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Dont Look Spammy!
We all hate spam and get way too much of it - agreed? Now that we have that out of the way it is important to realize that in everyone's zest to minimize their spam, we are deleting legitimate e-mails - and those e-mail could be YOUR business messages! Two factors are at play - not reviewing your trash before you empty it and sending e-mail with indicators that trip spam filters.
When sending business e-mail, it is critical that you make certain efforts so that your e-mail will not be inadvertently, incorrectly perceived as spam. Several times each day, legitimate e-mail makes its way into my Junk/Trash due to the sender doing or not doing certain things that trigger most spam filters. These are issues you need to be aware of so that your e-mail has its best chance to make it to its intended party.
Your initial contact and making sure your e-mail gives the perception of a serious business entity can make the difference between being read or being trashed. Here is a simple checklist of things you need to put in practice so that your e-mails are not mistakenly identified as spam and deleted before read:
=> Always include an appropriate, short and accurate SUBJECT:. Many times spam does not have a SUBJECT: or it is malformed without appropriate text. Many e-mail programs automatically send subjectless e-mail to Junk/Trash. You also want to avoid using the words: hello, hi, help, new or the recipient's name or e-mail address as doing so can trigger spam filters.
=> Refrain from using common terms abused by spammers in your subject and/or first paragraph of your email. You know what they are - you see them every day. Many spam filters track these terms and may inadvertently send your email right to Trash.
=> Type your subject with appropriate capitalization and structure. All small case or all caps gives the impression of being spam (and lack of online savvy/education).
=> Make sure your full name, not your e-mail address, is formally displayed in the FROM: field. Example: Jane A. Doe is correct - not jane a doe, or Jane or firstname.lastname@example.org. FROM: fields with all lower case, only your first name or lack of punctuation indicates a lack of online savvy that is typical of most spammers which signals that your e-mail could also be spam. Not using your last name gives the impression you have something to hide. You always want to use your full and formal name in all business e-mail.
=> Refrain from using any formatting just for the sake of doing so. Formatting can also trigger spam filters if not done properly. Think company letterhead. If you wouldn't have your name in big, blue, bolded letters on company letterhead do not do it in your business e-mail.
=> Unannounced attachments are viewed suspiciously. Do not send attachments without a specific request to do so and they are expected. If you are going to send attachments over 200K, show extraordinary courtesy and ask the other side FIRST when would be the best time to send your collateral. Then follow through and send it at that prearrange time so the recipient on the other side is available to download your files and keep their inbox clear.
=> When using any sort of spam software or filtering system, before you purge your trash, it doesn't hurt to take a quick peak to see if any e-mail is in fact from folks you know or recognize.
By keeping the above issues in mind, you have the best chance of your e-mail getting to the person on the other side and for business e-mail that could make the difference between making a sale - or not.
About the Author:
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