How email newsletters differ from spam: which emails inspire trust and interest among recipients

How not to turn your mailing list into spam? – a question that will always be relevant for both newbies and seasoned email marketers

Email clients try to keep email as a convenient channel for users. To do this, they, among other things, are constantly improving spam filters. Some senders are looking for ways to get around them, while others unknowingly turn their messages into spam. In this article, we will remind once again how they differ email newsletters from spam, and we will tell you how to build trust and ensure the continued interest of the audience in your emails.

Spam vs. distribution with permission

Spam – this is not only mailing to someone else’s / purchased base of subscribers who did not give their consent to receive mailing from you, but also any letter with irrelevant and irrelevant information for the subscriber. Spam characteristics:

  • messages are sent through a blind copy or from a public domain (,, etc.);

  • the subject line does not match the content;

  • there is no unsubscribe link;

  • sending continues until the recipient or the mail client takes blocking measures;

  • there is no personalization;

  • the offer does not bring value to the recipient, but pursues exclusively short-term commercial benefits:

Distribution with permission – this is the sending of messages to those recipients who voluntarily provided their contacts. How the database is collected: offline – when registering a savings card, via a QR code, at events, etc .; online – in subscription forms on the website and in social networks, using competitive mechanics and advertising to get leads, when performing a target action (registration, ordering, etc.), but always with consent to receive letters. The collected contacts before starting to work with them must go through validation, otherwise the mailing rates may be sad and in this case the services will consider you a spammer. And the most reliable way to get a high-quality database without uninterested and non-existent recipients is Double Opt-In – double confirmation of the subscription (additionally via a letter).

There is one more type of mailing – cold lettersthat are sent without prior authorization, but which may be useful to the recipient. for example, you saw the addressee at the conference and want to discuss cooperation. In this case, it is important to use the real name of the sender, and in the subject line indicate the reason for the appeal: “Ivanov, Email Conference, partnership”. Sender’s name and subject line – two main criteria that determine whether the recipient will open the message. A cold letter is not a promotional mailing, it should not sell anything, otherwise it will be regarded as spam. This is an acceptable type of communication at the stage of acquaintance, the beginning of cooperation, most often in B2B.

If the recipient doesn’t answer, don’t chase him. It is appropriate to send something else when you know that the letter has not been read (use the tracker).

An example of a decent follow up with Quora by Ryan O’Hara:

How to avoid spam

To prevent mailing from becoming spam, it must meet the following criteria:

  1. Sender recognizable name – hardly anyone will open a letter from an unknown and incomprehensible sender. Send messages from your brand, from your domain with customized digital signatures. This will instill confidence in recipients and mailers, as they will see that the letters from you and they were not tampered with.
  2. Verified address – professional services ensure correct work with IP, but conducting email marketing on your own without a dedicated address can bring a surprise in the form of spam neighbors. Reputation losses will have to be shared with them. And if you yourself will send a lot of messages from different addresses, but of the same IP, then this is a direct way for spam filters.
  3. Short and succinct subject line – it should reflect the essence of the message and not be full of caps, special symbols and stop words in the spirit of “earn”, “income”, “deals”, etc.
  4. Time of dispatch – the letter should arrive at a time convenient for the recipient. At 2 a.m. no one will open the email, and if he wakes up from a notification, he will most likely send a complaint. Consider business times and time zones when planning your mailings.
  5. Frequency of mailing must be adjusted for a specific recipient. You should not bombard a person with messages every day, especially if he does not read them. Track what time and what emails the user opens. This will help determine the frequency and appropriate timing of the mailing. Modern algorithms make it easy to build a mailing frequency strategy:
  6. Message structure – the rating of the message is also influenced by: the presence of the plain text version, blocks with the reason for which the person receives the mailing, and the ability to unsubscribe, the ratio of text blocks to images is at least 50/50 (but better with a preponderance towards the text).
  7. Content – naturally, the content of letters should not violate the law in topics or mechanics (links, scripts). Moreover, spam filters analyze how your subscribers interact with mailings. The more active it is, the better. And the recipient will only read messages that are interesting and relevant to him.

How to make your newsletter as interesting as possible for your recipients

To create engaging and relevant emails for your audience, you need to constantly monitor the interests of all subscribers and respond to changes in their behavior. If you have more than 100 contacts in your database, it is almost impossible to do it yourself, but the task is easily solved by modern email distribution services. For example, the functionality eSputnik allows you to record every action of a certain user in mailings and on the site, even when he is not logged in. Combining all information in one profile makes it possible to form the most personalized content based on his experience. This will generate responsiveness, trust in you, and generate sales.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to go through to create such a relevant mailing list:

1. Collection of information – in addition to static data (name, gender, date of birth, language), it is important to track and record the history of user interactions with your offers: adding to favorites, viewing pages on the site, opening a newsletter, etc. For all this, services have their own tools: starting from integrations with subscription forms, APIs, AMP polls in emails, ending with special behavior trackers.

2. Segmentation – allows you to use the collected information and divide the audience according to the selected criteria in order to form the most accurate proposal. The simplest example of segmentation is to send a contact only messages of the types and categories that he chose when subscribing. Thus, pet shop owners will not get bored with food for parrots or fish. The likelihood of getting into spam is already decreasing.
And there is also advanced segmentation, which includes more detailed information, data from various sources in real time, which does not need to be saved somewhere in advance: information from CRM, behavior on the site or in the application (every click, view of products, search, adding to the cart – any action). It takes into account the number of these actions, time intervals, previous purchases, average bill, even offline activity. All this can be combined in the conditions for composing a segment:

Such segmentation is available in eSputnik. You will also be able to use the data RFM analysis – form a segment based on user engagement, where
– R (Recency) – the age of the last purchase,
– F (Frequency) – total frequency of purchases,
– M (Monetary) – the volume of purchases,
and thus improve interaction with each of the customer groups. Make special offers to VIPs and return subscribers and customers whose activity has stopped in time. Or unsubscribe uninterested contacts, save your budget and avoid unnecessary spam complaints.

3. Personalization allows you to select content for segments to generate maximum response from recipients and ultimately increase sales. Based on the data collected by the system, you will generate personalized content for each user: Product recommendations, post-sales emails, abandoned carts / views, etc.

Email personalization is the ability to give the subscriber exactly the information that concerns him exclusively, which, as a result, shortens the chain of actions and pushes them to buy. Such mailing will always be useful for the recipient and profitable for the business.

4. High-quality design and layout of the letter – the form of the message is as important as its content. Modern systems have a convenient editor for creating responsive emails. You can design a newsletter in a recognizable corporate style, use a ready-made template with the correct code, add a ready-made text version of the letter – what you need to get into the inbox, even without special knowledge.

5. Testing and analysis of mailing… Even if you have no doubts about the relevance and effectiveness of your messages, it is always worth testing them for the best result. This is especially true for regular mailings, because the effectiveness sometimes depends on insignificant, in our opinion, factors. This can be the subject, text and elements of the letter, or, for example, the time of sending. The analysis will tell you what to look for.


High-quality email marketing has nothing to do with spam. A self-respecting company will never spam its subscribers, since this is a direct path to the loss of trust between postal service providers, mailing systems and the customers themselves. If you care about your recipients: you study them, segment them, personalize content with high quality, make it as easy to read as possible, you will be able to attract the attention of your audience, increase your credit of trust and get regular customers. We wish your newsletter to be always useful and in the favorites of the postmen!


Shudrik Valeria, content marketer at eSputnik

Specialization Topics: crowd marketing, messenger marketing.
I tell you how to find, retain customers and promote your product using digital tools.

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