Gmail’s spam filter, responsive design and preheader tips

I’ve seen a few blog posts written by others in the industry that I thought would be worth your while to read. In lieu of focusing on a single topic for this installment, I thought I’d pass along a few articles with my take on why they’re important.

Why do messages end up in Gmail’s Spam folder?

Andrew Bonar of Campaign Monitor talked with a member of Gmail’s Anti-Spam team and wrote this blog post post summarizing his conversation. The answer to question posed above isn’t cut and dry, there are hundreds of signals used to determine if mail is worthy of inbox – or spam folder – placement. To that end, rather than obsessing about a single element of a message, Gmail’s contact suggested email marketers “think of how you can make the user love your mails rather than how to land in the Inbox.” The article is worth a read, as it also covers engagement and sending frequency. With Gmail dominating the landscape, it’s wise to heed their advice as you can also likely benefit with other platforms, such as Yahoo! and Hotmail.

Want to make sure your email is readable on a mobile device?

You should since the given the increasing usage of mobile operating systems to read emails – iPhone alone account for 26% of email opens. Desktops will never be obsolete, but designing emails solely for that platform is bad business. Jeanne Jennings of Alchemy Worx has an overview of responsive designs for non-techies. Her post is a great read for understanding more about this design technique and its importance. Give this a read and think about how you can apply these design elements to your messages when planning your next campaign – or your overall email design scheme.

How else can I capture my mobile audience?

Think about making use of your preheader space. Christoper Lester of Emma has eight suggestions for optimizing this space at the top of your emails that appears just after the subject line in Gmail and iPhones. This space is another way to “sell” the open beyond the sender name and subject line. Most often, people use this only to link to a web version of the email. By doing only that, you’re leaving about 100 characters on the table that could make the difference between an open or a quick delete in the 3-4 seconds people spend deciding whether or not to open a message.

In short, I want to be sure you focus on sending relevant messages that play well on mobile devices. These are consistent themes that been present for quite some time and show no signs of abating as our lives stay hectic and smartphone-dependent.

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