Gmail Spam – And Why It Can Kill Your Business…

If you’ve done what I recommend in my manual – List Lightning (and indeed, what is only common sense): you’ve subscribed to your own list. And if you’re careful about your business, you’re keeping an eye on your spam folder – to make sure that none of your newsletter emails end up there.

But even the very best list marketers can end up there…

Today I found Igor K email in my spam folder. An amazing list builder and marketer – Igor is someone that I follow and pay close attention to, yet even guru’s like Igor can fall victim to Gmail’s spam filters. Here’s where you should be looking:

Gmail Spam Folder
And right there at the bottom, Igor Kheifets “5 Reasons To Build a List in 2013” email… Notice that even the mighty Hostgator has found it’s way into Gmail’s spam filter!!  Truly, if these two icons can end up there – by what measure do you think that you’re immune?  It seems that there’s no way for ordinary marketers like you and me can stay out of Gmail’s spam filters if the likes of Igor and Hostgator can’t do it!

So let’s look at Igor’s email – and see if maybe we can determine just why he ended up there:

Caught In Gmail's Spam Folder
You’ll notice that Gmail has announced the reason why Igor’s email ended up where it did – it claims that “It contains content that’s typically used in spam messages.” Now, ironically, I don’t see anything in the message itself – other than that it’s a fairly brief message with a link. And it’s possible that the shortness of the email might be a problem. But down below, Igor speaks of “FREE marketing downloads” and “no cost gifts”. Now, I’m not a personal friend of Matt Cutts, and I really don’t  know the precise reason why Igor’s email got nailed by the spam cops… but “FREE” is a word that I’d stay away from.

Personally, I don’t like links in the form of a tracking link – the “/track/go.php?c=” is a surefire way to spot one… I like to cloak such links. (in fact, look at any link on this website, and even though they run through my Adtrackz Gold – you won’t see any hint of it. And it’s just barely possible that this contributes to why Igor’s email ended up in spam.

So I’m not willing to bet money on what Igor’s precise problem is – I only know that he has one on this email. If you aren’t checking your spam folder on a Gmail account – you’re not going to know if your emails are getting caught by Gmail… and since Gmail accounts for as much as 40% of your users – you can’t afford to ignore Gmail’s spam filters.

Here’s a few typical reasons you might see from Gmail for why an email was marked as spam:

  1. You previously marked messages from info@example.com as spam.
  2. You clicked ‘Report spam’ for this message.
  3. It’s written in a different language than your messages typically use.
  4. It contains content that’s typically used in spam messages.
  5. It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.
  6. Many people marked similar messages as spam
  7. We’ve found that lots of messages from info@example.com are spam.
  8. Be careful with this message. Our systems couldn’t verify that this message was really sent by amazon.com. You might want to avoid clicking links or replying with personal information.
  9. [Phishing] Be careful with this message. Similar messages were used to steal people’s personal information. Unless you trust the sender, don’t click links or reply with personal information.

If you see #4 or #5 or #6 – you need to work on your email series a little … put in more content – stay away from words that will trigger spam filters… such as “FREE”, “Money”, “Earn Extra Cash”, “While You Sleep”, “Home based biz” – and other such phrases. Make sure that you ask people to click “Always show images from [you].  This will make sure that they receive future emails from you, and it also improves the ‘open-rate’ tracking (since it uses a 1-pixel image).  With higher open rates, Gmail won’t presume that your email is similar to spam with low open rates.

If you see #7 or #8 – you’ve got major problems… these spam messages should never be seen by the serious list builder – because you can’t possibly be trying to use a free service…

Now, if you aren’t paying attention – you could be losing quite a bit by having your emails end up in spam – what good does it do to pay Aweber for your list if you aren’t really emailing them? If your list doesn’t see your emails – you don’t have a business…

So keep up with spam – pay attention to your spam folder – you might be surprised at who’s ending up there…

About Ben Holmes

Online since the late '90's, I built my first website in 2001 - coding it on notepad. Times have changed, haven't they? Active on the Warrior's Forum and Facebook - I spend most of my time teaching people how to build their first list - and market to their subscribers. Do you have a list yet?

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