Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

Large Internet Service Providers like AOL, MSN and Yahoo filter millions of spam messages each day. They accomplish this by using filters that search for words commonly used in spam messages and move these messages to a junk or bulk folder. If you want to avoid having your messages filtered, you need to avoid using certain words. If you've ever received spam, you are probably familiar with these words: Act Now! You're a Winner! Information You Requested! Limited Time!

Using spam phrases won't automatically get your messages blocked, but it increases the likelihood. They add up throughout your message. Be especially careful to avoid using words like these in your message's subject; they'll make your messages look like spam to both the content filters and your subscribers. Also, make sure you avoid putting things like exclamation points, quotations and dollar signs into your subject. These virtually mark your messages as spam.

If you need to use any phrases like these, consider rewording your message. It may be best to use very specific messages. For example, consider replacing "act now!" with "Before June 6." Replace "Information You Requested" with "Your Email Marketing Monthly." The more specific your message, the less likely you will get caught by spam filters.

Next time, I'll talk about how to reduce the number of bounces for your email.  

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