Author Topic: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder  (Read 960 times)

alhawke

Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« on: April 20, 2022, 01:02:15 PM »
Any tips or tried and true ways to gaining interest from your newsletter subject header while avoiding the spam folder? I've read that you should not write things like "sale" or "deal". What about emojis? Symbols are becoming more popular.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2022, 03:22:00 PM »
When you say subject header, are you talking about the subject of the email as it appears in the reader's inbox?
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LilyBLily

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2022, 12:05:31 AM »
That's likely.

I've received newsletters with emojis. The real issue is the thousands of people with gmail accounts. You might want to test one yourself and see if it gets caught in gmail's promotions tab.
 
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alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2022, 12:26:30 AM »
When you say subject header, are you talking about the subject of the email as it appears in the reader's inbox?
Yes. The subject header. There's been many times where I want to announce a sale, but I'm hesitant due to the spam filter. So I wanted to see what you do.
I've received newsletters with emojis. The real issue is the thousands of people with gmail accounts. You might want to test one yourself and see if it gets caught in gmail's promotions tab.
I think Bookzio places emojis in all their subjects. I'd love to play around and do it myself but, again, I'd be worried about it getting lost in spam folders. The thing with testing is it could work for some devices but not others??

I was hoping you all could tell me what you routinely do and what's worked for you.
 

alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2022, 12:30:50 AM »
As I look at my inbox this morning, I see many promoters are doing the emoji thing now in their subject header: Bargain Booksy has an hour glass, 99cent books has a heart, Litring has a pic of books.
 

idontknowyet

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2022, 12:52:44 AM »
i am really bad at newsletters so take this with a grain of salt. I always use emojis in my newsletter header, though not in the actual newsletter. I think they draw a bit of attention, and i like hearts and flowers.
I think words are the important part to avoid the spam folder. From what i deducted the word uber will put you in there and probably any major companies name.
 
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alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2022, 05:25:18 AM »
I always use emojis in my newsletter header, though not in the actual newsletter. I think they draw a bit of attention, and i like hearts and flowers.
Have you seen any drop or increase in reader #s opening the newsletter from your use of emojis?

{edit for clarity
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 05:28:18 AM by alhawke »
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2022, 06:50:20 AM »
I'm no newsletter expert by any means, so, like idontknowyet, take my advice with a big grain of salt.  But here's my anecdote, for whatever it's worth:

I don't use emojis or gimmick words.  I just have the title of the newsletter followed by a number.  That's it.  I should add, though, that I give free books away (group promotions) in pretty much every issue of my newsletter, so I don't need to advertise "free" in the subject line.  My biggest challenge has been in trying to turn "free" readers into "paid" readers.  I'm still working on that.   :dizzy

I subscribe to Patty Jansen's Ebookaroo, and she has a kangaroo emoji in the subject line in addition to the words "free" and "cheap."  However, she also has a message about whitelisting in every issue, so I'm guessing she's tripped some spam filters in the past.   :shrug  Actually, now that I think about it, I think I had to whitelist Ebookaroo because it was being sent to my spam folder at one point.

I also subscribe to Jaxon Reed's newsletter, and his is simply titled "Jaxon Reed's Newsletter."  No emojis or gimmick words.  I read it every time, though, because the content is interesting.  That's all that really matters, in my opinion: interesting content.  No amount of emojis or gimmick words will save you if your newsletter's content sucks, and if your content is good, no emojis or gimmicks are necessary.


As I look at my inbox this morning, I see many promoters are doing the emoji thing now in their subject header: Bargain Booksy has an hour glass, 99cent books has a heart, Litring has a pic of books.


Advertisers tend to be trend followers.  They do something because others are doing it, not necessarily because it works.  It may work, but the fact that it's trendy isn't proof that it works.  It's just proof that it's trendy.  If you want to know if something works, or at least works for you, then you'll have to experiment with it yourself and collect your own data.

Well, there you go.  Hope that helps.  :)
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Anarchist

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2022, 09:07:09 AM »
No amount of emojis or gimmick words will save you if your newsletter's content sucks, and if your content is good, no emojis or gimmicks are necessary.

