With the increasing importance of email marketing, spam proofing your content is one of the most important tasks in today’s marketing. Businesses are having a tough time grabbing their readers’ attention and retaining interest in their offered product or services. One important aspect of compiling effective and professional marketing emails is making sure that your intended audience actually receives your carefully composed marketing material.

There are tons of safety and security procedures that are put in place to protect the consumer against spam and fraudulent emails, and several spam filters that can catch a real spammer from a mile away. I have done some trial and errors in my own email marketing and found that these four best practices have ensured that all of my emails have entered my reader’s inboxes and not their junk or spam folders.

4 Email Marketing Best Practices to Spam-Proof Your Content

1. Clean Subject Lines – This is at the top of my list because this alone can cause someone to either open or disregard your email. Subject lines will get caught by spam filters so avoid CAPS, exclamation points and words such as “FREE” or “BUY” because they are deemed as “spammy.” Your subject line should grab the attention of your potential customer so keep it professional, creative, and avoid words that contain the evident “sales pitch.” Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and think “would I open an email with words such as FREE, BUY, CALL NOW, OPEN TODAY, etc.?” Also, keep in mind that readers want to know what they can learn or how they can improve their current practices so if your subject line has something valuable to offer, it is likely they will open the email.

2. Keeping the Content Clean – There are a lot of ways to optimize content to ensure it does not get mistaken for spam. The tone and style of your email should remain professional and not include any “spammy” words. Avoid including too many images, use proper HTML coding, and take the time to create a plain-text version. Lastly, be sure to include your business’ information in your emails (if they can visit your site, the more trust you build with them), the more information you provide about your company, the more credibility you build with your customers.

3. Pleasing to the Eye – If an email is not visually pleasing to your own eyes, then it is likely that it won’t be to your customers’. Design an email with your customers in mind and ask yourself: “Does this email have too many pictures? Does the content flow? Does it read exactly what I had in mind?” Also, keep all call-to-action buttons straight to the point (download now, register today, etc.) and avoid having too much on a button, people want to simply click and see what you have to offer. Be mindful of the length of your email and keep the message short, sweet and concise. Use bullet points when appropriate as they resonate better with readers and create banners that include your company logo as well as quick snapshot of the event or message. Lastly, be sure to hyperlink text in case the customer chooses to “not display all images”.

4. Give your Reader a Choice – Always give your readers the option to opt out of your emails (every email you send should have the option). Spamming your readers will only result in the loss of future readers and potential sales. Sometimes readers sign up to receive emails and then decide to no longer hear from you. You need to give your readers an option to opt-out on your website or in an email itself. When and if the reader is ready to receive your emails again, they will know how to contact you. This shows the reader that you are respectful of their requests. Plus, there are laws on Opt-Outs that are enforced should a reader complain.

I hope you’re able to put at least some of these tips to good use. Are there any other email marketing best practices that have worked for you that you would like to include or share?

Check out our Email Deliverability resource center for other useful information on Email Deliverability Design and Creative Checklist, Email Deliverability Cheat Sheet, and much more.