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Email Marketing Without Spam: 9 Simple Tips That Really Work

In this post, we’re going to cover the best practices for email marketing without spam.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to avoid the spam filters, clean your list, and make sure subscribers are getting real value from your emails.

If you’re ready to consistently land your marketing emails in the inbox and increase your open rate, this post is for you!

Let’s get started..

Email Marketing Basics

It’s hard to understate the value a good list can have for your online business. Email marketing is a direct line of communication between you and your audience, and how you use it can make or break your business.

Are marketing emails considered spam?

Marketing emails can be considered spam by falling into one of two categories; spam filters flagging your emails as spam, or recipients marking your messages as spam.

Spam filters are automatic and can be avoided when you understand what they are looking for, and having your messages marked as spam by recipients can be avoided by following a few basic marketing guidelines.

It all comes down to behavior

Emails cross the line from marketing into spam when you engage in ‘spammy’ marketing practices. 

Now, let’s talk about the best way to send out mass emails without landing in the spam folder.

9 Tips For Email Marketing Without Spam

Here are 9 Email Marketing Tips that actually work. These tips will help you avoid spam filters, write better emails, keep your email list clean, and make sure your subscribers are receiving value from your messages.

Email Marketing Without Spam Infographic

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1. Set Expectations

From the moment someone subscribes to your list, it should be clear what they are signing up for; the topics, email frequency, and so on. 

If you’re using a lead magnet, make sure they understand additional emails will follow. Be sure your brand identity is clear; same sender, domain, etc.

Recipients are quick to mark messages as spam if they don’t recognize the sender, thought they would only receive one email from you that contained your lead magnet, or if what they received didn’t match their expectations.

And most importantly, email marketing requires consent. Never buy leads or email lists and add them into your marketing software.

2. Respect The Inbox

The average person receives dozens (if not more) of emails every day. Test different sending times to make sure your email doesn’t get lost in the daily flood of emails. 

Respect their inbox, don’t add to the clutter. 

Sending too many emails or using clickbait headlines all but guarantees your messages will be ignored, deleted, marked as spam, or they may even unsubscribe. 

3. Be Consistent

While it may be obvious that sending too many emails is bad, sending too few emails can hurt your marketing efforts.

If there are large gaps between your emails, subscribers might forget who you are or why they signed up. 

Whether it’s 1 email per week or 1 email per month, develop a schedule that works for your business and stick to it. 

4. Focus On The Subject Line

Without a compelling subject line, nobody will open your email. It’s a good rule of thumb to spend more time crafting a good subject line than on writing the email body. 

It’s a fine line between a great subject line and clickbait, so you’ll need to do some experimentation. A good email marketing service will let you A/B test different subject lines to see which is better.

You can even add a bit of personalization here, but remember:

Personalization is not about first & last name. It’s about relevant content.

Click to Post

5. Utilize Proper Formatting

The hardest task is getting someone to open your email, so don’t blow this opportunity with a poorly formatted message.

Avoid fancy newsletter templates and go with a simpler approach; plain text, short sentences, minimal images, and a clear CTA. 

A good email is quick & easy to read, looks good on both desktop and mobile, and has a clear call-to-action. 

6. Try The Indirect Approach

A big reason that marketing emails are often seen as spam is that they push too hard for the sale. The sales funnel is a process. Success happens when there is a steady build towards the sale. 

Opt for a softer sell inside your marketing emails. Send the subscriber to a blog post or landing page where you can close the deal. 

Too many sales pitches will lead to a higher unsubscribe rate, so add value first. Keep the selling to a minimum. Building long term loyal followers is a better goal than short term sales.

7. Avoid These Spam Triggers

Be aware of the common trigger words that will get your emails sent straight to the spam folder. Taking a look inside your spam folder will give you a good idea of what not to do. 

The other common spam trigger is link etiquette. Only include 1-2 links max in an email, and from trusted domains. Non-branded URL shorteners and links through affiliate networks are a big red flag.

These simple steps will help you avoid automatic spam filtering.

8. Use The Right Tools

Email marketing without spam consists of both behavior and good tools. Using an email marketing service provider with a good reputation is a good start. 

Recommended Resource

ConvertKit Email Marketing Software

There are also additional tools that can help you verify email addresses are legitimate (to reduce your bounce rate), tools to show you which Gmail tab your email is likely to land in, and so on.

One of the best ‘tools’ you can use is subscribing to your own mailing list. This lets you see whether any dynamic content or personalization is actually working, and whether your email is getting sent to the spam folder.

the Inner Circle Newsletter

9. Keep It Clean

The last thing to consider is cleaning your list. It’s not the total number of subscribers that matters, it’s the quality of your list. 

Deleting inactive subscribers both increases your open rate and decreases the cost of your email marketing software.

Treat your email list like an asset, not a vanity metric. In the end, it’s the results that matter.

Final Thoughts

Growing an email list is vital to your business, but it’s equally important to practice email marketing without spam. 

Set clear expectations, follow best practices, and don’t violate their trust.

What about you?

What’s your number one email marketing tip?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

  • Minimize the number of links, ideally 3 or less, and remember that the unsubscribe link counts as one of them.

    • Great point, Charlie! A single ‘call to action’ tends to work best, and keeps you out of the spam folder.

  • Thank you for these tips. My list is small right now, but I will refer back here as it grows.

  • Anastasia says:

    Thanks for sharing that email tab tool. Is it for Gmail only?

    • Hi Anastasia, that specific tool is just for Gmail. But since 70% of our subscribers use Gmail, it tends to be a good quick reference point.

  • I think the best tip is what you have at point number 6. Indirect sales let you warm up the leads instead of going for the close too soon. Cheers from Gibraltar!

  • My advice is to use a mix of automated emails and live email blasts. This way, they get steady emails that are automated, but you can also reference the time of year, etc. with the live messages. It will make the communication seem dynamic rather than sterile.

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