Email Delivery – How to Pass the Mind Filter

The experience shows that the email message content is not the most important thing that prompts ISP anti-spam filters to deliver the message or block it right away. But it could be the reason why the recipients open the message or mark it as spam.Hotmail, AOL, or Yahoo anti-spam filters may seem strict and tough but they cannot be compared with the toughest filter of all: the recipient’s mind. Automatic filters are at least consistent and analyze every email that arrives using the same parameters, factors and keywords.The human (or mind) filter is quite different. It is far more subjective and unpredictable and can filter the emails in the very unexpected way. Your recipients can reject your email if the way you format your subject and/or sender lines is not familiar to them, if they don’t like how your email looks in the e-mail client preview panel, or because of any other factor that has nothing to do with the actual message content.

Haven’t you ever accidentally deleted or reported as spam a quite legitimate email message? It happened to me a few times I must admit. Those were opt-in email newsletters I subscribed myself.The mind filter often produces excessive spam complaints. This affects your fair name and your delivery rate. However, you can tailor your email message to pass through the most capricious human filter if you address the issues in three areas: sender line, subject line, and preview pane.

Make your Sender line recognizable

The sender line definitely predetermines the recipient’s behavior toward the message. The sender line can make the message to be opened or reported as spam.Always make sure that your sender line shows the most recognizable name. It can be your brand or company Token Multisender name, but not the person who actually sends the emails out. Readers look for familiar identities. If they don’t recognize you, they will delete and possibly report your message as spam.Older versions of some email clients, like AOL, might still show only the email address in the sender line. In this case, use the email address that contains your brand or company name, for example,

Write a clear and concise Subject line

In case if the recipient doesn’t recognize the message sender, the subject line is the next thing he looks at. You might have read many tips suggesting you to write an eye-catching subject line that would grad the reader’s attention instantly. It’s OK but what is more important is composing a subject line the recipients will recognize if the sender line doesn’t do its job. The best way to compose the subject line to get it past the mind filter is to brand it with your company, newsletter name, or product brand, whichever is more relevant to your recipients. Without a familiar name in it, the sender line can hurt you.Also, look at your competitors’ newsletters. As a marketer, you must be subscribed to many competing email newsletters or sales flyers. What do you have in your Inbox? Do your subject lines stand out? Do they look like your competitors’ ones or, worse, the spammers’ emails that are being spread out in your market niche?In most major e-mail clients there is a small pane where the recipient can preview email messages without having to open them. This is where all three elements – sender line, subject line, and preview pane – have to work together.

By default preview panes block the images within the message (unless the recipient changes the settings to show them), so you can’t rely on them to make your message instantly recognizable. You have about 4 square inches of space to present yourself or your company and to describe clearly what your message is about. If you fail to do this, the recipient may delete your message without opening it or report it as spam.With all that said, always keep in mind the human element when composing your email message. You can create a technically perfect email newsletter that will pass through ISP anti-spam filters but will get stuck at the recipient’s mind filter. Always review your messages before they are sent out and ensure they can be immediately recognizable, using the sender line, the subject line, and the appearance in the email client’s preview pane.


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