How to Avoid Spam Filters for Your E-commerce Emails

Author
Vladislav Podolyako
Published
Jul 19, 2022
Reading duration
12m

When you try to grow your online store, you need to continuously attract new customers and re-engage existing ones. And while email marketing is the most effective way to do this, companies struggle to deliver their messages to subscribers' inboxes. This article will share ten ways to help your e-commerce emails pass through spam filters. You will also discover how to avoid spam filters πŸ’ͺ.

How E-commerce Emails Differ 

When users subscribe to an e-shop newsletter, they expect to get regular notifications. Shoppers need to know about new items, trends, special offers, discounts, and other promotions as soon as they appear. So e-commerce email marketing campaigns are full of catchy images, engaging copy, and encouraging CTAs (Call to Actions). 

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Moreover, companies need to send their e-commerce emails pretty frequently to keep their brands visible among hundreds of other emails. Potential customers get a rewarding welcome, interesting engagement, enticing referral, and irresistible discount emails. Some e-shop visitors leave carts unpaid and get reminders, while others complete orders and receive thank-you messages. 

So the volume and content of daily e-commerce emails can easily trigger spam filters unless you know the criteria which alert them. And to identify these principles, you first need to understand what spam is, how spam-detection algorithms work, and why they impact your email deliverability

What Is Spam and How Does It Help You Avoiding Spam Filters?

πŸ“Š Almost half of all emails are spam, and people still fall for it. And e-commerce emails are no exception. Spam messages include catchy ads, promises to make you reach, or promotions of some medicines. Spammers steal your identity or funds, and email service providers keep warning about this trap. But people follow dangerous links hoping to get money, buy products at a discount, or become young again. For a human, signs of a spam email can look like this:

  • It's unrequested. You'll never see a solicited spam email, so each junk message lands in the recipient's inbox without permission. Frauds know they only have one chance to engage you with junk content and that you'll never agree to see it.  
  • It's sent from suspicious and generic addresses. If you check the domain of a spam sender (it follows the @ sign in the email address), you can find it strange and sometimes even similar to a well-known e-commerce brand. Unfortunately, this means that attackers spoofed such an address. 

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  • It promises money or other benefits (which sound unreal). Receiving an inheritance from your rich uncle, winning half a million in a lottery, or relieving the back pain in an hour sounds tempting but hardly true. So, remember that free cheese is only in a mousetrap.
  • It creates a sense of urgency. "Buy now as the discount ends in two hours," "Change your password immediately as it expires soon," or "Register on this website today to claim your prize"! Such appeals accompanied by multiple exclamation marks are typical for making the victim act fast.

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  • Its contact details are often missing or fake. You won't find a legitimate e-commerce email marketing message with a valid signature. In most cases, in its place, you'll see just a short name of a person and sometimes a company. And no street name, phone numbers, website addresses, or unsubscribe links to social media. 

Spam filters see fraudulent emails differently and can effectively detect malicious messages. They analyze the content for spammy words, uppercase, and punctuation. Algorithms check if a message contains too many unsubscribe links or if their URLs (web addresses) don't correspond to the stated ones. They'll probably categorize your email as spam if it has images or attachments. 

❗️ But another critical factor for successful email marketing e-commerce campaigns is the sending reputation. And below are the ten ways to help you run 100% deliverable e-commerce email marketing campaigns. 

10 Ways How to Avoid Spam Filters 

You can have a long list of potential buyers, pay for advanced email marketing tools to schedule hundreds of campaigns and choose the most effective email marketing strategy for e-commerce. Your marketers expect to boost the number of conversions of email subscribers, and financial plans show incredible revenue growth. 

But this incredible future may never come once almost each of your messages lands in a spam box. No, it's not your case as you're reading this article. And here's what you should do. πŸ‘‡

1. Create a credible email address. 

A trustworthy sender's name is like your first "Hello" to a person because it's one of the elements that your e-commerce email marketing recipients see first. And you need to be equally careful with its two parts split by the @ sign. 

  • Choose a business domain. That's what you see after the @. Individuals use free Gmail.com, Yahoo.com, and similar services, but they don't work for businesses. Well, technically, sending bulk email campaigns from such domains is possible, but recipients will hardly trust them. That's because credible companies usually can afford a corporate domain and subdomains. And spam filters also appreciate that.  

