Trees are losing leaves, the weather is getting nasty and you no longer feel so optimistic, when setting up an email campaign on Monday morning, as just a couple of months ago… Well, autumn is here, and the Halloween season too. Halloween, time of fear and darkness that creeps into the email marketing world.

Let me tell you a story of a small town in the darkest corners of the network, Marketington. It looks like the most peaceful place in the whole Internet with familiar society, happiness on the streets and pleased locals. But for many, many years there has been a gang of terrifying emails that during the Halloween night comes out from the darkest side of the city to visit the homes of residents, causing terrible damage. They encourage people to open their doors by shouting ’trick or treat’. You may have already heard of them – they are called SPAM.

SPAM gang arouses a fear in all Marketington. They are unpredictable, brutal and above all extremely cunning…They know all the tricks and can fool anyone to open the doors for them. The target of their actions are the residents of the Email Street… The terrified locals have lost their trust, unsure who is hiding behind the next email, and become very unwilling to open their doors for any email that comes into their inbox. Good emails have to make an incredible effort to rebuild trust, increase their reputation and finally get some sweets.
The guards of the whole Internet world had to set up strict borders (filters), so the SPAM emails will never find their way to Email Street. When caught, they get sent straight to SPAM inbox, which is basically a prison for nasty emails. Unfortunately, quality emails are also affected… Whenever their reputation gets a bit shady, SPAM filters will detect them amongst other emails and sent them to the SPAM inbox, even though their content might be valuable and interesting for the recipients.
This story clearly reflects the email marketing world in a real life. As you are an email marketer, you are a part of Marketington. Halloween night is simply an email campaign time, and Email Street is the list of recipients that we send our emails to. If they open their doors and read the email in their inbox, they might treat the sender, by converting into a paying customer. On the other hand, they might not trust the sender, and report the message as a spam. If the sender was previously identified as a baddy, their email is already in the email prison, SPAM BOX, so no chance for treats at all!
If you are standing behind the good emails, you might already know how unfair and annoying is when your content is treated in same way as the emails about Nigerian prince or cheap Viagra. Disappointment, helplessness, and irritation. No one likes that! But there is a way to differentiate yourself from the SPAM gang. First of all, it is all about the content that you are sending, and to who you are sending it to. You need to adopt specific measures, so the recipients will not mark you as a SPAM. Email only those, who agreed to be on your campaign list, personalize your content, create a truthful but appealing title, make it easy to unsubscribe, be consistent and remove inactive users.

But most importantly – protect your sender reputation by reducing your bounce rate! Never ever send to unverified email lists! Each time your email bounce back due to an invalid email address, your reputation takes a hit. When your reputation takes a hit, the eyes of ‘the guards’ are on you. It is basically just one more step to get blacklisted and become a part of SPAM gang. Verify, verify and one more time VERIFY your list, maintain it clean and free of hidden undeliverable emails.

Stay on the good side of the internets, be a worthy man of Marketington, a polite guest of Email Street, never ever ‘trick’, and most of all – avoid the SPAM gang!