5 Years Of Email Marketing Secrets

Email Deliverability

I have no doubt that you have read all kinds of things about email deliverability, including getting your email address whitelisted with all the major ISPs and so on. Well, let me give you the straight deal on this.
Don’t waste your time.

Let me explain why with a very simple example.
You contact AOL and Yahoo and all those big guys and go through all that red tape to get your domain whitelisted. Great. Then some affiliate of yours spams the hell out of the Internet with your URLs and you’re on the backlist so fast your head is spinning.

You don’t have to do one thing wrong to get blacklisted. Spam complaints, regardless of whether you have done anything or not, will get you blacklisted…end of story.

Now, you can go on throughout your life making a business of contacting ISPs and filling out forms, or you can just go through the process of creating emails that aren’t likely to get filtered regardless of what domain you have. I have one domain that has been on the blacklist thanks to stupid affiliates for over a year now, and yet I still have over 98% deliverability of my emails.

The reason is that I don’t try fancy tricks with my emails and write to people like they’re supposed to be written to.
In other words, you see all those neat little things that marketers do like spelling free…
FR33
F.REE
FR.EE

And a whole lot of other variations? Guess what? They don’t work. Today’s spam filters are actually looking for all these tricks and as a result, your emails will actually have less chance of being delivered with them than if you just spelled words the way they’re supposed to be spelled.

Now, having said that, there are a few things that you want to try to avoid when sending emails because they will lower your deliverability. I’m going to go over some of the main ones here.

Email Addresses
This has nothing to do with the domain. I’m talking about the front part of your email address. Email addresses like [email protected] will have a lower deliverability than [email protected] The reason is that most spammers will use email addresses with numbers in them. So spam filters look for these addresses. So refrain from using numbers in your email address.

Content
Sad to say, certain kinds of content, legit or not, is going to be labeled as spam. For you people who are in the adult niche, forget it. Email marketing is going to be extremely difficult for you to break into. Just about any keyword associated with this niche will trigger most spam filters.

Another problem and this is so ironic given that this is something you MUST do when email marketing, is the actual can spam disclaimer and removal instructions. Most ISPs, when they see these, will issue spam points for them. I find this amusing considering that if you don’t use them, you’re actually spamming. Life is way too funny sometimes.

Spam Score
Okay, let’s actually talk about spam score and what it really means.
ISPs realize that legitimate emails may contain some words that fall in the area of spam but the email itself is legit. That is why each word and infraction is given a score. Some words carry a heavy penalty and some are extremely minor. It’s when all these words add up that our email is classified as spam.
But what’s the spam score that puts us over the edge?

Essentially, a spam score greater than 5 is going to put us at great risk of having our emails not being delivered by the major ISPs.

Okay, so how do we calculate this?

That’s where the real problems come in. I have tested several spam score programs and compared the results of one to another for the same email. The results are staggering to say the least.
The differential between spam scores using no less than a half dozen spam detectors can be as great as 3 points. That could easily be the difference between being labeled as spam and not.
So what do you do? Well, this is the theory that I have developed and it has worked very well for me so far. Use the highest score as your benchmark. In other words, if you use six different programs and your scores are as follows:
2.7
3.5
2.6
4.2
3.1
5.2

Assume that the 5.2 is the most accurate and that your email could very well be marked as spam. Yeah, I know, it’s human nature to want to believe the best and look at the 2.6 score and say “we’re safe” but my experience has been that in many cases, the highest score is the most accurate.

Why do I say in many cases?

Each spam calculator has a different algorithm. That means each one uses different keywords. A spam score of 5.2 for certain keywords may only be that high because it is including keywords that other programs don’t use. A different email may trigger a lower spam score for that filter while another filter that scored low on a previous email scored high on a different email.

In other words, the spam detector that scored the highest on email one may score the lowest on email two. The scores will NOT be consistent for each program. In most cases, yes, there will be some consistency. But in some cases, you will find anomalies.

