Keep SPAM in the (trash) Can

Posted by TMG on May 1, 2019 3:19:00 PM

Yes, believe it or not, SPAM is still on the shelves, even with many trying to eat clean, green, carb free, protein heavy or just lettuce and water. Difference between today and 1937 when Mr. Hormel developed SPAM is that it now lives on both shelves and in inboxes.

When it comes to marketing and communications for an organization, a lot of emails are sent. But how effective is an email if the recipient never receives it? How many times have you sent a follow-up asking where in the world an email went? “Check your junk mail!” is the response we hear all too often.

But what’s worse than wasting time searching through the blackhole otherwise known as your junk mail? Spending hours perfecting an email that ends up going straight into your recipient’s trash folder and they don’t even see it. The worst part? No one is there telling them to check their junk folder, so they don’t know to look there.

We all know your email isn’t junk and that it doesn’t belong in a folder labeled “junk” either. Make sure your email gets to the inbox it deserves and check out this list of spam trigger words best to avoid using.

  1. Free/F R E E/any version of the word “free”
  2. Please read – Ehhhhh, hard pass on that, no one likes to take direction from email.
  3. Not junk/not spam/notjunk/notspam – If you have to say it isn’t SPAM, chances are, it is.
  4. Act now/subscribe/sign-up – Emails using “register” are fine and still get passed SPAM filters.
  5. Home/home based/watch from home – A lot of organizations offer webinars or virtual meetings and that is a great offer, but when you say you can watch from home in the subject line, the SPAM flags go up. Use something like “Watch in your pajamas” or something like that if you need to communicate the “watch from anywhere” message.
  6. Winner/winning/you’re a winner – If you’re using “win” or any version of it in your subject, you’re definitely not going to win any readers.
  7. Member/member stuff /member information– This one is a big mistake we see regularly in the nonprofit/association world because who is the audience? Members or potential members! Because “member” is a word that has been used improperly by spammers, it’s now flagged.
  8. Misspelled words – Misspelling words is a big red flag for SPAM filters. Scammers will misspell words of items they shouldn’t be selling in hopes to bypass filters but now get sent to junk regardless. Run your subject line through spellcheck before you send it and to another set of eyes in case you spelled a word correctly but used the wrong word.
  9. R@nd0m ch@aracters – Another trick used by spammers is replacing letters with odd characters or numbers. Most emails containing odd characters where a letter should be will be kicked to junk.
  10. Visit our website/Open me/Click here – No one likes to be bossed around including by email.

There are a lot of other ways to get your audience to open your email. The use of emojis is on the move up the list of increasing open rates and is a great way to limit the number of characters you have to use.

Remember that as an organization, you’re valuable and give value to your members, so don’t cheapen yourself by adding words like “free,” “offer,” or “limited time.”

Using words that you hear on infomercials at 4 AM when you can’t sleep doesn’t get you members-it gets you a one-way ticket to the SPAM box.

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