Recently, I managed to end up in my own spam folder with an RSS to email that I send out weekly. Some phrases from the episode triggered a spam filter. I found out about this because Google alerted me that I have three reports of spam from the same message. They were all reported by people at – THAT’S ME! It’s one of the alias domains we use to manage podcast promotions. I looked in my spam folder and sure enough – it was sent to the emails for three of the shows we manage.  Why? The topic of the episode triggered it.  This is problematic since we have this on auto-pilot. Running the post through SEO checkers didn’t catch what may trigger some spam filters. But there we were and had a black eye in our email reputation. The solution wasn’t terribly complicated. In the spam folder, I clicked the link that it is not spam. This moved it to my updates tab.

Some of the consequences of being labeled as spam, more rigorous mail servers won’t permit your one-on-one conversations – direct – supplier-to-client types of emails to get through, especially if your client hasn’t white-listed you. There are a few things we can do to help with this situation.

  1. New client? Ask them to white list correspondence from you and to be sure to add you to their contacts.
  2. Subscribe to your own newsletter using a personal email account to see the process people go through. Try to unsubscribe, try to reply, how difficult is this?
  3. In your newsletters, don’t make the unsubscribe link mouse-type – make it easy for people to find.
  4. Your unsubscribe process should be one click to accomplish the task, even though you can ask for a reason after you allow them to unsubscribe.
  5. When they click unsubscribe, are they done? Or are you then requiring them to list WHICH email? The link to unsubscribe needs to pass through the email address to save them a step. Some of us get many email addresses feeding into one inbox.
  6. Please do not send a follow-up email to people, “You have unsubscribed from our newsletter….” They already don’t want mail from you.
  7. In your newsletters, if they are too long and truncated, your unsubscribe may not show unless they “view full email” in a new window. Annoying – easier for them to hit “spam” to stop you from annoying them. Shorten your newsletters.
  8. Check your spam folder once a week. Scroll through to see if you are missing something, or if you’ve marked a legitimate email as spam – even if not intentionally.
  9. Telling your mailbox that an email from a person you know – a LinkedIn connection, a small business that an email from them isn’t spam is a kindness. You may be helping their rankings.
  10. If you prefer to not receive emails from a company or person, please take the few seconds to click unsubscribe, rather than letting the spam filters decide, or even clicking the spam button.

Spam is bad. In this we agree. It wastes time, storage, bandwidth, and in the case of unscrupulous spammers, can reek havoc on our security systems. But what happens when you send out emails to a list of people who asked to be on your list and the you end up in their spam folder, or they accidentally tag you as spam, perhaps not remembering they had asked to receive emails from you? There is a black eye on your domain that may make communication difficult with your prospects, clients, vendors, and fans. Please consider the few minutes it takes to scroll through your folder and change the designation to “not spam” when you feel like being kind. Who knows, someone may do it for you, too.