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Often, the primary domain is identical to the commercial website, and googling it is one of the ways to check if the business exists. And it's a good idea to use subdomains for launching e-commerce email marketing campaigns to streamline email flows. You can get a corporate mailbox from a website hosting company or try Google Workspace to cover your email service needs. 

  • Select an informative username. Large organizations use the following pattern for the username (text before the @ symbol): firstname.lastname. Such transparency helps build trust 🀝 and demonstrates that a natural person sent this promotional email. That's why creating generic addresses like sales@domain.com isn't beneficial. And don't worry about creating and deleting mailboxes with each new employee, for the sender's reputation is gained by your domain, not your username

2. Set tech parameters.

Setting a couple of critical DNS (Domain Name System) records can save your address from being misused and delivered to a spam folder

  • SPF. This parameter stands for Sender Policy Framework and lists the IPs which can send emails on your behalf. This way, the SPF email authentication technique prevents compromising email recipients' sensitive information by cybercriminals.
  • DKIM. This email authentication method adds and encrypts the additional signature in each email header. The DomainKeys Identified Mail record includes the key which can decrypt and verify the signature. 
  • DMARC. The Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance or DMARC record specifies what receiving mail servers should do with messages failing the SPF and DKIM tests. They can be deleted, quarantined, or moved to the junk folder

3. Warm-up your mailbox.

Launching a bulk email campaign from a brand new mailbox is impossible, even following the previous recommendations. That's because such patterns immediately alert spam-detection filters of most ESPs. πŸ“ˆ So, you'll have to grow email sending volumes gradually and ensure that your readers actively interact with your e-commerce emails

However, registering mailboxes with the main email clients, sending messages, and answering them can't be done manually. Because you'll start from 5-10 emails a day, but after a week or two, the volume will exceed 100. So, you'll need to find an email warm-up service similar to Folderly and get ready to allow 6-8 weeks for this process.  

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4. Bring value.

Bringing value to subscribers should be the primary goal of your marketing team. For, once your promotional emails are irrelevant or ill-timed, you risk having more unsubscriptions and spam complaints. That's because your recipients have hundreds of competitors knocking on their email doors with attractive offers. 

That’s why keeping your email content personalized and updated is vital for your email deliverability and conversions. And your marketers should always focus on bringing value to potential and existing clients rather than just selling. So, analyzing the buying experiences to offer demanded items just in time should be the priority for good email deliverability

5. Replace spammy phrases and words. 

Now let's talk about the email copy that any spam filter will flag 🚩. Many lists with spam trigger words, phrases, and symbols are available online. 100%, 0% risk, $$, !!!, act now, fast cash, guaranteed, lowest rates, etc., are just a few examples. There're many more, and you'll be surprised that some "business" words are on the list too. 

Unexpectedly, phrases like money back, warranty, free trial, and similar ones also alert spam filters. So, running spam tests before sending your outreach campaigns and newsletters is vital.

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This service will show your spam score, so you'll know which major email providers land your messages to inboxes. So, you can do a kind of A/B testing to define a spam-free version of your message content. 

6. Create catchy subject lines.

The subject line is the second phrase an email recipient reads after the "From" field. It should be informative, relevant, and engaging. Otherwise, all your efforts to grow open rates will be for nothing. However, don't try to put it all into a long sentence as one has time to read more than five words. Relatable stats, compelling phrases, or good jokes can come in handy to hook your audience

You can also ask questions, call to action, or emphasize urgency. However, avoid misleading subject lines. First, it's illegal as deceitful email subjects don't meet the requirements of the US CAN-SPAM Act. Secondly, you can motivate subscribers to open messages with the first email campaign but lose their trust in the future. πŸ’‘ And as for subjects, the recommendation remains the same: test emails before sending.

7. Personalize messages.

Personalization is vital for sending bulk emails without spamming. That's because impersonal messages starting with "Hello!" are generic and identical, which any spam filter will detect instantly. Moreover, your readers have received highly personalized emails and won't appreciate being treated like a faceless crowd — especially in the e-commerce industry.

