Email Module Email Tips

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Understanding Spam Filters

Tips for Writing Subject Lines



PDI understands that getting respondents to read and interact with emails can be quite a difficult task. This page features a few tips on what users can do to avoid spam filter, along with writing better email, and better subject lines. By following these steps, users can see an increase in their email interactivity, along with lower chances of ending up in a respondents spam box. For further information on sending emails, click here to read a blog about what causes them, and how to avoid getting your emails blocked.


Understanding Spam Filters

Email messages can end up in spam folders for several reasons, including the email from/reply email address, subject line or message content.

Spam Prevention Tips

  1. Validate and verify your email SPF record.
  2. Include your mailing address and FPPC#.
  3. Limit the amount of images in your emails and don’t send very large images.
  4. Include alt text with all email images.
  5. Don’t use all caps anywhere in your email or its subject line
  6. Don’t use video, flash or javascript within your email
  7. Don’t embed the forms you have built within PDI, only include the links, which will send a recipient to the proper page to fill out the form.
  8. Don’t use spammy selling words like “free”, “no obligation” or “guaranteed.” If it sounds like something a used cars salesmen would say, it will most likely trigger a spam filter.
  9. No red font
  10. No white font on top of a white background - your recipients can’t read invisible text!
  11. Use spell check, misspelled words trigger spam filters
  12. Don’t use tons of exclamation points !!!!!!!
  13. No attachments to your email messages, only links to other landing pages.
  14. Ask subscribers to “white list” you or add you to their address book. Spam filters are more aggressive than ever and being added to their address book tells spam filters to chill.
  15. If you have imported your own CONTACT email addresses into the PDI, they must have opted in and agreed to receive your email communications.


Recipients marking your email as SPAM

If a lot of your recipients click the “Report Spam” button in their email client (ex. Gmail, Yahoo), these free email services can start to block your campaigns and deliver your email messages directly to the spam folder.

If a recipient happens to tell you that they clicked 'Report Spam' button by accident, many email services include a 'Not Spam' option. Ask the recipient to find the email in the spam folder, and mark it as "Not Spam" or "Not Junk". Buttons and labels will vary by inbox. This can help keep future messages out of other recipients' spam folders, too.


Spam Complaint Statistics

If you would like to know if any of your recipients marked your email as spam, please view the email statistics.


How PDI Handles Spam

Email delivery quality is supremely important to us. We work very hard to ensure your emails are getting delivered with the highest rates of success. If a recipient marks your email as Spam, we immediately and automatically remove this recipient from your list. From the moment the recipient marks Spam, they will no longer receive any emails from you.


What we do to ensure email deliverability

As an email service provider, the PDI is required by law to enforce spam laws. All emails sent from the PDI come with come with the unsubscribe, forward to a friend and view email in your browser links. We also denote a space for users to fill out their organization’s mailing address.


Below are more details:

  1. Include a valid physical mailing address in every email you send out
    1. A postal address provides verifiable contact information to your recipients
  2. Unsubscribe link
    1. As a bulk delivery service, ISPs require us to manage your lists in a specific way so we have to be able to handle and remove unsubscribes from your list automatically
    2. When a recipient of your email unsubscribes, we remove them from your list immediately. Sending an email to someone who has previously unsubscribed is a violation of CAN-SPAM, so we have to make sure the unsubscribe process is being handled automatically for all of our users.
  3. View in Browser Link
    1. Is a link to the online version of your email message. Your recipients can click this link to view your campaign directly in their web browsers. This is helpful because recipients who can’t view the HTML version of your email messages or download images in their email programs.


Top 7 Tips for Writing Subject Lines

The best email subject lines provide the reader with a good reason to open the email. It is always best to put yourself in the shoes of the recipients, and think of some of the reasons why you open email messages. Below are some of our tips to help users write amazing and engaging subject lines, which can lead to high email open rates.


7 Tip

  1. Keep subject lines short and to the point
    • Our attention and time is limited, so keep things simple, short and sweet. We recommend keeping your subject line to 50 characters or fewer.

  2. Put a question in the subject line
    • One of the ways to engage your subscribers is to lead with a question. Questions make great email subject lines because they get the reader to think about how your email subject matter applies to their own life.
    • A question can arouse the recipient’s curiosity to learn more about your email and result in an email open.
    • Ex: ("Are you tired of high taxes?" or "Do you want to see better graduation rates in our city?")
  3. A “How to” subject line
    • The “How to” subject line formula works so well because it helps you describe the content of your email in a very clear statement.
    • By reading a “How to” subject line, you know exactly what you are going to learn from opening the email. The key is focusing on the benefit of your email message for your recipients.
    • Ex: (How to vote in the upcoming election?)
  4. The scarcity subject line
    • We know scarcity is a powerful driver of human behavior. Adding a time limit creates a sense of urgency and encourages your recipients to open and act on your email before it’s too late.
    • It is a good practice to make sure what you are presenting is important to the reader, otherwise the time or availability limitation in your subject line is irrelevant to your recipients.
    • Ex: ("Only 2 days left to donate for your campaign!", "Hurry! Only 10 tickets left!", or "Meet the Senator if you donate within the next hour!").
  5. Announcement Headline
    • We all want to be in the know and learn about new, breaking information.
    • Ex: ("Introducing our new Email Module: A better way to send emails", "Updates to our new Mobile APP", "See our new help desk and tutorials").
  6. The number subject line
    • Including numbers in your email subject line create great structure and set expectations to what your email is about.
    • When you provide the reader with tips or ways to help them your emails are more likely to get noticed.
    • Ex: ("Top 10 Ways to Write Subject Lines that Convert", "3 Steps to help elect PDI for Congress", or "10 product announcements for our new email module").
  7. Curiosity Gap Subject Line
    • When we noticed there is a gap in our knowledge, it can produce a feeling of curiosity to go looking for that piece of information so we can feel more informed and more in the know.
    • A subject line that leaves just enough information to pique your curiosity will compel your recipients to open your email and learn more.
    • Ex: ("Mickey Mouse asks the most basic question ever, and stumps our smartest politicians", "9 out of 10 Americans are completely wrong about this fact", or "This little trick can save you money on your taxes").