The more interesting question is – why should we put the variable “complain about spam”? The fact is that if the subscriber still wants to not just unsubscribe, but complain about spam, and clicks on our variable – the complaint will go to the InfluencerSoft service and not the mailing service. Ask yourself – who do you want to deal with more: the Support Service of InfluencerSoft or, for example, the support service of Gmail.com? In view of this, the variable “complain about spam” should be brighter than the “spam” button in the subscriber’s mail client.

Pay attention to the subject of the letter

Even if the subscribers agreed to receive your email, they may not at first sight determine its origin. The subject of the email “Our daily mailing from …” or “Your monthly update from…” will help subscribers to immediately get to know your letter.

The subscriber should understand where the email came from!

One of the main reasons why your emails do not reach the subscribers is complaints about SPAM. In order for subscribers to understand who received the email, we recommend you to write the following information in the emails (sender’s contacts):

You received this email because you subscribed to mailings from a SPECIFIC PROJECT on the SITE website. If you do not wish to receive more emails from this mailing list, you can unsubscribe from it by clicking on the link: unsubscribe from the mailing list. SPECIFIC AUTHOR, City, Country, Phone

These articles show how InfluencerSoft can set sender contacts for all mailings, for a specific group of contacts, and for specific instant and automatic emails:

Mailing settings

Add and edit contact group

Sending and editing letters by groups

Add, edit, and copy sequence letters

We remind you that the priority of displaying the sender’s contacts for the subscriber is built in this order (from the maximum to the minimum): “sender’s contacts for a specific email” > “sender’s contacts for a particular group”> “sender’s contacts for all mailings.”

That is, if you have set contacts in all sections (in your account and groups), as well as in an instant message, then subscribers of a specific instant message will see the sender’s contacts specified for this email.

Recently, it has become a good idea to indicate the information about the sender not only in the “footer” of the email, but also at the top of the email. It can be a plain text of the form:

“You received these mailings as you agreed to receive links from the SPECIFIC PROJECT on the SITE website. If you do not wish to receive more emails from this mailing list, you can unsubscribe (unsubscribe link).”

You can place this text yourself when making an email and add a link to the unsubscription using variables.

Refer by name

Take the rule of using the variable “{$ name}” to contact your subscribers. As practice shows, this increases the loyalty of subscribers to your mailings.

Data-substitution variables allow you to insert individual values into the message text for each subscriber. For example, when clicking on the Subscriber name button, the variable {$ name} will be inserted in the message text, which will be replaced with the name of a specific subscriber when the message is sent, taken from the database.

Often, subscribers specify incorrect names, and sometimes names are spoiled in connection with a number of other circumstances. If you actively use the {$ name} variable, make sure that the subscriber data is correct! Not everyone likes to receive letters beginning with “Hello, Rovert…

Write more than 500 characters

There is such a legend: there is a ratio of text/images that affects the delivery of letters. If you do not comply with it – the mailing can not reach the subscribers.

The good news is: according to the statements of many of our colleagues and competitors, confirmed by statistical data – if the html-code contains more than 500 characters, then the number of images in it does not affect the delivery of emails.

Another point, indirectly related to this rule: you can never send emails that consist ONLY from images (without text). Such emails are guaranteed to go into spam, since most professional spammers use this technique to bypass anti-spam filters (check stop-words).

Beware of stop words and watch the spelling

Spam filters of email services do not like certain words that professional spammers often use.

Here are just some of these words and phrases:

test, test, testing, dollar, free, advertising, available, gift, bonus, commercial offer, discount, 100%, savings, earnings, ruble, income, guarantee, secret, novelty, limited, transaction, price, account, buy, urgently, only today, do not remove, access, money, benefit, congratulations, freedom, cheap, sex, XXX, investment, easy, earning, mortgage, lottery, million, timeshare, credit, lose weight, etc.

Headers-triggers also often cause spam. Do not put “Immediately,” “While free,” “Buy it right now,” or “Register sooner” in the headlines! No mention of “freebies” or proposals for instant enrichment.

