July 28, 2021

How to prevent your email marketing campaigns from going to spam folder?

Written by:
Shruti Handa

Being a digital marketer, you want your emails to reach to the customers directly to their inboxes and on time. Many companies give certain incentives that are valid only for a certain period of time, the users may lose the offers if the emails are not received in their inboxes. Many businesses are sometimes unable to understand that why their email open rate is very less. The reason behind this is the “Spam folder”. The marketing emails are getting ended up in the spam folder rather than the user’s inbox. The campaigns are thereby becoming unsuccessful, and emails have a low open rate.



So, how to avoid spam filters? And how to make sure the mails are delivered directly to the inboxes?


In this article, we will be having a brief discussion on why your emails are going to spam and how you can fix it?


The recent statistics suggest that there are over 180 million spam emails sent everyday. 

To protect their users, inbox providers such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail employ spam filters to help ensure that these messages do not clog their users' inboxes or, worse, harm their users. These spam filters act as a shield and only let the valuable emails to reach the user’s inbox.


The email campaign that we create for our prospects goes through a number of steps to provide the best results for our business and thereby an increased revenue. Before you can generate a single website visitor or sale from your campaign, your email must first be delivered to the inbox of your subscriber, opened, and finally clicked.


8 steps of doing best email marketing in the USA - soffront

However, if your campaigns do not make it past the spam filter, they will never reach the inbox and will not have the opportunity to be opened, clicked, or drive results for your business.


But there is also another side to this interesting story! Subscriber engagement plays a crucial role when it comes to the deliverability of emails. When deciding which emails go to the inbox and which go to spam, your email service providers consider your engagement levels and recipient behavior.


Now let us have a look at the major possible reasons for why your emails are going to spam?


  • Target Audience 


This point plays a very vital role in email deliverability. If you are not targeting the right people for your business, then obviously your emails will get ended up in spam folder. Sometimes, companies buy email lists and start blasting email campaigns to the users present in the list. It is not necessary that the users who are present in the email list are actually interested in your products and services. 


Target Audience: What is it, How to Define it & Examples

Targeting these people will get your emails ended up in spam as these people are not interested in your services and your are just invading their privacy by entering their inboxes. If you are buying email addresses, you will risk violating the Can-SPAM Act and this will result in paying penalties.


  • Email Marketing laws


In terms of ethics, you should be familiar with the laws that govern digital marketing communications. You should be particularly familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act, which outlines the practises you must follow when sending commercial emails.


You don't have to read every line of the law, but you should be aware that sending spam emails carries serious consequences.


Spam Laws, Email Marketing and Compliance

What is the best way to tell if an email is violating the spam act? Spam email is defined by the CAN-SPAM Act as any message in which you:

  • Without the recipient's permission, send.


  • Send it without a return address.


  • Send with a misleading subject line.


  • Send without providing recipients with a way to opt out.



  • Segmentation


Rather than sending the same email to everyone on your list, try segmenting it and tailoring the campaign to those users who you know will be interested in your services.


How to Segment Email Lists for More Opens, Click-Throughs and Conversions -  The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Apps | Zapier

You will increase the number of recipients who open your campaigns while decreasing the number of people who delete them, sending positive signals to email providers about the validity of your campaigns.


  • Spammy Subject Lines


While there were specific lists of spam trigger words that you should avoid in your marketing emails in the past, spam filters have become much more sophisticated. Instead of just focusing on specific words to avoid from the list, it's best to think more broadly and avoid writing subject lines that sound like spam.


  • Reply-to Address


As mentioned earlier, email service providers look for the subscriber engagement factor also while listing your emails to the spam or the inbox folder. If your campaigns have received replies from the users, then surely your emails will enter into the user’s inbox.


This actually makes sense as we don not respond to emails that are spam or that are received from unknown senders. SO, if users are responding to your emails, service providers will get a signal that the emails you are sending are providing valuable content and are of interest to the users.


Add a custom reply-to address to your marketing email

The email addresses that start from no-reply@company.com suggests that these are machine generated emails and users cannot respond to such emails. Add humanization in your email addresses such that the users can reply to those emails and solve the queries they possess (if any) related to your products and services.

  • Spam IP Address


6 Email Blacklist Prevention Practices to Improve Delivery Rates : LeadFuze

Even if you never send spam, your emails may be flagged if your IP address has previously been used for spam. When you use an email marketing service to send your campaigns, your emails are delivered through their servers. As a result, if even one other customer sends spam, it may have an impact on your deliverability.


