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Spam tactics in subject lines

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday November 13, 2009 )

It’s interesting to see some marketers and newsletter list owners, particularly in the information product and B2B sphere, still having to resort to tactics used by spammers to try and get their email through. If something looks like spam, it will often be treated as such.

I’m referring to subject lines like this:

F*ree rep0rt

What I don’t understand is the logic behind using this strategy. It’s so spammy I can hear the grease popping and it doesn’t really instil confidence in a potential reader to open the darned thing.

Additionally, spam filters are getting better at picking this kind of character substitution up – usually I find such communications in my junk mail folder or with a spam flag attached.

Bypassing spam filters with a legitimate communication does take a bit of work, but the end result is much better as you wind up with a more professional communication that encourages opens rather than looking like someone who is in the business of selling one of the “3P’s”.

While 100% delivery to inboxes may not be possible, the idea is to get as high a rate as possible without cheapening the message.

If you’re having trouble getting email through, I have a articles on email delivery tips and also how to do some basic testing against spam filters.

Bear in mind that some services are worse than others when it comes to false positives, i.e. flagging something as spam when it’s not – particularly Hotmail. Some list owners have resorted to refusing people to sign up to their newsletter lists with a Hotmail address.


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