We also recommend you to follow some rules that will help your emails to successfully pass spam filters:

  • Do not use the <$> character, especially in headings
  • Do not abuse the exclamation marks <!>. Three exclamation points in a row – already a signal for a spam filter
  • Use capital letters only where it is really necessary. . YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE THE CAPS LOCK KEY TO WRITE ENTIRE SENTENCES
  • Do not overdo it with bold and underlined font
  • Do not abuse the abundance of multi-colored text in an email and carefully avoid poisonous and excessively bright colors (for example, spam filters can easily block colors such as #FF0000; #0000FF; #00FF00)

Below is a good example of how easy it is to break all the rules and in the blink of an eye go into spam, and which we often see in the emails of spamming authors:

WEBINAR TOMORROW !!!!! CATCH THE MOMENT, BUY A PLACE WITH A DISCOUNT 50% !!! $:) $

Despite these filters, many authors successfully send emails with small violations in words and stop-colors and their letters get to incoming subscribers. Why? Because otherwise their mailings are impeccable – they have a good reputation, high opening-rate, and a small number of complaints about spam. Of course, the example above will drive even the most ideal author into spam – we are talking about small and very rare violations. If you are just starting email activity, you should not take risks at all. The presence of even a single stop-word can lead to being classed as a spammer

Services-abbreviations – killers of mailings!

All references in the text of the letter should be indicated in the form of a fully qualified domain name. It is not allowed to use IP addresses and url-encoded domain names as references. Goo.gl, Bit.ly, J.mp, tinyurl.com and the like – just forget about them. Such services are often used by spammers and the trust of the mailing service to such links is minimal.

If the letter contains a short reference – 9 cases out of 10 this will block the mailing.

No more than two different domains in one email

Ideal: all links used in the email, as well as domains of return email addresses, must match. Also we do not recommend using more than three links in the email in total.

Anticipating your question: no, system links in the footer of the email from InfluencerSoft (View the history of letters from the InfluencerSoft service, Unsubscribe from the newsletter, Report a spam, Link to the site) do not fall under this rule and are not summed up with links in the body of the letter. Moreover, the presence of these system references is one of the mandatory rules of the mailing system and is guaranteed to RETAIN, not lower the delivery.

Do not mess with suspicious domains

Do not specify in the emails links containing domain names whose IP addresses are in popular stop-lists.

Find the IP address of any domain at http://ipaddress.com/ip_lookup

You can check the location of the domain’s IP address in popular stop-lists on the following sites:

http://whatismyipaddress.com/blacklist-check

http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

The stop-list can be either global or local, that is, only for a certain mail service, for example, only for Gmail.com or only for Yahoo. Therefore, if the mailing service has fixed your IP as spam, no matter which mailing service you use, the emails will still be sent to spam. In this case, even redirects will not help.

Do not use a dangerous code

If the broadcast is in HTML-format, it is not allowed to use ActiveX, JavaScript, VBScript frames or IFrames. Mailers regard them as potentially malicious programs. The result is blocking the mailing or cutting the message.

We also recommend writing the text of the email, either directly in the editor of the email in InfluencerSoft, or in the Notepad program, and then copying the text to the email editor. Do not copy the text of the letter from Microsoft Word, Evernote or even Google notepad. The copied information will be guaranteed to contain an HTML code, which will either spoil the layout of the letter, or lead to blocking the mailing.

Another tip in terms of mailings – do not copy emojis from social networks or from the Internet into emails. Their presence can be negatively perceived by mail programs, and they can cut them along with a solid piece of the rest of the content. In this case, it is also possible for the mailing to go into spam.

Use only domain mail!

Just forget about using email sender for mail on free domains.

InfluencerSoft service is also familiar with similar (so far one-time) use cases with mail on  @ gmail.com, etc.