  • Regular email updates to subscribers


If you are sending email once in every few months, your subscribers may forget who you are or why they subscribed. When they finally hear from you, they may unsubscribe or mark your email as spam if this happens.


How to Make Email Marketing Campaigns more Effective | LaptrinhX

Keep in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis to avoid this. Of course, you should always provide value while sending an email; don't just email subscribers on a regular basis because it is considered as a best practice.


  • Easy Unsubscribe


Provide your subscribers an easy way to opt-out of email newsletters, if they wish to do so. It is entirely up to you how simple you want to make the unsubscribe process. Some companies take the confidence approach to its logical conclusion by including an unsubscribe link in both the header and footer of their emails. While this is possible, there is a risk that people will either unsubscribe without reading the email or accidentally click the button if it is placed in the header.


As a result, we believe that for the majority of ecommerce entrepreneurs, a standard unsubscribe button in the email footer is the best way to go for.


  • No Physical Address in email content


It is compulsory to include your company’s physical address in your email content such that the users are sure that your company actually exists. As these days, the fraud cases are increasing rapidly so it is very important to generate a sense of trust within the target audience.


You need to definitely add your own address as this is also legally important.


  • HTML Emails must follow best practices



To avoid having your HTML emails marked as spam, you should follow the following best practises:


  • Use a width of 600-800 pixels at most.
  • Maintain as much clarity and simplicity in your HTML code as possible.
  • Maintain a low image-to-text ratio.
  • Make your images more appealing.
  • Avoid using obscure fonts.
  • Mobile optimization


  • Honest Emailing


We've already discussed how the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits sending deceptive emails, but the point bears repeating. Above all, in your email marketing, you should always be truthful. Do not use subject lines that entice people to open your messages.


11 Powerful Email Marketing Tips You Need to Know

Don't write anything that makes emails appear to be from someone's employer, subject lines that are threatening, or email addresses that appear to be from someone they aren't. Using cheap tricks like this is not a good way to run a business. Instead, concentrate on how you can provide value to your subscribers.


We hope you now understand why emails end up in spam and what you can do to prevent them from going there. As long as you adhere to the best practises that we have outlined above, you can be very confident that the emails you are sending will land in your subscribers' inboxes rather than the spam mail folder.


Being a digital marketer, you want your emails to reach to the customers directly to their inboxes and on time. Many companies give certain incentives that are valid only for a certain period of time, the users may lose the offers if the emails are not received in their inboxes. Many businesses are sometimes unable to understand that why their email open rate is very less. The reason behind this is the “Spam folder”. The marketing emails are getting ended up in the spam folder rather than the user’s inbox. The campaigns are thereby becoming unsuccessful, and emails have a low open rate.



So, how to avoid spam filters? And how to make sure the mails are delivered directly to the inboxes?


In this article, we will be having a brief discussion on why your emails are going to spam and how you can fix it?


The recent statistics suggest that there are over 180 million spam emails sent everyday. 

To protect their users, inbox providers such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail employ spam filters to help ensure that these messages do not clog their users' inboxes or, worse, harm their users. These spam filters act as a shield and only let the valuable emails to reach the user’s inbox.


The email campaign that we create for our prospects goes through a number of steps to provide the best results for our business and thereby an increased revenue. Before you can generate a single website visitor or sale from your campaign, your email must first be delivered to the inbox of your subscriber, opened, and finally clicked.


8 steps of doing best email marketing in the USA - soffront

However, if your campaigns do not make it past the spam filter, they will never reach the inbox and will not have the opportunity to be opened, clicked, or drive results for your business.


But there is also another side to this interesting story! Subscriber engagement plays a crucial role when it comes to the deliverability of emails. When deciding which emails go to the inbox and which go to spam, your email service providers consider your engagement levels and recipient behavior.


Now let us have a look at the major possible reasons for why your emails are going to spam?


  • Target Audience 


This point plays a very vital role in email deliverability. If you are not targeting the right people for your business, then obviously your emails will get ended up in spam folder. Sometimes, companies buy email lists and start blasting email campaigns to the users present in the list. It is not necessary that the users who are present in the email list are actually interested in your products and services. 


Target Audience: What is it, How to Define it & Examples

Targeting these people will get your emails ended up in spam as these people are not interested in your services and your are just invading their privacy by entering their inboxes. If you are buying email addresses, you will risk violating the Can-SPAM Act and this will result in paying penalties.