QFT
"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell

"The State is an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots—an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches.” - Hans Hoppe

"Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience." - Adam Smith

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LilyBLily

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2022, 10:08:14 AM »
Apparently, I won't have the opportunity to try this out today, since Mailerlite keeps demanding a verification code, sending the code, and then claiming it's an invalid code.

I think the universe is trying to tell me something. :dizzy
 

alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2022, 11:34:39 AM »
No amount of emojis or gimmick words will save you if your newsletter's content sucks, and if your content is good, no emojis or gimmicks are necessary.
QFT
This makes a lot of sense, particularly for emojis and pics. Thanks, Jeff. Still sometimes I run a rare promotion that I want to highlight. It be nice to know what's said that could land the email in the spam folder.

I could start telling everybody to whitelist my email address. I haven't been a fan of this cause I've never bothered doing it for any address myself.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2022, 01:42:08 PM »
Whitelisting is important in gmail, which seems to be a very popular email system. I put my whitelisting notice in my welcome automation and hope that's enough. I seem to have plenty of subscribers with gmail accounts, although hotmail is popular, too. Even a few aol accounts!

If you self-host you probably don't need to whitelist (because you are in control).
 
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alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2022, 01:51:23 PM »
I put my whitelisting notice in my welcome automation and hope that's enough.
I'll look into doing that. Hope you got things worked out with MailerLite.
 

Cephus

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Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2022, 01:12:49 AM »
Whitelisting is important in gmail, which seems to be a very popular email system. I put my whitelisting notice in my welcome automation and hope that's enough. I seem to have plenty of subscribers with gmail accounts, although hotmail is popular, too. Even a few aol accounts!

If you self-host you probably don't need to whitelist (because you are in control).

Maybe I'm weird, but I've always white-listed and filtered any expected content coming in because I don't want it to get lost among the garbage. That means that for any author mailing lists that I'm a part of, each ends up in its own folder, waiting for me to get to it. I don't have to search past the Nigerian prince scams, it's just there. It just doesn't make sense to do otherwise, at least to me.
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idontknowyet

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2022, 03:25:10 AM »
I dont ever use the words sale, free, great deal etc. That just seems spammy to me and i'd expect to have it hit the junk folders.
 
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jaxonreed

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2022, 01:27:38 PM »

I also subscribe to Jaxon Reed's newsletter, and his is simply titled "Jaxon Reed's Newsletter."  No emojis or gimmick words.  I read it every time, though, because the content is interesting.

Aw, shucks. Thanks for the kind words.  :icon_redface:
 

idontknowyet

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2022, 03:34:00 PM »
Apparently, I won't have the opportunity to try this out today, since Mailerlite keeps demanding a verification code, sending the code, and then claiming it's an invalid code.

I think the universe is trying to tell me something. :dizzy
From what ive heard this is common. contact customer support. it took a friend like 2 weeks then she contacted them got it fixed quickly.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2022, 11:21:01 PM »
Apparently, I won't have the opportunity to try this out today, since Mailerlite keeps demanding a verification code, sending the code, and then claiming it's an invalid code.

I think the universe is trying to tell me something. :dizzy
From what I've heard this is common. contact customer support. it took a friend like 2 weeks then she contacted them got it fixed quickly.

Thanks. When I pasted in the code a different way, I got in. What a waste of time.
 
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2022, 05:32:20 AM »

I also subscribe to Jaxon Reed's newsletter, and his is simply titled "Jaxon Reed's Newsletter."  No emojis or gimmick words.  I read it every time, though, because the content is interesting.

Aw, shucks. Thanks for the kind words.  :icon_redface:


 :cheers
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writeway

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2022, 04:33:28 PM »
If I have a new release I use a tagline from the book I'm sharing as the subject heading. It makes things interesting. When I share without a new release, I try to come up with something catchy.
 
