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In a 2014 email statistics report, spam comprised an estimated 85% of all email traffic. [1] As such, email providers and email receivers have raised the bar for what emails make it to the inbox, and what gets sent to the spam bin.

Even if your firm isn’t trying to send spammy emails (of course not), there are mistakes you could be making that are causing well-intended emails to be marked as such.

For Starters, How Does an Email Get Marked as Spam?

An email can be flagged as spam in one of two ways—by the ISP that hosts a mail server; e.g. Google, Yahoo, etc., and by the reader him/herself. An ISP filter can mark an email as spam if the domain of origin or IP address seems fishy. There are literally hundreds of parameters that can gauge this, and ISP’s are constantly trying to stay ahead of spammers with new and improved algorithm updates.

A reader is also in control of what emails get flagged as spam. If an email does make it past an ISP’s filter, but contains irrelevant, salesy, or boring content, the reader is likely to block the address, delete the email, report the email as spam to their ISP, or all of the above.

Now, let’s take a look at 3 simple mistakes that will mark your email as spam by ISP’s, or by readers themselves.

1. Lack of Permissions

To have email permission, the recipient must have agreed to receive messages from your firm by subscribing to your emails, e-newsletters, etc. Without proper permission by said recipient, any emails you send are likely to be marked as spam, as they’re deemed unsolicited by ISP’s. Lack of permission can also happen if you email contacts who did provide you with their email address, but didn’t specifically opt-in to receive your emails.

2. Poor or Spammy Content

The content of your emails—including the title, body, embedded links, images, etc., can all flag your message as spam. Specifically, here are a few things to avoid in your emails:

  • Bad links
  • Poor html code
  • Misleading subject lines
  • Too many images
  • Use of ALL CAPS

3. Not Relevant to the Reader

Even if your firm’s emails are being sent to a subscribed recipient, if the message doesn’t contain something of value, the recipient may not mark it as spam, but they’re likely to delete it and unsubscribe from future emails if irrelevant correspondence continues. Make sure that every email, e-newsletter, etc., sent contains valuable content the recipient can relate to, and finds interest in.

How are your emails stacking up? To find out if your email marketing efforts are reaching optimum levels, contact one of our legal marketing experts here.

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