  • Email Marketing laws


In terms of ethics, you should be familiar with the laws that govern digital marketing communications. You should be particularly familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act, which outlines the practises you must follow when sending commercial emails.


You don't have to read every line of the law, but you should be aware that sending spam emails carries serious consequences.


Spam Laws, Email Marketing and Compliance

What is the best way to tell if an email is violating the spam act? Spam email is defined by the CAN-SPAM Act as any message in which you:

  • Without the recipient's permission, send.


  • Send it without a return address.


  • Send with a misleading subject line.


  • Send without providing recipients with a way to opt out.



  • Segmentation


Rather than sending the same email to everyone on your list, try segmenting it and tailoring the campaign to those users who you know will be interested in your services.


How to Segment Email Lists for More Opens, Click-Throughs and Conversions -  The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Apps | Zapier

You will increase the number of recipients who open your campaigns while decreasing the number of people who delete them, sending positive signals to email providers about the validity of your campaigns.


  • Spammy Subject Lines


While there were specific lists of spam trigger words that you should avoid in your marketing emails in the past, spam filters have become much more sophisticated. Instead of just focusing on specific words to avoid from the list, it's best to think more broadly and avoid writing subject lines that sound like spam.


  • Reply-to Address


As mentioned earlier, email service providers look for the subscriber engagement factor also while listing your emails to the spam or the inbox folder. If your campaigns have received replies from the users, then surely your emails will enter into the user’s inbox.


This actually makes sense as we don not respond to emails that are spam or that are received from unknown senders. SO, if users are responding to your emails, service providers will get a signal that the emails you are sending are providing valuable content and are of interest to the users.


Add a custom reply-to address to your marketing email

The email addresses that start from no-reply@company.com suggests that these are machine generated emails and users cannot respond to such emails. Add humanization in your email addresses such that the users can reply to those emails and solve the queries they possess (if any) related to your products and services.

  • Spam IP Address


6 Email Blacklist Prevention Practices to Improve Delivery Rates : LeadFuze

Even if you never send spam, your emails may be flagged if your IP address has previously been used for spam. When you use an email marketing service to send your campaigns, your emails are delivered through their servers. As a result, if even one other customer sends spam, it may have an impact on your deliverability.


  • Regular email updates to subscribers


If you are sending email once in every few months, your subscribers may forget who you are or why they subscribed. When they finally hear from you, they may unsubscribe or mark your email as spam if this happens.


How to Make Email Marketing Campaigns more Effective | LaptrinhX

Keep in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis to avoid this. Of course, you should always provide value while sending an email; don't just email subscribers on a regular basis because it is considered as a best practice.


  • Easy Unsubscribe


Provide your subscribers an easy way to opt-out of email newsletters, if they wish to do so. It is entirely up to you how simple you want to make the unsubscribe process. Some companies take the confidence approach to its logical conclusion by including an unsubscribe link in both the header and footer of their emails. While this is possible, there is a risk that people will either unsubscribe without reading the email or accidentally click the button if it is placed in the header.


As a result, we believe that for the majority of ecommerce entrepreneurs, a standard unsubscribe button in the email footer is the best way to go for.


  • No Physical Address in email content


It is compulsory to include your company’s physical address in your email content such that the users are sure that your company actually exists. As these days, the fraud cases are increasing rapidly so it is very important to generate a sense of trust within the target audience.


You need to definitely add your own address as this is also legally important.


  • HTML Emails must follow best practices



To avoid having your HTML emails marked as spam, you should follow the following best practises:


  • Use a width of 600-800 pixels at most.
  • Maintain as much clarity and simplicity in your HTML code as possible.
  • Maintain a low image-to-text ratio.
  • Make your images more appealing.
  • Avoid using obscure fonts.
  • Mobile optimization


  • Honest Emailing


We've already discussed how the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits sending deceptive emails, but the point bears repeating. Above all, in your email marketing, you should always be truthful. Do not use subject lines that entice people to open your messages.


11 Powerful Email Marketing Tips You Need to Know

Don't write anything that makes emails appear to be from someone's employer, subject lines that are threatening, or email addresses that appear to be from someone they aren't. Using cheap tricks like this is not a good way to run a business. Instead, concentrate on how you can provide value to your subscribers.


We hope you now understand why emails end up in spam and what you can do to prevent them from going there. As long as you adhere to the best practises that we have outlined above, you can be very confident that the emails you are sending will land in your subscribers' inboxes rather than the spam mail folder.


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