Here is a list of keywords that are pretty consistent throughout most filters along with their scores. Do NOT take this as gospel but only a guideline.
Reverses aging 3.37
'Hidden' assets 3.28
stop snoring 3.26
Free investment 3.19
Dig up dirt on friends 3.12
Stock disclaimer statement 3.04
Multi-level marketing 3.01
Compare rates 2.83
Cable converter 2.75
Claims you can be removed from the list 2.70
Removes wrinkles 2.69
Compete for your business 2.57
free installation 2.51
Free grant money 2.50
Auto email removal 2.36
Collect child support 2.33
Free leads 2.29
Amazing stuff 2.26
Tells you it's an ad 2.21
Cash bonus 2.20
Promise you ...! 2.15
Claims to be in accordance with some spam law 2.11
Search engine listings 2.09
free preview 2.07
Credit bureaus 2.03
No investment 2.01
Serious cash 2.00

Now, there is a huge list of words that trigger between .2 and .5 for most filters, which isn’t very much at all. You will notice that “free” is on this list, meaning that it isn’t the big offender that people think it is, at least not by itself. And there are ways to get around the word free anyway that I will show you in a second.
Anyway, here’s the big list.

4U

Accept credit cards

Act now! Don't hesitate!

Additional income

Addresses on CD

All natural

Amazing

Apply Online

As seen on

Billing address

Auto email removal

Avoid bankruptcy

Be amazed

Be your own boss

Being a member

Big bucks

Bill 1618

Billion dollars

Brand new pager

Bulk email

Buy direct

Buying judgments

Cable converter

Call free

Call now

Calling creditors

Cannot be combined with any other offer

Cancel at any time

Can't live without

Cash bonus

Cashcashcash

Casino

Cell phone cancer scam

Cents on the dollar

Check or money order

Claims not to be selling anything

Claims to be in accordance with some spam law

Claims to be legal

Claims you are a winner

Claims you registered with some kind of partner

Click below

Click here link

Click to remove

Click to remove mailto

Compare rates

Compete for your business

Confidentially on all orders

Congratulations

Consolidate debt and credit

Stop snoring get it now

Special promotion

Copy accurately

Copy DVDs

Credit bureaus

Credit card offers

Cures baldness

Dear email

Dear friend

Dear somebody

Different reply to

Dig up dirt on friends

Direct email

Direct marketing

Discusses search engine listings

Do it today

Don't delete

Drastically reduced

Earn per week

Easy terms

Eliminate bad credit

Email harvest

Email marketing

Expect to earn

Fantastic deal

Fast Viagra delivery

Financial freedom

Find out anything

For free

For instant access

For just $ (some amt)

Free access

Free cell phone

Free consultation

Free DVD

Free grant money

Free hosting Free installation

Free investment

Free Leads

Free membership

Free money

Free offer

Free preview

Free priority mail

Free quote

Free sample

Free trial

Free website

Full refund

Get Paid

Get started now

Gift certificate

Great offer

Guarantee

Have you been turned down?

Hidden assets

Home employment

Human growth hormone

If only it were that easy

In accordance with laws

Increase sales

Increase traffic

Insurance

Investment decision

It's effective

Join millions of Americans

Laser printer

Limited time only

Long distance phone offer

Lose weight spam

Lower interest rates

Lower monthly payment

Lowest price

Luxury car

Mail in order form

Marketing solutions

Mass email

Meet singles

Member stuff

Message contains disclaimer

Money back Money making

Month trial offer

More Internet traffic

Mortgage rates

Multi level marketing

MLM Name brand

New customers only

New domain extensions

Nigerian

No age restrictions

No catch

No claim forms

No cost

No credit check

No disappointment

No experience

No fees

No gimmick

No inventory

No investment

No medical exams

No middleman

No obligation

No purchase necessary

No questions asked

No selling

No strings attached

Not intended

Offshore

Offer expires

Offers coupon

Offers extra cash

Offers free (often stolen) passwords

Once in lifetime

One hundred percent free

One hundred percent guaranteed

One time mailing

Online biz opportunity

Online pharmacy

Only $ Opportunity

Opt in Order now

Order status

Orders shipped by priority mail

Outstanding values

Pennies a day

People just leave money laying around

Please read

Potential earnings

Print form signature

Print out and fax

Produced and sent out

Profits Promise you ...!

Pure profit Real thing

Refinance home

Removal instructions

Remove in quotes

Remove subject

Removes wrinkles

Reply remove subject

Requires initial investment

Reserves the right

Reverses aging

Risk free

Round the world

S 1618 Safeguard notice

Satisfaction guaranteed

Save $ Save big money

Save up to Score with babes

Section 301 See for yourself

Sent in compliance

Serious cash Serious only

Shopping spree Sign up free today

Social security number

Stainless steel

Stock alert Stock disclaimer statement

Stock pick Strong buy Stuff on sale

Subject to credit

Supplies are limited

Take action now

Talks about hidden charges

Talks about prizes

Tells you it's an ad

Terms and conditions

The best rates

The following form

They keep your money -- no refund!

