The look and feel of your emails still plays a very important part in whether your email will land in the spam folder rather than the inbox.
Why Does Content Matter?
The content of your emails plays a big role in email deliverability because email providers want to make sure they’re only delivering emails that people actually want to receive. If your content is seen as spammy or irrelevant, email providers might filter your emails into the spam folder or block them altogether. So, creating high-quality content is key to making sure your emails reach the inbox.
Following best practices for email content is important because it helps improve your email deliverability, keeps your domain reputation in good shape, and ensures your recipients stay engaged with your emails. Basically, it’s all about making sure your emails are valuable and enjoyable for your readers.
How can you create email content that’s most likely to reach the inbox?
Here’s a nice handy acronym to help you remember what’s important with content: it spells out the name WILF.
Words: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.
We’d recommend that you focus on writing authentic emails that are quick and to the point.
Remember, the average reader spends just 51 seconds reading an email, so writing emails that look like a novel is not a good idea!
Bear in mind that the point of an email is not to sell (that’s what your sales pages are for). Your main focus should be to capture your audience’s attention and bridge them to the next step (clicking on your call to action).
Keep your language clear, concise, and relevant to your audience. Personalise your emails when possible to make them more engaging, and always include a clear call toaction.
Avoid using ALL CAPS, excessive punctuation (!!!), or spammy words and phrases. Heavily used marketing phrases such as “free”, “act now” or “click here” might trigger spam filters.
Images: Are you using too many images?
Use high-quality, relevant images that enhance your message, but don’t overdo it. Too many images can make your email look too promotional or cluttered, and they can make the email slow to load. Be sure to include descriptive “alt text” for your images in case they don’t load properly or for recipients using screen readers.
Links: The fewer the better! And be careful where you link to.
Only include trustworthy, relevant links in your emails. Avoid using too many links, as this can trigger spam filters or send you to the Promotions tab. Also, use descriptive anchor text for your links, so your recipients know what to expect
when they click.
Only link to sites that are not on any blocklists and have positive reputations. You can use sites such as MX Toolbox or Hetrix Tools to check whether specific domains are listed on the most common blocklists.
Pro Tip: Never use link shorteners such as bit.ly because spammers use them too! Even if you’ve got your own personalised link shortener, it’s pointless because you shouldn’t be actually showing the URL itself in the text of your email, and your email platform will rewrite the link anyway to allow it to be tracked.
Formatting: Don’t send emails that look like ads!
The more your email looks and feels like a personally written email, the better the chance of landing in the primary inbox rather than the promotions or spam folder.
So keep your email formatting clean and easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and headers to break up your content. Stick to a simple, consistent font and color scheme.
By following these best practices for email content, you’ll improve your email deliverability and keep your recipients engaged and happy.
If you’re interested in a Content Review where Evan, our co-founder and expert on email content, will review your emails and give you specific feedback to make improvements, please get in touch by emailing us and we’ll be happy to help.