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Keep Sales Emails Out of the Spam Trap

Welcome to another Sales Intelligence Whiteboard video!

In this session, we provide information on how to avoid the spam filter when sending email. We’ve talked about email being one of the most critical forms of communication today but sales reps and how many are not treating it right. This email helps you make sure you get the majority of your emails through the filter giving them the best chance to make an impact.

Here is the video in case you are reading this through RSS:

Hey everybody. Kyle Porter here with SalesLoft and welcome to another edition of Sales Intelligence Whiteboards. Last week we talked to you about how do you improve the chances that your email recipient responds to your email? This time we’re going to help you avoid the dreaded spam trap.

When you’re sending sales emails, oftentimes these are people that you haven’t met yet or that you’ve only corresponded with over the phone, and that means there’s a high likelihood that it gets caught up in spam. So using these tips and tricks will help you to improve the chances that you make it through and we’ll jump right into them.

The first is, avoid using gimmicky words. This is “cheap”, “buy”, “offer”. There are all kinds of words that you don’t want to have in that email. We’ll include a link in the bottom of this video. But you want to check those out and make sure that you’re not putting these gimmicky words in your emails anywhere.

The second is to can all HTML. So when you have images, when you have links, all that HTML adds a level of uncertainty to the email that spam traps like to capture and catch. For example, they can’t even read images, so they tend to throw those out. So think about what you’re putting in and only put the minimal amount of either images or links inside your document.

The third is don’t abuse punctuation. That means a bunch of exclamation points. Never use all caps, especially in the subject line. Don’t use repeated words. Don’t use tricky words that use symbols. Try to keep this as simple, as short, and as straightforward as you possibly can.

The fourth is to use a straightforward subject line. Again, that’s not a lot of caps, not a confusing subject line. You may want to do something like use the name of the prospect, maybe the name of the company, name of a competitor or someone that you mutually know. Put something in there that’s relevant, that’s a common word that would be in this type of email and that way it might make it through the spam filter.

So these are the basics. Like I said, we’ll include some links at the bottom. But think about this when you’re sending email. I think that’s the most important thing. When you’re writing and crafting emails to your prospects, not only are you thinking about “How do I get this responded to by the prospect?” But you’ve got to make sure that you’re not putting things in there that are going to get them caught up in spam.

So this is just a quick way of talking to you about how to avoid the spam filter. Please, if you’ve got any suggestions or advice on things we left out, leave them below in the comments and we’ll see you next week. Thanks so much.

Written by Kyle Porter

Kyle Porter is the CEO and Founder of SalesLoft. He is an avid writer and speaker on the topics of sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

  • This is a start, but a little more detail would be helpful.

    Have to say I’ve never seen “gimmicky” used to describe notorious spam trigger words. A quick Google search will serve up lists of words and phrases that should be avoided at all costs.

    It’s important to remember that this is a business communication. You want to make a great impression as a sales professional. So, maybe when you think about avoiding gimmicky words, you want to avoid slang, acronyms (unless explained inside parentheses), and a too-casual tone.

    The “avoid HTML” rule comes from years ago when spammers found that making their emails one big graphic would circumvent most spam filters. That’s still valid. However, there are Marketing-CRM applications that make it easy to send one-to-one trackable HTML emails as well as text versions. Since their servers are configured to send email and the IP addresses are constantly monitored, deliverability is not a problem.

    A personal pet peeve are the gratuitous company graphics included in signature files that register as attachments. How many times have you clicked to see that attachment and it’s a graphic that just wasted your time and perhaps made a bad impression?

    Good punctuation, spelling, and grammar are a given in a business email. You’re not a spammer. You’re not a 12-year-old girl or her grandmother talking about the latest Justin Bieber song.

    You only have 65 useful spaces in the Subject line and most agree that anything more than 50 spaces is a waste. It’s *the* most important part of your email. If you want include your company name, use the From line, e.g. Lydia Think hard about why you’re sending this email and what you want the recipient to do, like open the email. Here’s a great short, graphic article, “The Art of the Email Subject Line” with comments from Guy Kawasaki and Bob Adelman, CEO of GoDaddy ( just published this summer.