HTML Emails & Lotus Notes: Some Guidelines
DMA UK releases National Email Benchmarking Report Q1-Q3 2005

Little Things Add Up for Spam Filters

If you'd like to find out about what it is that triggers spam filters, you should read this post on MailChimp's blog.

They advise to especially watch out for these things:

  • The phrase "click here" is getting really bad. It was causing problems before, but it seems to be causing more nowadays. Especially be careful of using "click here" in your unsubscribe link. Don't say, "Click here to unsubscribe." Switch it up with something more like, "You may unsubscribe from our list at any time" or simply,  "Unsubscribe from our list"
  • Using the word "test" in your subject line will often get you spam filtered. If you're sending tests for clients, make your subject line look as real as possible.
  • Using "lorem ipsum" dummy text a lot in your message body will get you spam filtered, too.
  • Dollar signs are a big no-no. If you've got an email campaign with tons of dollar signs in it, make sure you've got other text in the email to "balance the equation." If you've got  a dollar sign in your email with a number that's in the millions, you're on thin ice. Be really careful not to do anything else risky, like using red fonts, too many exclamation points, etc.
  • Not enough text. If you only send an HTML email, you look like a spammer. Be sure to always include a plain-text version of your message. Also, don't send an HTML email that's nothing but a bunch of graphics. The spam filters can't read them to determine their content---so what do you think they'll assume it is?
  • Don't go nuts with font formatting. You get spam-points for making fonts huge. Also for making them tiny. And for coloring them red, blue, or green. Or using non-web-safe fonts. This seems to be a problem mostly with marketers who are using Microsoft Word to design their HTML emails. Don't do that. Get a professional to develop a couple email templates for you.

MailChimp's post also contains an Excel spreadsheet of the Spam Assassin criteria list, sorted by "score" so that you can see what kinds of stuff it thinks are really bad

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