You’ve secured a list of emails from members and potential clients interested in your business, taken the time to write and design an email newsletter, and even come up with an email strategy. What’s left to do? Ensure that the email blasts you’re sending out don’t get sent straight to the spam folder.

Email spam filters are there for good reason, keeping us safe and protected from potential viruses and scams. They also act as a way to vet through the junk mail that we might have not signed up for, which can be a real blessing when your email inbox is consistently filled to the brim. To make sure your emails are getting to the people you’re sending them to, we asked a few experts to weigh in on the best practices for preventing emails from being sent to spam. Read on for their tips and advice for how to craft communication that gets delivered where you want it to.

Watch Your Words

There are certain words that spam filters crawl for when they’re deciding whether or not the email received is legitimate. For example, if you’re sending out a promotion email that offers a freebie of some sort, Teresa Walsh, marketing executive at Cazana.com says you may want to go easy on how many times you use the word “free.” “People still overuse words like free, win, cash, click and so on,” she explains. “If you are using these words, make sure they are in context and used as minimally as possible. Any email saying the word ‘free’ five or six times times will go straight into every spam folder.”

Pay Attention To Subject Lines

When you’re crafting a subject line, you want to make sure that you’re avoiding the words mentioned above. Anthony Neal Macri, president of Anthony Neal Macri Digital Consulting also recommends segmenting your email list to further allow you to target your subject line to your client base. Doing so will help increase open rates, and in turn lower the risk of your emails being sent to spam. “Get in the shoes of your subscriber,” he says. “Instead of blasting everyone the same thing, create sub segments and be very targeted in the way your call to actions and content are structured.”

Remove Inactive Subscribers

You’re probably hoping that they’ll come around eventually. But if you’re seeing many inactive subscribers on your list, Macri says that it’s smart to remove them. Doing so will actually help make sure your emails will reach those that do want to receive your emails. “Clean up inactive subscribers on a monthly basis,” he says. “If you’re sending too many emails to inactive email addresses, ISPs will mark your content as spam or as unwanted.” Macri recommends utilizing services that can help with the process. “Use tools generally included with platforms like ActiveCampaign to find and erase inactive email addresses,” he says.

Include A Visible Unsubscribe Option

Of course, you hope that no one on your email list will want to unsubscribe from receiving your emails. But Walsh says that not including the option in your email blasts (or trying to make it less obvious) is another mistake that will land you in a spam folder. “Make sure it’s visible and easy for recipients to opt out,” says Walsh. “Do not doing anything shady like making the unsubscribe link the same color as the background, etc.”

Test Your Email Before Sending

One of the easiest ways to find out whether or not your email is spam safe is to send a few test rounds and see what happens. Plus, doing so allows you to have a few extra pairs of eyes on the email to check for errors. “Send it to yourself and your coworkers to check for spelling and grammar mistakes, that all links are working and, of course, to make sure it’s reaching everyone’s inbox,” says Walsh. “You can also use software such as litmus to check how it looks on just about every device. It also has a fantastic spam checker that will identify problems and tell you how you can fix them.”

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