Lowering Your SQ: Spamminess Quotient

    January 3, 2003

Spam is unsolicited commercial email. And its use by unethical or ignorant marketers has risen dramatically during the past two years.

In fact, spam has become such a nuisance that most Internet Service Providers now use anti-spam filtering software. A good thing, right? Not completely.

You see, as a conscientious newsletter publisher or Internet marketer, you work hard to create useful and interesting content. Now, as a result of the increased use of spam filters, you must evaluate every mailing for its SQ, or “Spamminess Quotient”. You must modify all that useful and interesting content so that it makes it through the filters.

This is no longer an option. Many people who specifically asked to receive your emails may never receive it because an ISP’s filter mistook it for spam. If they don’t receive it, they can’t read it. If they can’t read it, you’ve lost either a potential customer or a subscriber.

Fortunately, there are a few tips to decrease you SQ and improve the chances that your email will actually reach your subscriber.

  • Avoid trigger words and phrases (free, limited time, sex, xxx, make money, click here, etc.) in your subject line and body.
  • Save your aggressive superlative-laden sales copy for the webpage.
  • Show your newsletter name, publication frequency (monthly, weekly, etc.) and date in the subject line.
  • Include words such as “news”, “newsletter”, or “list” in the subject line, if appropriate.
  • Substituting a * for a vowel in an objectionable word, in an effort to sneak past filters, will likely have the opposite effect.
  • Rather than having your “reply-to” address be the unsubscribe address, or having a “to unsubscribe, email this address” link, provide a link to a “subscription management” webpage.
  • Avoid including JavaScript, i-frames, or form actions.

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