There is only one way out: the use of corporate mail on a personal domain of the form, for example xxxxxx@yoursite.com

Recommendations for the web programmer

Be Easier

Do not forget that web mails have to filter some tags and attributes for security reasons, and they all do it differently. Avoid using classes, minimize the use of styles, especially for positioning. The good old layout on the tables is the most portable.

Do not create the interface for a particular post service

Users often configure redirection, mail collectors, or read emails in email programs.

Think about the user

He can open your email on a huge retina display or on an old phone on top of Mount Everest, trying to grab a GPRS connection. Accordingly, the email should load quickly, but look beautiful even when pictures are off.

Do not forget to specify the protocols

In all URLs, please specify the protocol (http: //, https: // or mailto:).

The use of URLs without a protocol, for example “//example.com/”, is unacceptable and can lead to freezing of the message in some email applications due to attempts to access the network. The use of protocols other than those listed is not recommended because they can be cut down by filters.

Choose the correct way to integrate images

Choose the most appropriate way to embed images. There are the following options, each with its own positives and negatives:

  • External images. From the point of view of the speed of sending, this option is the most preferable. External images do not weigh anything and do not complicate the structure of the email. However, many applications and mail services require the user’s permission to display such images. In addition, the server on which they are located should be reliable enough that when opening a message they do not lead to freezing because the picture is inaccessible. Use them when the presence of pictures is optional
  • Inline images. They are sent along with the contents of the letter. They complicate the structure of the email and increase its weight, but can be large enough and usually displayed by default
  • Data URI. The content image is inserted directly into the tag. They do not complicate the structure of the email, and are almost always shown in web mail, sometimes even with pictures disabled. As a rule, they have a size limitation, and so are suitable for small icons. However, please note that Gmail users may have problems displaying images in this format.
  • Font images. Images of Unicode characters from default fonts or using embedded custom fonts. A unique property – can be scaled along with the text. Virtually nothing. They may not display correctly, depending on the version of the operating system and the installed updates, device, mail program, or service.

Test it!

Test each new layout of the message on different devices in different web mail before sending it to “live” users.

Verification of the letter before sending

When sending mass mailings, always use the function “Testing the distribution for spam”.

If testing shows hit in spam, first check the semantics of the email according to the algorithm:

  • Changed one word in the topic – conducted testing
  • Changed the second word in the topic – tested etc.
  • Removed the first sentence – tested
  • Removed the second sentence – tested etc.

By the method of sequential exclusion of sentences or paragraphs of the letter, it is possible to determine whether the problem lies in semantics (which means that it can be corrected operatively), or whether it is worth “digging deeper”.

We also recommend you register 2-3 mailboxes of well-known mail systems (gmail, yahoo and etc.) – that is, from 12 to 15 mailboxes and sign them (in any convenient way) into a separate group of subscribers.

This group should be created specifically for these mailboxes and there should not be other emails in it, except for your test mailboxes.

It is better to sign emails with real names – John, Thomas, Olivia and etc. You do not need to configure any filters or exception-lists on these mailboxes – leave as many settings as you intended by the creators of the mail. Then, the email with which there are problems with the test results you send ONLY to this special group.

Based on the delivery of real letters to real addresses, you can already conclude:

  • If the messages are not spammed – try sending the scheduled email to the desired subscriber group. Despite the fact that the testing of the mailing is almost identical to the actual mailing, all the same it has micro-differences in a number of moments and can sometimes be perceived by mail-service workers in a slightly different way
  • If the emails are still spammed – congratulations, you at least now have specific addresses for which the problem arose, and you can write to support of the mail systems with a request on the basis of these data to give an answer why the letters were placed in spam.

Of course, sending out to such a small number of subscribers may not be considered mass, so the method does not give 100% guarantee, but it helps a lot when communicating with the services if the emails still go into the spam. 80% of users of the service do not perform such actions, due to which the time of solving problems with mailings grows many times, which is simply not permissible at the speed of info-business.

If you are still in the spam

We strongly recommend using the suggestion given in this article.

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