How to send bulk email without spamming? When it comes to email marketing, this is a question every marketer have to deal with. Unfortunately, anyone can possibly be a spammer if he or she messed up the bulk email campaigns. When I say anyone, I mean anyone including the big brands. Go to your spam inbox, you can easily found some emails come from big brands, but they end up in spam. Email marking is very fair for everybody no matter how big your brand is.
Gmail marked Texas Health Resources as a spammer
Gmail marked Microsoft Movies & TV as a spammer
Gmail: Type of Spam Emails
- Spoofed email addresses: An email address looks confusingly similar to the email address of a known sender. For example, the email address may replace the letter “O” with the number “0.”
- Phishing scams: The email may be trying to trick you into sharing personal information, like passwords or credit card numbers.
- Messages from an unconfirmed sender: Gmail can’t confirm that the email was actually sent by the particular person or company that appears to be sending it.
- Messages content is empty: Spammers often send messages with no content in the body or subject to check whether email addresses are valid. Then, they spam those addresses later.
The Checklist To Avoid Spamming
Based on the guidance from Gmail, I compelled a checklist you should follow when you start the email campaign by sending bulk emails.
1. Config mail server with correct SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) verifies identity. Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) ensures the message wasn’t tampered with during transmission. And Domain Based Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) requires that both SPF and DKIM pass in order to authenticate. These are all protocols that prove to ISPs that you are who you say you are.
2. Meet the CAN-SPAM Act requirements.
A violation of the CAN-SPAM Act can subject to penalties of up to $41,484. Here are the CAN-SPAM main requirements from www.ftc.gov.
- Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
- Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
- Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
- Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
3. Send emails to opt-in subscribers only.
Send the emails to your subscribers or opt-in contacts who completed a signup form on your website and confirmed an email validation process. In this way, you can make sure all of your emails are send to valid email addresses and not generate high bounce. High bounce is a spamming red flag from the eyes of ISP or email service providers. Never purchased, rented, or scraped lists. These people are more likely to mark your email as spam as they may be not interested in it.
Even if you trying to send bulk promotional emails to your existing customers (or people they know you in person), you still need to get their permission first.
4. Do not include attachments and suspicious links.
Attachment can be very suspicious. Because a lot of viri send via email attachments. Avoid files with suspicious titles, archives (especially password-protected ones), links for downloading a file from free file hosting services.
The same is with links. It’s OK to include links in the email. However, do not use links to s suspicious resource or shortened links. It may be a fraud.
5. Avoid using spam-like words.
Many email services like Gmail adopted large databases of spam-like words to filter out spam emails.
Email Spam Words to Avoid
(credit to hubspot)
|As seen on||Buy||Buy direct|
|Order status||Orders shipped by||shopper|
|Dig up dirt on friends||Meet singles||Score with babes|
|Additional Income||Be your own boss||Compete for your business|
|Double your||Earn $||Earn extra cash|
|Earn per week||Expect to earn||Extra income|
|Home based||Home employment||Homebased business|
|Income from home||Make $||Make money|
|Money making||Online biz opportunity||Online degree|
|Opportunity||Potential earnings||University diplomas|
|While you sleep||Work at home||Work from home|
Financial – General
|Beneficiary||Best price||Big bucks|
|Cents on the dollar||Cheap||Check|
|F r e e||Fast cash||For just $XXX|
|Hidden assets||hidden charges||Income|
|Loans||Lowest price||Million dollars|
|Mortgage rates||No cost||No fees|
|One hundred percent free||Only $||Pennies a day|
|Save big money||Save up to||Serious cash|
|Subject to credit||They keep your money — no refund!||Unsecured credit|
|Unsecured debt||US dollars||Why pay more?|
Financial – Business
|Accept Credit Cards||Cards accepted||Check or money order|
|Credit card offers||Explode your business||Full refund|
|Investment decision||No credit check||No hidden Costs|
|No investment||Requires initial investment||Sent in compliance|
