Why spam isn’t the end of the road for your email marketing

Why spam isn’t the end of the road for your email marketing



Many small business marketers hold a misconception that email marketing isn’t effective or worth trying due to their campaigns potentially being marked as spam. If you’re a small business owner who wants to use email marketing for its cost-effectiveness and flexibility, yet shy away because of the spam factor, this article is for you. We’re here to shed light on a few things that’ll help you understand the nuances of spam and how to avoid letting it become a roadblock to executing a successful email marketing campaign.

What is spam?

In today’s email marketing world, spam is largely the result of some bad practices and irrelevant targeting. In a moment, we’ll explain how to remedy these mistakes.
 
But how and why did spam come into existence? In general, spam is an unsolicited email sent by someone in an attempt to dupe people. A good example is an email that says your bank account is locked for security reasons and wants you to click a link for immediate recovery.
 
To protect people from email scams, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and ESPs (Email Service Providers) like Gmail, Yahoo, Zoho Mail, and more have set stringent rules and regulations for what emails can successfully arrive in your inbox. They also build and maintain spam filters and algorithms to run compliance checks on every email. So if you’re not complying with the standards, you’re preemptively considered a spammer, even if your intentions are good.
 
Now, assuming your emails pass the test of ISPs and ESPs, your contacts may mark you as spam if your messages are irrelevant or not useful to them. The bottom line is, you’ll be in trouble only when you don’t follow the basics before launching your campaign. 

How to avoid spam  

Now that you know what spam is and what flags your email as spam, here’s a list of practices that make your campaigns safe and fruitful.

Use an authenticated domain

What’s the first thing you would do after buying a vehicle? You lawfully register it for official identification. Similarly, once you have your email marketing database and software ready, buying your own domain and authenticating it with records like SPF and DKIM should be your next move. These records act as the “license plate” for your emails when they are stopped and checked to see if they are spam.
 
As a bonus, using your own domain (for example, xyz@zylker.com) creates a sense of security for contacts who see your email, ultimately increasing your brand value. Since spammers generally use free domains of ESPs to send spam, your emails look highly suspicious in the eyes of spam filters if you don’t use your domain.
 
Quick tipDomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is the most widely used domain authentication method.

Clean your email lists regularly  

As an email marketer, you go back to the drawing board if your contacts are not opening the emails. But what if the contacts you presume are active don’t exist at all?
 
Emails sent to invalid and inactive email addresses return as a bounce. If the trend continues and your bounce rate becomes far too high, your sender reputation (a score assigned by ESPs) takes a beating. Once the score goes below the defined level, your emails land in your contacts’ spam folder.
 
To ensure this doesn’t happen, you’ll have to clean your mailing lists often. Moreover, following a double opt-in process helps you add only valid contacts into your lists.

 Segment your target audience  

Imagine ordering a pizza online while you’ve barely eaten anything, only to see the delivery man bring cupcakes after an hour. You’d be upset, right? Your contacts also might feel the same way if they receive emails that are irrelevant to them. For instance, you can’t send a lead prospecting email to a mailing list that also has your customers’ email address.
 
But how do you understand your recipients’ taste and preferences and segment them?
 
There are two ways to do it:
  1. Using your audience’s profile information (location, demographics) and behavior metrics (like clicks and opens)
  2. Configuring different topics and letting your contacts choose their preferred ones when they subscribe. Assuming your company is a product-based, you can have topics like product releases, updates, offers and discounts, and more. Needless to say, each topic should be associated with a mailing list

Craft clean and targeted content 

Half the job of creating targeted content is done when you segment your audience. Segmentation gives you small subsets of your user group, helping you know what to send to whom.
 
As far as your actual content, start by keeping the subject line highly relevant to your message. This way, you’re not baiting your audience to open the email and potentially annoying them straight to the “report” button. Furthermore, avoid using shortened URLs inside your email as most spammers use them to conceal their identity.
 
Quick tip: Providing easy access to CTAs and an unsubscribe link is highly important. Adding your brand logo can also benefit you further.
 
We hope this helped you understand why spam doesn’t take the shine off your email marketing. Here’s a PDF that explains in greater detail how to master email deliverability (finding the inboxes of your contacts). 

    Zoho CRM Training Programs

    Learn how to use the best tools for sales force automation and better customer engagement from Zoho's implementation specialists.

    Zoho CRM Training
      Redefine the way you work
      with Zoho Workplace

        Zoho DataPrep Personalized Demo

        If you'd like a personalized walk-through of our data preparation tool, please request a demo and we'll be happy to show you how to get the best out of Zoho DataPrep.

        Zoho CRM Training

          Create, share, and deliver

          beautiful slides from anywhere.

          Get Started Now


            Get started with Zoho Sign

            in a few quick steps!

            Download Help Guide





                        Still can't find what you're looking for?

                        Write to us:  support@zohoforms.com


                              




                            

                          Zoho Marketing Automation

                            Zoho Sheet Resources

                             




                                Zoho Forms Resources


                                  Secure your business
                                  communication with Zoho Mail


                                  Mail on the move with
                                  Zoho Mail mobile application

                                    Stay on top of your schedule
                                    at all times


                                    Carry your calendar with you
                                    Anytime, anywhere




                                          Zoho Sign Resources

                                            Sign, Paperless!

                                            Sign and send business documents on the go!

                                            Get Started Now


                                                Zoho SalesIQ Resources



                                                    Zoho TeamInbox Resources



                                                            Zoho DataPrep Resources



                                                              Zoho DataPrep Demo

                                                              Get a personalized demo or POC

                                                              REGISTER NOW


                                                                Design. Discuss. Deliver.

                                                                Create visually engaging stories with Zoho Show.

                                                                Get Started Now











                                                                                      • Related Articles

                                                                                      • Getting started with email deliverability

                                                                                        Identifying the needs and interests of contacts and conceptualizing email campaigns around those are part and parcel of a marketer's daily routine. Sometimes marketers may assume that crafting a compelling campaign alone will help them hit their ...
                                                                                      • Eight common practices that affect email deliverability

                                                                                        Email deliverability is the ability to land emails in the inbox of your recipients. If your campaign's deliverability takes a hit, it might be due to certain email marketing practices you follow. Let's dive deep and learn about practices that affect ...
                                                                                      • Why a new domain won’t fix a blacklisted domain

                                                                                        The user manual of every email marketing software solution says, “We don’t recommend sending emails from multiple domains.” Though a simple statement, given the subject’s abstractness, we wanted to give you a detailed explainer why this is true.   ...
                                                                                      • How email engagement magically boosts inbox placement

                                                                                        Mailbox providers such as Gmail, Yahoo!and others have been validating a lot of data points like spammy content, email engagement, and user interests to offer inbox placement —i.e. the number of emails that actually reach an inbox as opposed to ...
                                                                                      • How a public domain sender address affects email deliverability

                                                                                        Whenever you send campaigns, they will be delivered to the receiving server of the respective mailbox provider. The receiving server will offer inbox placement after carefully scrutinizing the email. If the emails are from a source that the mailbox ...
                                                                                      Wherever you are is as good as
                                                                                      your workplace

                                                                                        Resources

                                                                                        Videos

                                                                                        Watch comprehensive videos on features and other important topics that will help you master Zoho CRM.



                                                                                        eBooks

                                                                                        Download free eBooks and access a range of topics to get deeper insight on successfully using Zoho CRM.



                                                                                        Webinars

                                                                                        Sign up for our webinars and learn the Zoho CRM basics, from customization to sales force automation and more.



                                                                                        CRM Tips

                                                                                        Make the most of Zoho CRM with these useful tips.



                                                                                          Zoho Show Resources