- How do I prevent my mails from being labeled as spam
Obviously, it's impossible to fully prevent this. But if you follow a number of important guidelines, your email campaign will be less likely to be seen as 'suspicious' by spam filters.
The most important factor for deciding whether your mails are considered spam or not, is your own "sender reputation". You have to build this reputation and continuously maintain it. The biggest parameters your "sender reputation" depends on are:
- your send history: the longer you send, the better your reputation gets
- your volume of sent e-mails: is it a constant volume or does it often come in peaks?
- the quality of your e-mail lists. Bad lists = bounces = a bad reputation
- the "complaints" users make by using the spam button, so be sure to create content that is relevant for your target group
- the engagement of your newsletter subscribers: the more engagement, the better your reputation will be
- What do I do with auto-replies to my email campaign?
You are about to send a campaign, but what are you going to do with all of the auto-replies that will arrive at the “From” alias of your campaign?
Don’t just ignore these replies, because among all of the generic answers, you could also find interesting information. What is someone uses this to ask a question about one of your services, products or promotions? Or what if a contact has switched companies?
Moreover, you can improve your sending reputation by consequently following up and cleaning up your contact lists. That's also positive for the sending speed and the deliverability of your campaigns.
- What are spam traps?
Spam traps, sometimes also called honeypots, are a way to avoid spam. A spam trap looks like a correct e-mail address that belongs to an actual person, but it's not. Spam traps don't belong to an individual and have no value in outbound communication. Since spam trap addresses never opt-in to receive emails, any inbound messages would flag the sender as a spammer. Not maintaining healthy lists and not abiding by the rules of permission-based email marketing is the only way spam traps could end up on your email lists.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and blacklist providers commonly use spam traps to catch malicious senders. But lawful senders who don't maintain good email hygiene or use poor list building strategies can be blocked as well.
Types of spam traps
Have you ever misspelled “Google” in your web browser’s location bar, but it still took you directly to Google.com? Have you sent out an email to “Gmial” or “yaho” and noticed it didn’t bounce? Typo spam traps work like that. They are real email addresses which, in spite of their domain misspelling, do not bounce. ISPs set them up to get insight into marketers’ best practices. They create addresses that contain intentional mistakes – usually, mistakes people are very likely to make when typing in their address in a form. Then, they analyze the emails those addresses receive to detect phishing and other malicious practices.
Recycled/Grey Spam Traps
Remember that email address you had in high school that you no longer use? ISPs and blacklist providers often take abandoned email addresses and use them to catch spammers. These spam traps are called recycled or grey spam traps .
You risk getting a gray spam trap in your list in the following scenarios:
- You acquired your email list from a third party,
- or you may have added that email address to your list a while ago. In the meantime, an ISP or a blacklist provider has turned it into a spam trap.
In the latter case, the emails you sent to that particular address must have hard bounced at some point. Not removing that hard bounce caused you to get a grey spam trap – and it may be jeopardizing your reputation.
It’s important to be in control of your lists, from opt-ins to hard bounces and unsubscribes. Paying close attention to your engagement rates – especially your bounce and open rate – is the first step you can take to avoid spam traps.
Sendtex removes spam complaints and hard bounces fully automatically within your account. This reduces the chance you'll get gray spam traps, protects your sender reputation and allows us to guarantee better deliverability of your e-mail campaigns.
ISPs and blacklist providers consider it abusive when you send emails to users who don’t expect any communication from you.
This is where pristine - or pure - spam traps come in.
Unfortunately, many email lists available for purchase come from web scrapers. To protect their customers and catch potential spammers, ISPs will filter and possibly block senders who email pristine spam traps.
Due to their very nature, pristine spam traps are extremely dangerous to your sender reputation. It’s easy to understand why: the only way they can get on an email list is if a marketer doesn’t abide by ethical email marketing practices.
Domain Spam Traps
Email marketers talk less about them, although domain spam traps are equally risky.
In this instance, every email address for a certain domain will be a spam trap. Blacklist providers would openly request owners of dormant domains to point their MX records to the blacklist provider. When that happens, all the email addresses of that domain become spam traps.