|Stock alert||Stock disclaimer statement||Stock pick|
Financial – Personal
|Avoid bankruptcy||Calling creditors||Collect child support|
|Consolidate debt and credit||Consolidate your debt||Eliminate bad credit|
|Eliminate debt||Financially independent||Get out of debt|
|Get paid||Lower interest rate||Lower monthly payment|
|Lower your mortgage rate||Lowest insurance rates||Pre-approved|
|Refinance home||Social security number||Your income|
|Ad||Auto email removal||Bulk email|
|Click||Click below||Click here|
|Click to remove||Direct email||Direct marketing|
|Email harvest||Email marketing||Form|
|Increase sales||Increase traffic||Increase your sales|
|Internet market||Internet marketing||Marketing|
|Marketing solutions||Mass email||Member|
|Month trial offer||More Internet Traffic||Multi level marketing|
|Notspam||One time mailing||Online marketing|
|Search engine listings||Search engines||Subscribe|
|The following form||This isn’t junk||This isn’t spam|
|Undisclosed recipient||Unsubscribe||Visit our website|
|We hate spam||Web traffic||Will not believe your eyes|
|Cures baldness||Diagnostics||Fast Viagra delivery|
|Human growth hormone||Life Insurance||Lose weight|
|Lose weight spam||Medicine||No medical exams|
|Online pharmacy||Removes wrinkles||Reverses aging|
|#1||100% free||100% Satisfied|
|Billion dollars||Join millions||Join millions of Americans|
|Million||One hundred percent guaranteed||Thousands|
|Being a member||Billing address||Call|
|Cannot be combined with any other offer||Confidentially on all orders||Deal|
|Financial freedom||Gift certificate||Giving away|
|Guarantee||Have you been turned down?||If only it were that easy|
|Important information regarding||In accordance with laws||Long distance phone offer|
|Mail in order form||Message contains||Name brand|
|Nigerian||No age restrictions||No catch|
|No claim forms||No disappointment||No experience|
|No gimmick||No inventory||No middleman|
|No obligation||No purchase necessary||No questions asked|
|No selling||No strings attached||No-obligation|
|Not intended||Obligation||Off shore|
|Offer||Per day||Per week|
|Produced and sent out||Reserves the right||Shopping spree|
|Stuff on sale||Terms and conditions||The best rates|
|They’re just giving it away||Trial||unlimited|
|Warranty||We honor all||Weekend getaway|
|What are you waiting for?||Who really wins?||Win|
|You are a winner!||You have been selected||You’re a Winner!|
|Cancel at any time||Compare||Copy accurately|
|Get||Give it away||Print form signature|
|Print out and fax||See for yourself||Sign up free today|
|Free||Free access||Free cell phone|
|Free consultation||Free DVD||Free gift|
|Free grant money||Free hosting||Free installation|
|Free Instant||Free investment||Free leads|
|Free membership||Free money||Free offer|
|Free preview||Free priority mail||Free quote|
|Free sample||Free trial||Free website|
|All natural||All new||Amazing|
|Fantastic deal||For free||Guaranteed|
|It’s effective||Outstanding values||Promise you|
|Real thing||Risk free||Satisfaction guaranteed|
Sense of Urgency
|Access||Act Now!||Apply now|
|Apply Online||Call free||Call now|
|Can’t live without||Do it today||Don’t delete|
|Don’t hesitate||For instant access||For Only|
|For you||Get it now||Get started now|
|Great offer||Info you requested||Information you requested|
|Instant||limited time||New customers only|
|Now||Now only||Offer expires|
|Once in lifetime||One time||Only|
|Order now||Order today||Please read|
|Special promotion||Supplies are limited||Take action now|
|Time limited||Urgent||While supplies last|
|Addresses on CD||Beverage||Bonus|
|Brand new pager||Cable converter||Casino|
|Celebrity||Copy DVDs||Laser printer|
|Legal||Luxury car||New domain extensions|
6. Always include the unsubscribe link.
Every email must contain an unsubscribe link as it makes possible for the recipient to unsubscribe but not mark as spam.
7. Send relevant and valuable emails.
Take care of your subscribers. If a person subscribed to your bulk email, send relevant and valuable content, that is actual for every subscriber. Use segmentation for this purpose, as it is a customer-oriented method. Segment your subscribers according to gender, city, age, interests and preferences.
8. Check sender reputation regularly.
By keeping an eye on sender reputation (spam complaints, spam traps, unknown users, etc.) metrics you’ll get a good picture of how your emails are being received by subscribers.
Before sending a campaign, ask yourself: “Does my email meet all the CAN-SPAM Act requirements? Would I like to receive this email? What is valuable and useful in it?”
So, follow the checklist above, take care of your subscribers and you won’t send SPAM.