Foundations of Email Deliverability

First of four posts in the Email Deliverability Series

Is your email ending up in the Junk folder?

The most engaging or creative email in the world is worthless if you can’t get it into a person’s Inbox. That’s why I’m starting with some foundational tips for success with email in general, mixed with some Marketing Cloud features as well.

First, I recommend checking your email’s “Spam Score” to make sure it can pass through to the Inbox.

The “spam confidence level” is a score between -1 and 9 that is assigned to your message based on several factors. Email services like Microsoft don’t disclose the full details of their scoring algorithm in order to keep the spammers guessing (and us, too), but there are a few things that we know. For example:

  • If a single message goes to multiple recipients, the score may go up a little.
  • When you send a message but only BCC your recipient list, leaving the To: line blank, the score goes up.
  • If there are many hyperlinks, a large graphic-to-text ratio, dollar signs or several spammy keywords like “Free” “Viagra” “Refinance” “mortgage” or “Work from home” the algorithm will likely raise your spam score.
  • See the list of spam trigger words.

A score of -1 is typically a small, internal email from me to you, for example. Messages with a high score of 7, 8, or 9 typically come from email services on known blacklists, include lots of spammy words, or are trying to hide their true identity by spoofing an email address.

According to Microsoft, the default Office365 threshold for messages at my organization is a 7. So, if you run your message header through the Message Analyzer and you receive a score of 7 or greater, you can count on your message getting filtered to the junk folder.

Check your spam score by pasting your email header into either of the following links:

My next post includes additional deliverability tips, so read on.

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