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Keep your e-mail pitches out of the junk-mail file


E-mail marketing is here to stay. When done right, it’s incredibly powerful and cost-effective. Many of you are probably already using it as part of your marketing arsenal.

If so, you have probably banged your head against the spam filters that more and more Internet service providers and companies are employing to protect e-mail users from junk e-mails. Because of the barrage of unwanted e-mail, the filters have to cast out a pretty wide net. Unfortunately, good e-mail also can get caught in those nets. So what is a legitimate e-mail marketer supposed to do to avoid being lumped in with all the junk that’s floating out there?

Here are a few tips to make sure your e-mail gets delivered on schedule:

– Avoid words that trigger the filters. Words like “free,” “cash” and “great offer” (In case you’re curious, the phrase “stop snoring” also will get caught in the filter!)

– Do not send e-mail solicitations or information without asking permission first.

– Write e-mail subject lines that cut to the chase. Remember how quickly you scan your own e-mail in-basket. This isn’t the place to be cryptic.

– Use an online tool to check your copy for filter triggers. I like lyris.com’s tool. You just paste your e-mail subject line and copy into the site’s online form and within a few minutes you’re sent a free report identifying which words are going to cause you problems and might keep your message from getting through. You can find it at www.lyris.com/contentchecker.

E-mail marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your Web site, invite inquiries and initiate conversations with current or potential customers. Don’t let the filters and other e-mail snags rob you of that opportunity.

Drew McLellan is Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group and the author of “99.3 Random Acts of Marketing.” He can be reached at Drew@MclellanMarketing.com.

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