Understand sleazy -- so your newsletter won’t be.
Spam is a nuisance because spammers make money. They found a successful way to promote their wares, trivial as the wares may seem. It works for them, so they keep doing it. Granted, their success rate is lower because we’re on to them. Anti-spam tools target the offenders.
But you and I are getting hurt in the crossfire, so it’s important to do everything you can to make your newsletter as un-spam like as possible. The simplest way to do that is think like a spammer.
"Spam-think" is the way to win the game of excessive email filtering and overflowing inboxes. Put yourself in the spammer’s shoes, and you’ll hold the key to successful email campaigns.
Start by taking a close look at the next spam message you get. Analyze each of its characteristics, and see if your communications are similar or share any traits. If they are similar or share traits, it’s time to make changes. Otherwise, you risk being labeled a spammer.
Learn What Not to Do
Examine everything spammers do, all the traits in that message you got, then do the exact opposite. By radically differentiating yourself from spammers, you’ll distinguish your communications from the bulk, impersonal messages that raise red flags for the email gatekeepers. Distinguish yourself and not only will your email communications get through more often, they’ll achieve a higher open rate and be read.
Examples of how to think like a spammer:
If you think like a spammer and change your newsletter’s characteristics to be as unspam-like as possible, open rates will increase and readership will rise. Think like a spammer, and break through the obstacles those spammers built for us.
Meet Kathleen at ClickZ E-Mail Strategies in New York City on May 19 and 20.
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Kathleen Goodwin is the former CEO of IMN (formerly iMakeNews), specializing in customer acquisition and retention through permission-based e-newsletters. For nine years, she was vice president of marketing for Ziff-Davis' publishing division, where she oversaw the marketing of all print publications and their early online siblings. She also serves as an advisor to early-stage companies and has been responsible for several successful new-business launches.
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