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alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2022, 12:37:57 AM »
If I have a new release I use a tagline from the book I'm sharing as the subject heading. It makes things interesting. When I share without a new release, I try to come up with something catchy.
I have no idea why I never thought of that. This is a great one. Thanks!
 

writeway

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2022, 02:44:52 PM »
You're welcome!
 

alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2022, 02:40:40 AM »
Well, speaking of spam again... it's happened this month. I ran a promotion, got new "fans", sent out a newsletter and got accused of spamming readers :icon_sad:. 13 spams to be exact out of 2500 with 90 unsubscribes. Ouch. Got in trouble with Mailerlite. Account froze. Now the account is back up again (thanks Mailerlite!) I informed them I'd prune all the new readers. I plan to send out a separate mailer literally inviting unsubscribes to confirm my actual new reader--which will be tricky too because I could be accused of spam from a confirmatory email  :doh:

With programs like Booksweeps new program out there advertising 3000 possible new subscribers, we have to be careful with this stuff. The annoying thing is we all detest spam on our end when it hits us, but it's equally annoying when we're the ones accused of the spamming.

I thought you guys would do with a warning out there. Be careful when growing your newsletter, especially if you're aggressive like me. You can do all things right, but the company your working with might not properly verify. Then you can lose your account.

In retrospect, I should have trickled in the new subscribers and personally verified such a large list. That's a lesson learned.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2022, 03:26:39 AM »
When you built the list, did you use confirmed opt-in?
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2022, 04:10:17 AM »
When you built the list, did you use confirmed opt-in?
I was assured by the vendor I used that they confirmed. I should have done my own confirmation.

I haven't needed to do this in the past with Booksweeps. I get some spam and unsubscribes from them too. It depends on the vendor and the number of readers. Booksweeps usually garner me like 350 emails. This was over a thousand. In this case, the sheer number of new readers already put me at greater risk, I think.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2022, 04:30:44 AM »
Tell me if I am guessing correctly here.  You ran a promotion but that promotion did not send prospects to the signup form for your list but instead the vendor collected the eMail addresses and then provided them to you?  And then you dropped those addresses into your list?  Is that correct?
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2022, 04:34:41 AM »
It was like a Booksweeps promo. It was a book in exchange for an email promo and I've done a few of them over the past few months (past ones without this glitch). The list was provided to me after verified by the promo company. Then I added the list.

It's actually becoming more and more popular with promotion companies. They're not just running sales promos anymore (cause those are getting harder to garner enough sales for justifying ROI), they're running newsletter promos. Very much like Bookfunnel cross-author newsletter promotions.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2022, 05:06:33 AM »
The list was provided to me after verified by the promo company.

That's where it gets fuzzy for me.  What are they verifying?  That the eMail addresses are valid?  Or that they are valid subscribers?

I'm guessing a person signs up for the promo, gets some free books and somewhere there is a disclaimer that they are agreeing to be on the authors' lists in exchange for the free books.  But, then what?  Where's the confirmation?  You haven't sent them anything so they won't recognize your list's eMail address when they receive it later.  Do they sign up per book or in a group?  What if I signed up to get John Doe's book then Joe Smith starts eMailing me?  I may not even remember Joe Smith was offering a free book because I wasn't interested in it.

Also, how long after the promo before you receive the eMail addresses?  If I go to your website and signup on your list, if you are using confirmed opt-in, I will get the eMail asking me to confirm within minutes (usually seconds).  I'm not likely to forget in that amount of time.  But, if I sign up for something on Friday and start receiving stuff Monday or even later, I'm probably not going to remember signing up.  And I'd probably consider it spam.

If you are manually adding eMails to your list, I would set it up so that they are required to confirm the subscription, if your list provider has that option.  In the confirmation message, remind them that they signed up via whatever promo site you used, express your hope that they are enjoying the book(s) they downloaded (which serves as an additional memory nudge) and ask them to confirm that they want to be on your list.  Maybe offer a second freebie for staying.  Anyone that doesn't confirm gets removed.  That should reduce spam complaints.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
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alhawke

Re: Garnering newsletter interest while avoiding the spam folder
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2022, 07:22:36 AM »
Yeah, I get it. They say they check the emails verifying that the readers want to sign up, but it needs to go through an additional verification by me--particularly when it's a big list.

Doing these promos has worked for me. Aside from the snag, I'm getting on average 35-40% opens with around 700 readers with each email after growing it over the past three years. Full list is 2500.