June 19th, 2014 | by
4 min read

90% of emails sent today are considered spam, utilize these suggestions to be part of the 10%

You may think that your email marketing message is just like a mild mannered guy, headed to work on a Tuesday to do his job. But once they are out the door, things get complicated. In order to actually arrive at the office, he lives the life of an action hero.

Filters, SPAM reports, ISP regulations and federal laws are obstacles as difficult to navigate as the tricky car chases your action hero executes. As a marketer, you have to clear the way for him to arrive safely. Your email marketing campaign’s success depends on maximizing deliverability by focusing on some important factors.

Today’s sophisticated SPAM filters manage to trash the majority of unsolicited email marketing before it ever hits an inbox. 90% of emails sent today are considered spam. To ensure that your lead generation efforts generate maximum exposure, you have to take steps to clear the way for your outgoing messages.

Here are four challenges your messages need to overcome to arrive safely at their destination (save the day/get the girl/you know the drill).

1.      Avoid Spam Buzzwords

Spam buzzwords are like your message taking a detour through a bad section of town. This is not the neighborhood you want to sell in anyway, so here is how you stay clear.

Both the subject line and the body of your messages will be filtered by ISPs to check for spam trigger words. If you read the lists online of words that trigger these filters, they are the language of the infomercial or the used car salesman. You don’t want to sound like those guys anyway.

Don’t use following:

  • Exclamation points
  • all CAPITALS
  • Promotional words – Cheap, Free and Bargain
  • Symbols $$
  • Attachments

And don’t assert that people’s lives will end if they don’t act immediately. Use language that will directly speak to the audience you are targeting and your action hero should have no trouble keeping out of this bad neighborhood. Some email service providers have spam checkers you can run your messages through like Content Detective and ContentChecker. Alternately, a good list to get an overview of spam triggering words is here.

Getting blacklisted for spamming has far worse implications for your marketing efforts than just failing to deliver the message. If you have been identified for sending spam messages, your ISP may blacklist your IP address from sending emails for up to 72 hours.

2.      POW! Subject Lines Matter

The average inbox is filled with hundreds if not thousands of unread emails that failed to capture enough attention to make your targets click through. And these are the messages that got through the filters. So what does your action hero need to get through this challenge? Follow some important subject line tips and your marketing emails will have significantly higher open rates.

  • Keep subject lines short, followed by powerful sub-headers.   Aim to keep your subject line under 50 characters
  • Design subject lines with the audience in mind – what motivates them?
  • Be careful with the capital letters – more is not better. Capitals are powerful, but they lose impact when in crowds and get you caught in SPAM filters
  • Speak to your audience in a casual, conversational tone which makes them feel like your peer not your target
  • Include numbers and lists in your subject lines to attract the curious clicker
  • Use humor occasionally, but with care – knowing your audience and what will tickle, not offend, is key here

Remember, the customer is like you. Treat them as a friend. Entice them to open by making them comfortable, interested and entertained.

3.      Just in Time: Delivery Timing Counts

We know that folks in New York are different from those in California, but did you know that we read emails differently? Interesting research has revealed that email inboxes in the time zones across the US are read at differing hours and that emails sent at specific hours have higher open rates than at others.

Successful email marketing will time messages to align with time zone inbox activity. Email messages that are sent to arrive during the top activity windows have been tracked to provide the best open rates.

If you are doing mass email campaigns that stretch across the country without Time Zone delineations, the best time to send messages is 11 a.m. EST.  However, we highly recommend working on regional time zones.  Research shows the following works best:

  • The peak Eastern Time Zone email activity is (in order of activity) 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Usage in the Central Time Zone is not as consistently around working hours as the East with peak hours at 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and surprisingly midnight (12 a.m.).
  • In the Mountain Time Zone, peak email activity is tightly tied to the 9-5 work hours. Top email activity times in the Mountain Time Zone are 9 a.m., 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • In the Pacific Time Zone, high activity is concentrated in the morning with peak hours at 8, 9 and 10 a.m. in that order.

4.      Give Your Hero the Right Address

No action hero can save the day without knowing where he is going, and your email marketing campaign can’t be successful without having reliable email addresses, either. One of the most critical success factors for effective email marketing campaigns is delivering the right message to the right target. These two factors rely on maintaining a fresh and reliable list of email addresses with correct job functions attached to them. Your hero needs to arrive at the showdown with the right tools and know whom he is facing. Your email marketing needs to be targeted to the right job titles, and correct email addresses guarantee that the intended recipient gets the message on time.

DiscoverOrg refreshes each record in our databases of nearly 350,000 contacts at over 17,000 organizations minimally every 90 days. This work is incredibly time consuming and we have a team of researchers (you can just think of them as your trusty sidekicks) who are devoted to the task. Our data integrates into popular CRM and marketing automation platforms to create incredibly easy to assemble lists and email marketing programs.

Reaching your prospects with messages that will appeal to them at a time that they are ready to listen is the key to all effective marketing. These practices should help you achieve a higher level of email marketing success. “Successful email deliverability depends on a combination of best practices, email authentication, and reputation.”

About the author


Lisa has a background in international business and over 15 years of technology marketing and she helps to develop strategies to enable a successful sales effort.