So, find an AI-powered research tool to identify triggers for each user and add them to the personalization tags of your email marketing service. There's software that can search social media groups and personal and business accounts to learn recent likes, reposts, or comments relevant to your offer. Or, it can be this week's browsing activity, abandoned carts, seen recommendations, and purchased items. 

8. Send unsolicited emails carefully.

Sending emails without getting prior confirmation from the recipient isn't illegal. Unless you have reasons to believe your offer is relevant and value-bringing. That's the case with cold outreach when marketers search social media and the web for email addresses of potential buyers. With e-commerce, it's just the same. However, sending unsolicited emails is always risky. And ignorance of your perfectly crafted marketing emails isn't the most significant trouble. 

Disappointing and annoying recipients have far more severe consequences because they can affect your domain's sender’s reputation. πŸ—‘ When a user moves your email to the junk box, filters notice it and perceive you as a spammer. If your messages aren't interesting for most of your audience, it's time to check how targeted it is. So, let your cold emails shine to make your potential customers ask for more. And read the next section.

9. Make it easy to unsubscribe.

Easy opting-out and deleting the unsubscriber from your contact list can help you avoid joining blacklisted domains and breaking US anti-spam laws. Have you happened to send a promotional e-commerce message to an uninterested person? Don't worry; it's not that dramatic with the unsubscribe button below. Email users are savvy, and they hardly want to hurt you. 

So, most will just click that button and even explain why they do it. The same can happen with your good old subscribers, too, as life changes with your audience's interests. But don't think that hiding the unsubscribe link will help keep your pipeline filled. Instead, work on inviting new customers on board and improving your ideal buyer persona. This will let you define the criteria for effective lead generation, segmentation, and nurturing. 

10. Scrub your email list regularly. 

πŸ“ Your contact list is the basis for your e-commerce outreach campaigns. And keeping it updated is critical for maximizing your marketing efforts.

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Having a healthy email list means timely detecting and dealing with inactive users and deleting addresses that send back hard and soft bounce (non-delivery) messages

And here you can't do without software. An established email marketing platform will automatically eliminate contacts who unsubscribed, moved your messages to a spam folder, or sent back bounce notifications. You can't be effective with high bounce rates, so it's essential to verify emails regularly to detect non-existing email addresses. For example, those can be old or temporary mailboxes used to get your lead magnet. 

Another threat to your contact base is fake sign-ups. Spam bots generate these addresses to compromise your domain or steal your personal information. You have two instruments to fight fake subscriptions: place spam traps and incorporate double opt-in. A spam trap is an invisible box that bots automatically complete with other fields. So, ticking this box will identify a spam sign-up. 

The double opt in method requires one more action from your future subscribers. After providing the emails, they need to open an automatically-generated message and click the confirmation link. Don't be afraid to lose a potential subscriber with such a request, as engaged users are ready to pass such a verification. 

Shopify Email Marketing

Once you create your online store with the Shopify platform, you get several advantages. These include creating a website, managing orders, adding new products, processing payments, and running Shopify email marketing campaigns. This software allows adding customers and their segmentation. Shopify software offers various email templates with replaceable sections, ready-to-use images, buttons, and links to your store

The email editing includes changing text colors, fonts, alignment of all the elements, and structuring the body text of your e-commerce emails with headings. You also can customize product descriptions, activate gift cards, and add discount sections to your copy. Shopify allows up to 2 personalization values in your subject line and a maximum of ten tags in the message. 

βœ‰οΈ Users can schedule sending emails but within the default limit of 10,000 per month. Each following 1,000 emails will cost $1. And you can monitor key analytics for each of your email campaigns. The statistics include delivery, open, and unsubscription rates. It also shows how many messages were marked as spam and how many recipients followed the links and added products to carts. 

So, Shopify deserves to be called the best email marketing for e-commerce!

Final Words

In email marketing, e-commerce messages have a high chance of landing in junk folders. Poor domain reputation, sharp sending volume increase, and irrelevant content can drop your deliverability rate. But following the ten recommendations above will allow spam filters forward your bulk emails right to the recipients' inboxes and you will avoid spam filters. So, start right now, or the offer expires in two hours!

Are you striving to get your e-commerce emails out of spam? Call Folderly and enjoy the 100% deliverability!

Vladislav Podolyako
Author:
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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