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Email Marketing Strategy

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Complying with local junk filters

How can you comply with local junk filters? Remember, these are the gatekeepers at the end of the chain.

  • An email must contain an unsubscribe link.
  • You’ve got to comply with double opt-in. That’s where people say “Yes,” and they have to say “Yes” via email again to confirm that they want it.
  • You must have neat HTML coding. You want to have modern coding, coding that fits with the coding guidelines and techniques of the day.
  • You want to authenticate your domain. You don’t want it to be from a rogue domain. You want it to be from you. You see this a lot with spam messages, where they try to spoof or fake a domain. You want to definitely authenticate your domain because you want your message to get through that last final barrier, and that’s the local junk filter. It has already made its way to the email provider. It’s kind of been whitelisted in a sense, but there’s still that final hurdle.

Spam filter test providers

So, how can you test your messages? What are some spam filter tests? What are some of the providers you can use to test your messages to make sure they’re actually going to make it through that gate?

Spam filter tests can basically be, either built into your email service provider, or they can exist as a separate service. And, it’s more of a personal preference if you want to test it separately or as part of your ESP, almost as a way to just have a second opinion, really.

Spam filter test providers include Litmus, Sender Score (by Return Path), and GetResponse. And, again, those are just a snapshot of some of the spam filter tests that are out there, but take a look and run your messages through there just to get a score to see where your messages sit in terms of spam filtering.

Trigger terms

These are the words that if you use them in your email, they might automatically get stuck in a junk folder or a spam folder because they might trigger the filter. These are these trigger terms and there’s local junk filter triggers and then terms that activate junk filters.

Local junk filter triggers are the things that people have made themselves and it’s an “if-this-then-that” type of formula. Now, you could say if a message contains the following, automatically put it into my junk filter. Some of that stuff is going to be more challenging for you to sort of figure out because again, you’re not necessarily sure what people have created in those if-this-then-that type of formulas.

But there are certain terms that activate junk filters, including swear words, epithets, and things that people wouldn’t say on the news, for example. Use your common sense. You can basically intuit what the terms are, but again there are certain words that you just want to be careful of.

And I have noticed this in my work with social media that sometimes words get filtered just because they’re part of lists of things even though it’s relevant to a reader, and so there’s a bit of experimentation. There’s a bit of dialing it in when it comes to email marketing, and you just want to make sure what are the headers, what’s the subject, what’s the alt attribute on an image, and so on. Everything has to be filled out, everything has to be labeled. And just watch out for those trigger terms. And you’ll come up upon them really quickly if you use one because you’ll know right away. You’ll be put into a local junk filter.

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Eric Stoller

Eric Stoller is a Higher Education Strategic Communications Consultant and Blogger at Inside Higher Ed. With a background in student affairs, academic advising, wellness, technology, and communications, Eric educates clients and audiences on digital identity development. As a blogger, he generates conversations, answers questions, and provides insight about a variety of tech topics, including Social Media Strategies and Email Marketing.

Eric Stoller

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Email Marketing Strategy
Eric Stoller Eric Stoller
Skills Expert

The Email Marketing Strategy module will introduce the key concepts of email marketing and enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to build highly effective email campaigns. You will learn how to think like an email marketer and recognize that your subscriber list growth and quality is a key metric for the success of your campaign. Finally, you will recognize the role of various email delivery techniques as well as the importance of balancing frequency and volume of email sends.

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