6 ways to avoid being a spammer

I don’t think any fundraiser wants to send their donors spam.

But spam is in the inbox of the recipient. They define your email as spam, just by thinking so, and more importantly, saying so. And when they do that, you don’t lose just one address — you degrade the deliverability of all your messages.

There are a number of ways to avoid being, from the Constant Contact Blog at How to Avoid Emails Going to Spam:

  1. Always ask for permission. No matter how wonderful and important you are, when you email people who didn’t give you permission to email them, you are spam. You are hurting your reputation, likely getting blacklisted by service providers, and possibly violating the law.
  2. Don’t hide your identity. Make sure it’s clear in the “From” line that you are the sender. Disguising yourself is a spammer trick and it doesn’t you no good.
  3. Don’t send irrelevant content. What does your audience respond to? Send more of that. And less of the things they’re ignoring.
  4. Keep your promises. Make a clear promise what your email is about for your audience, and keep that promise. Don’t change on a whim or because your brand police think you should change.
  5. Don’t overwhelm your audience. Over-emailing will hurt you. But how much is too much? That depends. Many nonprofits are under-emailing, sending only once a month or less.
  6. Make it easy to opt-out or unsubscribe. Many recipients who just want to unsubscribe just mark you as spam. That’s bad! Make sure they can easily unsubscribe the right way.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.