It's hard to get an email through these days

What with all the SPAM filters, firewalls, anti-virus software and corporate paranoia about getting a virus, it's really hard for marketers to get a legitimate e-mail newsletter delivered these days. I spoke at the Seatle Legal Marketing Associaton chapter on "E-Marketing in the world of SPAM."

The Wall Street Journal gave the example of the guy who applied for a job, noting he graduated "magna cum laude." His email was rejected for containing an obscenity. The stupid filter mistook "cum" as a porno word. Lots of people are using spam blockers, like the annoying Earthlink spamBlocker, which stops newsletters that people have requested to get.

It's too bad, because research shows that sending an e-Newsletter is a highly effective marketing technique, and is among the top 10 things that clients want from their professional service firms.

The good news is that marketers can maximize deliverability of their e-marketing, if they know the tricks:

  • Know what spam filters look for -- Avoid ALL CAPS or punctuation in subject line
  • Send simple messages - short text with URLs for detail
  • Personalize the message -- use software to personally address the message.
  • Send from an individual's email address - not
  • Don't send BCC messages, spam filters consider this a hallmark of spam.
  • Use a service to send your E-newsletter. I recommend eLawMarketing, which has a feature called "Content Dectective," that score your email the way spam filters do. eLawMarketing will also send out your e-Newsletters in small batches of email, so as not to trigger volume filters.

    Here are some other things Spam filters look for:

  • Use of graphic images with little or no text
  • The message is larger than the recipient's limit
  • The message has an attachment (.pdf, .zip). These get deleted and stripped right off.
  • The background is in color
  • FrontPage used to create the message. Microsoft lards in all sorts of easy-to-spot proprietary code that is easy for filters to find.
  • Subject contains punctuation ( $ ! ? * / + )
  • Body or Subject uses voodoo words

    Here is a list of voodoo words that law firms use:

    Dear ....
    Not intended for residents of...
    Avoid bankruptcy
    Call now
    Toll-free prefix
    Limited time offer
    Full refund
    Save up to...
    Millions of dollars
    Urgent matter
    Potential earnings
    Free offer, free quote

    If you'd like me to give this lecture to your organization or group, please call me at 630.942.0977.

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    Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
    Kevin O'Keefe - April 23, 2004 4:27 PM

    This is excellent info.

    I saw Larry's presentation to the LMA here in Seattle this week. It was excellent. Good simple messages that everyone could understand with a good handout tracking the info presented. He did not have us drinking out of a fire hose like is the case with so many presentations. Every person there should have been able to walk away with two to three sound ideas they could put to work immediately. If you get a chance to see Larry talk - take the opportunity.

    Larry is also spearheading the North American Journal for Marketing Professional Services. I know that sounds a little high powered but I this is an excellent magazine chock full of practical info for legal marketing as well as success stories in law marketing. Frankly, the monthly magazine is probably worth the membership.

    Wow Larry. You never knew that I was as cheap to buy off as that bottle of water you bought me when we met Wednesday am. ;)

    - Kevin

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