More and more free email services are introducing (for want of a better phrase) over-sensitive spam filters. The idea of this article is to help you to construct your newsletters to make sure they are not flagged as spam, and to guard you against spam complaints.

Basic things ALL newsletters should include

1. An un-subscribe link.
This is now part of the US Can Spam Act and EU anti-spam legislation. ALL newsletters or promotional emails you send MUST contain a clickable unsubscribe link whereby a user can immediately remove themselves from your mailing list should they wish to do so.

2. A disclaimer

You can copy and paste this one if you wish It is carefully worded so that it does not trigger spam filters.

This newsletter is double opt in. Your email address was entered at our site and a confirmation link was clicked in a verification email we sent to you when you joined.

{Your Site Name} Is strictly against unsolicited email. Should you no longer wish to receive these mailings please click the link below to unsubscribe yourself from our list.”

{unsubscribe link}

We recommend you place this information at the TOP of your newsletter. It covers you against spam complaints.

3. A reply to email address

This should be featured clearly in the email.

4. Your main website address

No need to explain this

If you really want to do things correctly, here are the basic required parts to a newsletter to make it RFC compliant (the internet standard for legitimate email)

* Persons transmitting mail from must not do anything that tries to hide, forge or misrepresent the sender of the e-mail and sending site of the e-mail.

* Bulk mailings must specifically state how the members’ e-mail addresses were obtained and must indicate the frequency of the mailing.

* Bulk mailings should contain simple and obvious unsubscribe mechanisms. We recommend that this is in the form of a working link to a one-click unsubscribe system; however, a valid “reply to:” address may be used instead.

* All subscription based e-mail must have valid, non-electronic, contact information for the sending organisation in the text of each e-mail including phone number and a physical mailing address.

Some webmasters do not clearly show this information. Personally, we have always shown our physical address and telephone number and have never had either stalkers or crank calls (smile)

HTML or Text newsletters??

With modern mailing list systems like Mail Chimp, you can now give the user this choice. Compose your email using Mail Chimp‘s simple drag and drop builder in HTML. In our experience, most users choose HTML email.

Do Not Over Send.

This may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many subscribers it can lose for you. If you are like me in the past you will have unsubscribed from mailing lists for no other reason than they emailed you too often.

Recommended Mailing List Software

We recommend Mail Chimp for sending your business newsletters. You can have up to 2000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails free each month. When you get to more than 2000 subscribers there will be charges for their service however by then your list should be earning you more than enough to justify the cost.

in Mailing Lists

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