We’ve all been victims of unwanted emails in the form of SPAM. Countless offers for free Viagra, get rich quick schemes, and dating website offers litter our email boxes on the regular. Luckily, SPAM filters spare us from having to look at them, but if you ever open your SPAM folder, they’re all right there.
Technically speaking email is SPAM if it is both:
It’s important to realize that these unsolicited emails are ILLEGAL and usually the result of virus infected, hacked computers. These emails are not taken lightly, and have serious consequences.
We all see the “Mark as Spam” button in our email browsers and applications, but most of us don’t give it much thought. Occasionally we click the button, but never see what happens behind the scenes once an email is flagged as SPAM.
Here are the three things that would happen if someone were to mark an email you sent via Robly as SPAM:
Any user who marks an email as SPAM will automatically be removed from your list. If we receive enough complaints, we will be forced to shut down your account.
Every once in a while someone will mark your mail as SPAM, even if they did opt-in to your list. However, any campaign that receives a high number of abuse complaints is almost ALWAYS a result of a variation of the same thing:
SPAM COMPLAINTS ARE THE RESULT OF SENDING EMAIL TO SOMEONE THAT HASN’T EXPLICITLY GIVEN YOU PERMISSION TO EMAIL THEM.
Here are some very common variations to this one main theme.
Sometimes people forget they opted into a list if you wait too long to email them. Imagine you signed up for a newsletter and receive your first email four months later — you may not even remember opting in to receive it. We refer to these lists as “stale.” If there hasn’t been active emailing to a list in the last month or so, it will increase the chances of being perceived as SPAM from your recipients.
The host of a trade show often gives an email list of each attendee to all participating exhibitors. NEVER upload this list and send a mass email — trust us, we know from experience that it will get marked as SPAM. We know it’s tempting, and even though these seem like targeted leads, remember the cardinal rule: If they didn’t specifically ask to receive your emails, it’s SPAM.
Outlook and Salesforce don’t let you differentiate between opt in and non opt in. So when you dump your entire address book and contact list, it exports everything. It goes without saying at this point that if there are email recipients in your list that didn’t ask to be emailed, it’s SPAM.
NEVER, EVER UPLOAD A PURCHASED LIST IN TO OUR SYSTEM, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. WE WILL VERY QUICKLY FIGURE OUT THAT YOU HAVE, AND WE WILL SHUT DOWN YOUR ACCOUNT.
No matter what the circumstance is, no matter how legitimate the list purchase may seem, it is illegal, and it can get you, and Robly, in a lot of trouble.
You may be a member of a local business group which allows access to their membership directory. You will also have access to your local Chamber of Commerce. These directories should be used for one-to-one networking opportunities and not mass email marketing.
Please make sure you import the most updated version of your email list. New clients will sometimes mistakenly download an out-of-date list. Also, keep in mind that your download might include unsubscribed/bounced email addresses and may need to be updated manually.
Image Only emails cause two major problems:
While we aren’t here to discourage creativity, keep in mind that email design and web design are two totally different things, and if you design your email like a webpage, odds are it won’t look right to your subscriber, and it will get marked as SPAM.
All of our templates and layouts are coded and tested to work in all of the popular email clients, so they’re a great place to start.
If you’re going to design your own template, keep these tips in mind:
Check out our Email Marketing 101 section to learn more about smart design.