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BCFA Guide to Spam

What is spam?

Spam. A tinned meat product made mainly from ham. Not a pretty sight, but we do find ourselves getting lured into from time to time, and likewise for the below…

Spam is an unsolicited, irrelevant email, sent to a bulk list of people. It is an email, also known as unsolicited bulk email, junk mail or unsolicited commercial email. Spam is the practice of sending unwanted email messages. Spam emails are easily triggered, and you may be sending the simplest of emails, but get caught out with the ‘spam filter’. This guide gives you some top tips on how to get yourself out of an email spam related situation….

How to avoid spam?

  1. Avoid the use of certain high-risk words in the emails you are sending; if you are unsure what the key-words include visit
  2. Add legitimate links to reputable websites
  3. Ensure the ratio of images and text is balanced
  4. Ensure the image sizes are not too large
  5. Avoid using a lot of exclamation marks or money signs
  6. Avoid using all upper case in the subject line
  7. Always provide an unsubscribe option
  8. Remove inactive contacts- if you are sending your emails to people who you know do not open your emails, they can mark you into their ‘spam’ folder
  9. Add ‘alt’ text to all images

What to do when your emails are marked as spam?

  2. Send your customers/clients personal email message apologies and tell them you are rectifying the situation. Request that they white-list your domain, so that your business emails do not get filtered into spam. In this email, do not include any links to marketing, or any advertising or enhancements that may flag up the email. Plain text.
  3. Contact your IT department to find out if there is a problem with the network, this could be a virus which is blocking your emails from other mailings
  4. Examine your email Bouncebacks; when your email bounces back it will tell you why, and the reasons. In some cases, you can easily contact the person who has blacklisted you and request to be unblocked, or investigate the reason why you have been blacklisted.

Test your emails! -

A simple and easy site used to quickly test the quality of mailers. The mailers are scored out of 10, ideally you want to be 9.5/10 or better still 10/10! Once you have tested your email, you will be scored, from this you can see where you have lost points on the email and go back to amend this. Here’s how to use the mail tester..

  1. Create your email/ newsletter
  2. Test send the email to yourself
  3. Open and copy the email address provided in the boxed URL
  4. Open the email in your inbox in which you sent to yourself, and click forward
  5. Paste this email address in the ‘to’ box and remove anything which states that you are forwarding the message, e.g. the subject (remove the FW), The email itself, remove the ‘from, sent, to and subject’, leaving just the email as if you are sending it new
  6. Click send
  7. Go back to the website and select ‘then check your score’- this will then load up the email and your score out of 10.

Test your subject lines!

Subject lines are a common way of your emails being marked as spam. To ensure you are not encouraging this, check your subject line for free at . You will be scored out of 100, and an explanation of how you can increase your score will be explained.