Last year, in partnership with Stratton Publishing & Marketing, the Angerosa Research Foundation reported that 85 percent of associations published at least one e-newsletter, with 67 percent publishing more than one.
Despite e-newsletter production growth, a number of association publishers—including American School Board Journal editor-in-chief Glenn Cook—consider high-security spam filters to be directly impacting open-rates, and in turn, readership.
For Carole Hayward, director of newsletters and special publications for educational association ASCD, those spam filters, which are used by a number of schools, make it challenging to deliver news to members. ASCD uses a third-party media service to send one of its e-newsletters, “but even they can’t solve the problem entirely,” said Hayward.
While the best solution is spam-checking e-newsletters before sending them to readers, there are other ways to get past the filters:
Break Up the List
When sending e-news to members, “try breaking the recipients into several groups and sending out the same e-mail under a slightly different subject line,” said ASBJ publications coordinator Margaret Suslick.
Shorten Subject Lines
“Our subject lines are short,” said Cook. One of its highest e-alert open rates, he said, was for the four-word subject line “A Day to Remember.”
Appealing Subjects Are Likely Targets
“I’ve found that trying to offer members ‘free’ anything via e-mail is a great way to end up in the spam folder,” said Hayward. Words like “dollar,” “free,” and “savings” are all culprits when it comes to marking e-newsletters as junk mail. Hayward said subject lines like “Top 10 Tips” tend to bypass spam filters and appeal to members.
Send Links, Not Surveys
ASBJ sends its reader panel survey via a link in its e-newsletter instead of embedding the survey, giving its digital offerings additional protection from spam filters.