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I’m an SDR, get me out of spam!

January 30, 2020

It’s every SDR’s worst nightmare. You spend valuable time sweating over your keyboard, composing the perfect B2B lead generation email to send to your prospect. You press ‘Send’, then...nothing! Eventually, you find out your prospect never read your masterpiece because it went straight into their spam folder!

At Cognism, our experts who ensure our emails always get to their destination are Olivia Carden and Marianne Dupuy. They’re our Technical Support and Implementation Managers. They’ve put together a guide to help SDRs avoid that pesky spam box. Let’s get started!

What is spam?

Quite simply, spam is unwanted emails. Usually sent in bulk, spam is often considered the electronic equivalent of junk mail.

Why does spam occur?

Most B2B companies use Gmail or Outlook as their mailbox providers. They have developed filters that analyse every email as it arrives. These filters decide whether the email should go into your main Inbox or your spam folder.

How do spam filters work?

If your B2B prospecting emails are going to your prospects’ spam, it’s because their provider’s algorithms think you’re spamming them. Each mailbox provider has their own way of detecting spam, which they are constantly updating to keep up with different trends.

For example, Gmail’s filters are highly-engagement and content-led. If Gmail detects that many recipients are opening, reading and forwarding your bulk emails, they are more likely to filter it to the Inbox.

How do I know if I’m in spam?

The clearest sign that your emails are going to spam is if you’re receiving fewer responses than usual. Check the stats on your email marketing software (if you use it).

If the read rates are lower than normal, it could be because you’re in the spam folder. If you receive a high volume of bounce receipts telling you that you’re landing in spam, that’s proof. Time to take ACTION!

What should I do next?

If you think you’re in spam, you can test your emails on your colleagues. Send them the same email you send your prospects and see if it goes to their spam folders. You can also ask your technical support team to run a deliverability test.

Whenever you think your B2B sales emails might be ending up in spam, you should act fast to remedy the situation. SDRs can never be effective if their emails aren’t hitting their targets.

Prevention is better than cure

Before we share some tips on getting out of the spam box, let’s talk about ways you can make sure you never end up there in the first place.

The best piece of advice is to try and make your outbound email look like, well, not an outbound email! Do as much as you can to make it look like something you’d send to a friend.

Avoid having too many links

Don’t pack your email with links. So many emails are filled with links and spam filters don’t like it. Watch out for:

  • Links in your signature
  • Links to calendar
  • Links to reviews
  • Links to videos
  • Links to blogs
  • LinkedIn links

We recommend the maximum number of links you should have in your email is 4. Try to make it fewer.

Be careful with sending limits

Also, you don’t want to send your emails sporadically (e.g.: 5 emails one day, 100 emails the next). The spam filters will notice this and mark you down because of it.

Be consistent with your sending. Make sure you send a steady flow each day (if you’re struggling with this, Cognism Prospector has email sending limits built in).

Personalisation makes perfect

To make your email look as much like something you’d send to someone you know, get as personal as you can. Use merge fields to get names in there and make sure everything you send is relevant to the recipient (again, Cognism Prospector can help with this).

Spammy buzzwords are bad!

Avoid using spammy buzzwords like “free”, even in lines such as, “Are you free for a chat?”. Those are the kinds of words that could be associated with scam emails, especially if used constantly. Instead, say, “Are you available for a chat?”.

How do I get out of spam?

If you find yourself in the spam folder, don’t panic! Keep sending your cold emails, but make sure you follow the safe sending guidelines we’ve listed above. Remove as many links as you can, eliminate spammy words or phrases and personalise your emails properly.

Don’t forget the subject line

You should also check your emails’ subject lines. Never put ‘Re:’ at the front of a subject line unless it’s a genuine reply. Mailbox providers have cottoned on to this trend and will deem this spammy behaviour.

Try sending to other accounts

Send emails daily to other accounts, such as your colleagues’ external and internal email addresses. Ask them to mark your emails as ‘Not Spam’. This will give the filters information that your emails have value.

Only send to valid leads

Finally, be more targeted with your emails. Lower your daily sending limit on your email automation software. Make sure you only send emails to valid B2B leads and highly-engaged contacts. Where possible, strip out any non-interested people from your lead lists.

Most importantly...

Above all, be patient! Getting out of spam is a long-term sales strategy. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort, but it’ll all be worth it when your prospects are fully engaging with your emails once more!

Download our quick guide

Here’s a quick guide to all the steps you need to take if you end up in spam. Hit right-click, save as and refer to it whenever you’re in trouble!

Getting out of spam guideThe world’s best all-in-one prospecting solution

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