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Don’t Use Gimmicky Email Copy

email copy

At some point, a decade ago, there were lots of “gimmicks” that online marketers tried to use to get their messages through the spam filters.

But, as time has passed, these filters have gotten more sophisticated and accurate, so such trickery will not only NOT help you get past the spam folder, but could have long lasting negative effects on your deliverability. Not to mention… some of these tactics are straight out Can-Spam violations.

Common email copy tricks include:

  • Using misspellings, dashes, and unnecessary periodsin the middle of words attempting to “trick” the filters into not recognizing the words. You’ve undoubtedly seen them before, and possibly even tried to use them.We’re talking about disguising words like “F.R.ee”, “Pr!ze”, “Muney”, “Million$” and so on…
  • Deceptive “From” lines. There are 2 ways that from lines can be deceptive. One is the actual name that shows up in the recipients from name (i.e. Bill Gates). The other is the from email itself. More and more “marketers” are trying to get away with this by sending event reminders with from names similar to bigger, well-known companies.
  • Deceptive Subject lines. While some may argue that deception and “creative marketing” are gray areas, the fact is it’s pretty cut and dry! You can use curiosity to get your messages opened without flat out lying. If your subject line does not relate to your email copy, it’s deceptive!
  • “Image” text. Instead of using the word “Free” straight out, it’s concealed in an image. It looks the same to the recipient, but shows as an image to the email client that’s simply reading the data file.

Adverse Effects of Email Copy Gimmicks

While it may be appealing to use some gimmicks to increase your open rates and click-through rates, there are some unintended – possibly long term – consequences that can result.

First and foremost, some of the deceptive tricks are flat out violations of Can-Spam which can result in penalties, expenses, and other actions.

Second, there’s the perception from your subscribers. If you come across as sneaky and as if you are trying “trick” spam filters, then there’s a loss of credibility when it comes to whether or not they should listen to what you have to say. If you were legitimate, then why would you have to resort to trickery to earn a living?

And finally, while some “block lists” are automatic, there are a number that are not and actually require a live person to review/remove the block on your behalf.

So, let’s look at this from a logical standpoint.

Your messages are going into the spam folder and you want to figure out how to get them to the inbox.

So, you find a way to send a request to the ISP to do just that.

You fill out a long form, explaining – and demonstrating – that you comply with all the can-spam requirements, that you’re sending communications only to people that have requested them, and that you’re a legitimate business owner marketing your products and services through email.

Then, you copy and paste your entire message into the form INCLUDING the deceptive subject lines, copy, and words with extra characters, extra spacing, and misspellings.

The administrator making the decision reads your email and determines you’re trying to TRICK the filters.

It would appear that you’re doing something that’s not on the up and up and that your messages SHOULD end up in the spam folder. Again, if you were legitimate, why would you be trying to trick the filters!

When it comes to email copy, the bottom line is quite simple: Write for your customers and prospects. Don’t write for the spam filters and robots! Sure, every now and then a message may wind up in a spam folder. It’s going to happen if you send enough email, but you’ll have a better reputation with both your subscribers AND the email administrators that come across your messages.

Author: Heather Seitz

Attention Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, and Marketers: You may republish or syndicate this article without any charge. The only thing I ask is that you keep the newsletters, article, or blog post exactly as it was written and formatted, with no changes. You must also include full publication attribution and back links as indicated.

This information has been provided by http://www.EmailDelivered.com and written by Heather Seitz. To find out more about bad email copy, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/email-marketing/dont-use-gimmicky-email-copy/. Don’t forget to sign up for the EmailDelivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources related to email marketing and email deliverability.


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January 19, 2012
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