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As marketing automation gains popularity many companies are expanding their use of email campaigns. Spammers, unfortunately, are also expanding their use of spam. In 2013, spam comprised an estimated 84 percent of all email traffic.
As a result, email providers and readers have raised the standards for what content makes it into the inbox and stays there. Even if you aren’t trying to send spam (which we’ll assume you aren’t), many of your targeted messages could be filtered out of inboxes before prospects get a first impression. In addition to choosing the best marketing automation software for managing campaigns and tracking engagement, businesses need to identify the points of liability that cause well-intended messages to be flagged.
There are two main entities in charge of identifying “spammy” emails. The first is the internet service provider (ISP) that hosts a recipient’s mail server. Google, Yahoo, and AOL are common examples of email ISPs. An ISP filter can flag an email if the origin domain or IP address is deemed untrustworthy, or if the email itself has a high probability of being spam. This is measured according to hundreds of different parameters. Much like Google’s infamous search algorithm, no one factor is necessarily a showstopper, but everyone wants the secret formula.
The second entity in control is the reader. Readers often mark messages as spam if they find them irrelevant, unsolicited, or annoying. Email readers are bombarded daily by so much content—most of it unhelpful—that they learn to tune it out. And if they’ve seen it one too many times, they’ll do what they can to be left alone.
If you’re smart, you’re using a marketing automation tool that notifies you of these incidents so you can give them immediate attention. Most email providers take spam seriously—as abuse, even. If they receive multiple abuse reports about a specific sender, they often block the entire domain until the sender proves its credentials. Without a way to track message delivery, you could be sending hundreds, thousands of emails straight into a compost heap.
In the interest of preempting this disaster, it’s important to know the common problems that get marketing emails in trouble. You can then build screenings into your workflow that catch liabilities before they damage your reputation. Here are five of the most common mistakes that cause emails to be marked as spam: