How to Bypass a Customer's SPAM Filter

When you're emailing a prospect, the last thing you want is a SPAM filter to delete your messages before they're read. Here are key five rules to ensure that your sales message actually gets through:
  • RULE #1: Personalize the Subject Line. In the "subject" field of your email, include something unique, like your company name, the name of one of the customer's competitors or the name of a person with whom the customer is already familiar.
  • RULE #2: Avoid SPAMmy Subject Words. In the "subject" filed of your email, avoid all of the following words: Advertisement, Business, Cash, Cheap, Commodity, Congratulations, Credit, Deal, Debt, Degree, Disclaimer, Discount, Free, Gimmick, Guarantee, Income, Ink, Investment, Joke, Load, Marketing, Merchant, Money, Obligation, Offer, Opt, Opportunity, Outstanding, Payoff, Price, Profit, Promo, Promotion, Rate, Refund, Rich, Sales, Save, Shop, SPAM, Spree, Stock, Subscribe, Trading, Wealth, Win, Winner, Winning, and Won.
  • RULE #3: Keep It Simple, Stupid. In the body of the email, avoid the use of background colors, large or unusual fonts, or more than one font. In other words, don't make your e-mail look like an advertisement or a brochure. Instead, emulate a business memo -- one font, one size, one color. Put the emphasis on content rather than trying to dazzle the customer special effects.
  • RULE #4: Severely Limit Your Graphics. You might get away with a couple of small graphics (like a logo) but most SPAM filters (correctly) assume that any message that contains plenty of images is probably adult content.
  • RULE #5: Only Include One (1) Link. Here's the deal. SPAMmers (especially the ones involved in illegal activites) always put lots of links in their emails, to increase the chances of catching a sucker. So just have one link -- preferable with some kind of tracking mechanism, like Genius.com.
The above is based on a conversation with Tom Pines, president of RealMagnet, a firm that specializes in direct e-mail marketing.

READERS: Any other suggestions?