Hey, Hey, Hey!
Okay, So… Now after all your hard work and dedication to your blog, someone has finally picked up what you’ve been puttin’ down and signed up for your newsletter!
SOMEONE CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG BESIDES YOU!
I’ll break for a second while you do your happy dance… go on… get down with your bad self…
Nothing is more fulfilling than knowing that not only does someone care enough to read your blog, but that they liked what they read enough to want to read more in the future! (Clouds part… Cue The Angels …HALLELUJAH!)
Unfortunately, what most bloggers and small business owners don’t realize is that even though you feel like you’ve just been handed the keys to the kingdom with that fancy new email address someone just gave you, without the proper understanding of how to avert the dreaded email spam folder, your key won’t be opening any doors for you and your blog any time soon.
The sad truth is that even when using professional newsletter generating tools, from legitimate companies, a large portion of your hard fought list will never even see your email.
Luckily, there are a few things that we, as bloggers, can do to up our chances of getting our emails into the hands of our readers and actually getting seen.
Let me know what your favorite tricks to avoid the spam folder are in the comments below!
♥ Emma Rae Thomas + The Poor Little Blogger Team
P.S. If you sign up for our newsletter in the next 30 Days, You will receive a Free copy of my Soon to be released e-book “Get The Look: The Essential Guide to Designing, Creating, and Maintaining a Beautiful Blog Through Branding” When it comes out on May 1st! ♥
How to Write a Newsletter for your Blog that Gets Opened
Careful With Content: Be super careful when writing your Newsletter. Spam filters work by reading the content of incoming emails and tossing the ones that have phrases that match certain patterns. If You use salesmen like phrasing in your email the All Knowing Keepers of the Inbox will banish your newsletter to the darkest corners of the spam folder, never to be seen again. Try removing words like “special offer”, “buy now” or “Sale.” Other topics to avoid mentioning include large sums of money, free offers, and most importantly the Prince of Nigeria.
Watch Your Formatting: Another HUGE problem that sends tons of bloggers right into the cold, dark grasp of the spam filters is the use of improper formatting. True Story, malformed html in your newsletter is often seen as possible indication of a hidden attack within the code, and will often be filtered out or stopped by the email client before even entering the inbox. Since most of the malformed code comes from places like converted Microsoft Word documents or other files that have gone through a converter to HTML display, try to use services like mail chimp to instead of converting your own documents, as they have a number of pre-built templates that are standards compliant.
Be Exciting, Not Excited: Alright, Truth time, while it may be tempting to do things in your Newsletters like write your new and amazing subject line in all caps, add in a ton of exclamation points after a sentence, or use super bright colors and a weird font, these are all super quick ways to earn your Newsletter a one way ticket to spam land. The trick is to keep your content interesting enough that your readers will be willing to follow it back to your site to read more, while avoiding pitfalls that, if sent by someone else to you, would make you immediately reach for the hand sanitizer as you run for the virus protector.
Friends Don’t Send Friends a Ton of Links: Here’s the sitch peeps, keep your link happy self under control when trying to get your Newsletter to it’s goal. Spam filters, (especially gmail) will whip your little letter right off into oblivion if they suspect you of being an advertisement, and what do most advertisements provide in their newsletters? A ton of links! Keep your linking to no more than 1 or 2 at the very most if you want to keep your email in their inbox.
Use More Than An Image: One of the most common ways that people try to get around these spam filters is by using one large image, rather than formatted HTML. Alright, so the logic is sound, after all, the spam filter can’t scan your text if there isn’t any… but, my friend, the problem with that devious thought process is that we bloggers aren’t the only ones to try that strategy. Many spammers, scammers and other ne’er do wells try the same tactic pretty regularly and since the filters don’t see any difference between your shady deeds and theirs, your lonely little email will be left at the losers table once more.
Make Both Subscribing and Unsubscribing Simple: Always use an opt in form, if not a double opt in form for signing up to your mailing list. I know… I know… it’s pretty annoying, but luckily there are a ton of services out there that will let you make these forms super easily. Also, while we’re talking about it, don’t be a jerk, PLEASE PUT YOUR UNSUBSCRIBE LINK IN YOUR EMAIL. If someone is too dim to like your stuff, let them go. You don’t need them anyway! Besides, if they flag you as spam, it can cause you issues with other readers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Watch Those Metrics: Shortcut time! Using services like Mailchimp, will not only keep your HTML from looking like spam, but it will also give you access to a variety of metrics that can tell you everything from your subscriber count to how many of your readers have opened up your latest email. Most services can even track how many people have followed your link back to your site (don’t worry if your service can’t, just use Google Analytics!) Always keep track of your metrics so you can know if your emails are even being effective. After all, no one wants to spend hours writing a newsletter that will never even get opened!