HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR PR PITCH EMAILS DON'T LAND IN SPAM

23 May 2022 Aquibur Rahman

Email outreach is not a magic potion that will automatically get you responses after hitting send. At times, it can be frustrating for senders. There is a possibility that you will land up in the email spam folder. Even the most experienced PR email marketers face email deliverability issues. However, several strategies can help you land back in your recipient's inbox in no time. This article will cover some of the best tips to ensure your PR emails avoid spam filters and reach your target journalist successfully.

Target the right people

 What's the point of crafting emails if they don’t reach the inbox. Therefore, check out the following things to avoid this from happening: 

  • Do not rent, co-register, or purchase an email from a third party.
  • Do not share or use a shared list with a partner.
  • Use scraping emails or a robot to find emails carefully to avoid ending in the spam folder. The email provider might suspect you of phishing and mark your emails as spam. You can also use email finder tools which give you pre-verified email leads.  

Everyone wants to have a treasure of email lists that comprise people genuinely interested in reading your emails and taking action on them. It is crucial to identify media connections interested in covering topics of your need. 

Email list hygiene

Email list hygiene is getting rid of all the inactive and uninterested recipients, ending up with a list of people who want to hear from you and are interested in what you’re saying. You should remove the email addresses that brought down your previous email marketing campaign’s statistics from the upcoming one, so the same issues don’t arise.

Here are ways to maintain good email list hygiene. 

  1. Delete all inactive and fake email IDs regularly. Use technology to make sure you receive authentic email ids from the start.
  2. Partition irregular receivers. You might want to send them only the major emails, which is better than deleting them permanently or having low open rates.
  3. Make sure to update your email list for people who choose to unsubscribe. 

Follow email authentication protocols

Email authentication is a digital certificate for your domain to safeguard your company, data and reputation. Tricky but key to verifying your information, email authentication is vital to prove that you are sending legitimate emails. Inbox providers trust authenticated emails and are more likely to deliver them straight into the client's inbox.

You can use the following methods to authenticate your email: 

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF) checks your identity by comparing the sender's IP, found in the domain's DNS record, with a list of IPs authorized to send from that domain.
  • Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) ensures that email is not tampered with during the transmission.
  • Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) - It leverages the power of DKIM and SPF by requiring both to send and deliver mail.
  • Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) - It attaches your business' logo onto your emails, making them more recognisable to readers. 

Use a Reputable Email Service Provider

Spam filters are designed to specifically look for messages from the IP address associated with the sending email address and confirm if there are any spam complaints related to it. Even legitimate email addresses can get spammed because of the association. Therefore, to avoid this, always prefer a reputable email service provider because they especially take steps to prevent spammers from using their services, thus ensuring that the malicious actions of spammers don't adversely affect the deliverability of your emails.

Moreover, good email service providers will have in-built features to help you avoid other common spam triggers like no physical address or using a sending email address that looks suspicious.

Make it Easy to Unsubscribe

This strategy may seem counterintuitive, but this helps in solving two problems in one go that is: 

  1. Complying with the CAN-SPAM Act 
  2. Ensuring that subscribers trust you.

Making it easy to unsubscribe shows your readers that you are confident about the value you provide in your content. The level of easiness of unsubscribing to the email list depends upon you. If you have high confidence in your brand, you can put an unsubscribe button in the email’s header and the footer. However, the risk is that people can either unsubscribe without reading or click on the button by mistake if they place it in the header. Therefore, a standard unobtrusive unsubscribe button in the email footer is the best way to go for you.

If someone wants to leave your email list, make it easy for them by giving a clear unsubscribe button or link. Do not create hurdles in the unsubscribe process like asking users to log in, as it will only prompt users to mark your emails as spam rather because that’s much easier for them. Besides, a clear unsubscribe button will keep your business compliant with the CAN-SPAM act.

Use spam checkers

Spam checkers help you test your emails and predict how likely recipients will put them in their spam folders. Although ISPs have the ultimate authority to filter out the messages, spam checkers provide senders with the necessary insights to prepare new marketing campaigns. 

Avoid spam trigger words

Earlier, there were specific lists of "spam trigger words" to avoid in your marketing emails, but with rising complexities in the online world, spam filters have become more sophisticated. Therefore, instead of focusing on specific power words, it is best to think more comprehensively and ensure that you don't write subject lines that sound like spam.

Spammy words like 'buy now', 'invest directly', 'free', '0%', etc., trigger the spam filters and send the email straight to the junk box. Steer clear from adding unnecessary exclamation marks in the header and adding too many outbound links.

Monitor your email metrics

It is vital to regularly monitor your metrics and email performance to know the progress of your email campaigns. But before that, it is pertinent to understand your baseline metrics. 

  • Spam complaints
  • Bounce rate 
  • Click-through rates
  • Open rates
  • Delivery rates
  • Response rates

These metrics reflect the performance of previous email campaigns that landed in the inbox. Use these metrics to understand user engagement and identify inactive or disengaged users so that you can add them to the suppression list. If you keep sending emails to such users, it will show inbox providers that we are sending emails to users who are not interested in them. Hence, it will negatively impact the deliverability.

Don't get discouraged if you see negative trends, and try to understand the reasons and solutions to the problem. For example, a drastic dip in open rate can mean emails are landing in spam. In this case, you can confirm by checking spam complaint rates in Google Postmasters. While testing your emails, use actual content and recipients. It will help you test emails on a small batch of recipients to determine how an internet service provider (ISP) will respond.

Conclusion

The world of PR email marketing is unique, having different sets of problems where the audience is also unique and prefers different content. The more you understand your audience, the better you will have chances of engaging with them regularly without going to their spam list.


About the Author

Aquibur Rahman is the CEO of Mailmodo, an email marketing solution that enables users to send app-like interactive emails. He has marketing experience in inbound and outbound strategies, SEO, growth, CRO, and marketing automation. He has helped many B2C and B2B brands, including early-stage tech startups to fast-track growth using agile and data-driven marketing processes. When Google released AMP emails, Aquib saw great potential in it for reinventing email marketing. This led him to start Mailmodo to help businesses get better ROI from email marketing. 

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