They're just giving it away

This isn't junk This isn't spamming

University diplomas

Unlimited

Unsecured credit/debt

Urgent US dollars

Vacation offers

Viagra and other drugs

Wants credit card

We hate spam

We honor all

Weekend getaway

What are you waiting for?

While supplies last

While you sleep

Who really wins?

Why pay more?

Will not believe your eyes

Winner Winning

Work at home

You have been selected

Your income

Okay, how do you get around the “for free” or “no cost” problem? Say you want to say in your email, “My report is for free” or “You can get my report at no cost.” Either one is going to get you hit with a couple of percentage points. What I do is use a saying that means the same thing but doesn’t use any words that trigger the spam filters.

Here’s what I do.

“You can get my report without digging into your wallet.”
“You can get my report without spending a penny.”
They say the same thing as free, but without the “free” trap.

Works like a charm.

Okay, what are the top online free spam checkers and what kind of results can you expect to get from them?
Well, to answer that, what I’ve done is put together an email that is almost certain to have the spam filters go wild and then I ran it through the sites.

Here’s the email.

Email Address: [email protected]
Subject: Free Report On Making Money Online
Message:
Hi:
Want to make a lot of money online? I’ve got a free offer that is almost impossible to pass up. You’ll receive:
Free hosting
Free leads
Profits
All risk free!
All you have to do is go to the site below and order now!
Sincerely,
Steven Wagenheim
[email protected]
Okay, the first thing I did was run it through this site:
http://spamcheck.sitesell.com/

I received the following spam score and explanation

Now notice that the score is only 5.3 and that they say that over 13 is when you’re really in serious trouble. I don’t agree with this at all. Anything over 5 and you’re flirting with danger. I expected this score to be higher, but then again, it’s a short email too.

I then sent an email (yes, this site requires you email them) to:
http://www.enetplace.com/spam-checker.html
I got back the following report:
Your TOTAL SPAM SCORE for your e-mail was 4.9.
How To Interpret Your Score:
--------------------------------------------------
The higher the score, the more likely the e-mail
will be considered spam by ISPs, which means the
more likely it is to get filtered. Levels...
0.0 - 4.5 - nice and clean, no problems except tiny
ones below; no action required
4.6 - 7.0 - the strictest may object; clean up the
easy-to-find issues (below)
7.1 - 10.0 - getting into dangerous territory; clean
up any big issues and the easy-to-find smaller ones
10.1 - 13.0 likely over ISP limits; requires good
review and cleaning up
13.1+ major problems; overhaul needed --
systematically clean, point by point and then
re-test (this may require two or three checks).
--------------------------------------------------
In order of importance, here are the mistakes that we found
in your e-mail...
(1.5 points) BODY: Free Leads
(1.1 points) URI: Includes a link to a likely spammer email
(0.9 points) From: ends in numbers
(0.7 points) BODY: Risk-free. Suuurreeee....
(0.3 points) From: does not include a real name
(0.3 points) BODY: Encourages you to waste no time in ordering
(0.1 points) An exceedingly large amount of HTML coding is often used to disguise common spam phrases. Consider reworking slightly.
(0.0 points) BODY: HTML included in a message
They seem to use the same formula and yet the score is lower. Strange.
I then sent the same message to:
http://www.boomerang.com/Static/SpamChecker.aspx
I got the following back:


Notice the score of 5.1
I then sent it to:
http://www.americaint.com/spam-filter-messagetest/spamcheck.asp
And got back the following results:


Again, we’re in that 5.0 area. So far, these have all been consistent.
I then ran the email through my Aweber account. Now, I value Aweber’s service and trust them for spam scores.
Here’s what I came up with from Aweber.


Notice it’s the lowest score of all of them. Now, what if they’re wrong? What if this is really a 5.3 email? If 5.0 is the severe cutoff point, that could mean the difference between your emails being delivered and not being delivered.
Okay, there is a bigger lesson in all this and here it is.

Take spam scores with a grain of salt. They’re only meant as a guide and not something you should write in stone. Sure, a score of 1.0 is a lot better than a score of 10, but for the most part, rely on your common sense and NOT on software.

In the next chapter, we’re going to go over one of the most important aspects of email marketing, especially when you’re talking about building your own list.

More specifically…how they heck do you get these people to opt-in, to begin with? I mean, if you can’t build a list, the emails aren’t going to do you any good.

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