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Avoid Spam Filters

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At the SobelCo Quarterly Nonprofit Board Chair Roundtable on April 18, several of the participants were concerned that their emails to donors, members and clients all too often end up in a spam filter and may be overlooked.

After conducting a search on the internet, we found that much has been written on this topic and although there is no clear solution, there are some steps that everyone seems to agree on.

While there are a variety of actions that can help boost your ability to avoid having your email messages pushed into a junk, clutter or spam file, here are the suggestions that most consistently had a positive impact:

  • Be sure that the email list you utilize is permission based
  • Offer relevant and meaningful information 
  • Make sure your email message is consistent with the goal of your outreach and of your subject line
  • Maintain consistent, professional formatting and consistent use of font sizes and colors
  • Follow standard business writing guidelines - remember, this is not a text:
    • Do not use all capital letters 
    • Do not use too many exclamation  points
    • Do not use symbols or numbers to shortcut spelling words in full
  • Use the subject line wisely to demonstrate real value (Avoid being too cute in your subject line message)
  • Create an opt-in process and make opting-out simple to accomplish
  • Alert your audience when you are sending an important email or an invitation
  • Follow with a call if you believe you have ended up in spam
  • As the sender, you should have a professional email address that doesn’t raise the suspicions of the search engines

Recent statistics show that one in five commercial emails never reach the intended recipients in box. The gatekeepers that are on the watch for inappropriate, unsolicited emails are hard at work – and they are pretty successful.

The obvious losses to your nonprofit when your messages don’t arrive are many – including not reaching your audience efficiently, limiting the scope of your branding, minimizing your email fund raising campaign and creating a negative image of your organization.

This is not a perfect fix but it is at least a start in the right direction!

Good luck!