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5 Ways to Avoid Emails Going to Spam

5 Ways to Avoid Emails Going to Spam

In today’s web-based society, email marketing is essential to your company’s brand recognition, but if your marketing emails are going to your recipient’s spam folder instead of their inbox, your marketing is wasted. You work hard on email content, so making a few small changes to ensure your marketing email goes to your recipients’ inbox instead of SPAM brings immediate value.

Reasons Your Business Emails are Going to Spam
Since the dawn of email marketing, spam filters have become increasingly intelligent at weeding out perceived unwanted emails to protect recipients from inboxes flooded with junk mail. Even if your intended recipients genuinely want to receive your emails, spam filters could be flagging what you send and sending it to spam instead of the inbox. To avoid this, you have to understand why your emails could be going to spam instead of the inbox.

You Don’t Have Permission
People get a lot of emails, and they don’t want to be inundated by emails they don’t want. Sending emails to unwilling recipients is a waste of time and effort and could even have legal repercussions.

You Sound Spammy
Using certain words in your subject line and content raises the red flags of spam filters. The list of spammy words grows day by day, making it difficult to word your content in a way to avoid the junk folder, but it is possible if you know which words to skirt around.

474 Spammy Words to Avoid

Another spam-filter trigger is the use of lots of punctuation. Avoid using excessive exclamation points, and question marks or your emails will end up in spam instead of landing in the inbox. To get your point across, focus on writing in a casual, conversational tone rather than relying on extreme punctuation to get someone’s attention.

Your Images Flag You
It’s no secret that people connect with images, making your emails more engaging and relational, but there are some rules to follow in terms of including images to keep your emails out of the spam folder.

• Don’t Use Too Many Images: Three or Fewer Images is Best
• Use a Maximum Width of 600-800 Pixels
• Compress Your Images to Optimize for Email
• Make Sure Your Images Load Quickly on Mobile Devices

Spammers often use images to hide the text within their emails. As a result, spam filters often reject image-only emails, sending them to spam instead of the inbox.

If you are using an image that requires downloading, thereby creating an extra step for the recipient, you set yourself up for a trip to the spam folder. When your email image is blocked, the entire email may appear blank, and the recipient will likely delete the email without reading it or mark it as spam.

Try adhering to the 40/60 rule: 40% quick-loading images and 60% engaging text to help avoid your emails from going to spam instead of the inbox.

You Don’t Include Your Physical Address

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires you, as an email marketer, to provide a valid physical postal address within your emails to provide proof of your validity. If you don’t do this, your emails are likely to be marked as spam, and your email will never see your recipients’ inbox.

All you have to do is list get a P.O. Box and list it in the email somewhere; this is an easy way to ensure your emails go to the inbox, even if you are a small business owner working out of your home who doesn’t want to broadcast where you live to the world. Proof that you are a legit business is as simple as that.

5 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Emails from Going to Spam

Once you figure out why your marketing emails detour to the spam folder, it’s essential to keep them out of that dreaded place. An email with more views is just a few simple steps away.

1. Nail Your Subject Lines

If you have a weak subject line, your email starts with a massive handicap. 69% of email recipients determine whether or not an email is spam base that decision solely on the subject line. Think about it; the only thing your recipients have to go on is the sender and the subject line.

You do NOT want a subject line that is:

        • Pushy or Sales Sounding
        • Promising Untrue Things
        • Over-run With Exclamation Points
        • Too Long
        • Boring

It is imperative to make your subject lines engaging and exciting to get the attention of your recipients and not the spam filters. You want your email recipients to WANT to open that well-crafted email from you. People check email in a hurry and often make split-second decisions about whether or not they want to open an email, delete it, or send it to spam. Your subject line is your ‘do or die.’

You DO want a subject line that is:

        • Short and to the Point
        • Creating a Sense of Urgency
        • Stimulating curiosity
        • Personalized to the Recipient
        • Offering Great Deals

You can’t apply all of these tactics in every single subject line, but they are great idea generators.

Need more ideas on writing great subject lines?

2. Check Your Spam Risk

Even after incorporating all of these best practices, you still want to another important step to ensure proper delivery. There are various spam-checking tools out there, both free and paid, that can review your proposed email for spamminess.

Spam-checkers scan your emails using spam filters, to see its potential to be flagged before you send it. Some paid software options automatically get to work checking your email when you hit send, flagging spammy content and giving you a spam score, so you know how to make your emails even better. Others require you to manually check your email, which is easy to do if you are not sending out a ton of marketing emails every day.

Whether you pay for a spam checker or take advantage of the multiple free options on the internet, practice checking your emails before hitting that send button.

3. Build, Don’t Buy

Although it may be tempting to buy a lengthy email list to bulk up the number of people your marketing emails reach, it’s not a good idea. The content in your emails needs to be relevant to the recipient, and when you buy email lists, only a small percentage of those people are going to fall into that category. It’s like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo; it’s a wasted effort.

Buying email lists is a sure way to send your emails to spam instead of the inbox. Don’t ever:

      • Purchase, co-register, or rent an email list from a third-party
      • Share an email list with another person/business
      • Use a robot to collect emails (also known as email harvesting)

Instead of buying, build your email list yourself by obtaining new subscribers. An easy way to do this is to include signup forms on your website. Offer them something of value in exchange for their valuable information like early access to sales or specials. People who voluntarily sign up to receive your emails are what you want. Try it out and watch your email list grow!

4. Give Recipients a Way Out

As another product of the CAN-SPAM Act, providing an unsubscribe option is a MUST to stay out of the spam folder. If there is no unsubscribe or opt-out option included, your marketing emails are automatically going to make a trip to spam instead of the inbox. Not only that, but you could be subject to a hefty fine.

It’s also important to process unsubscribe requests within ten business days, per the CAN-SPAM Act. Let your ship-jumpers know this when they hit unsubscribe.

It may be sad to see an email subscriber go, but this option is also useful at determining why people might be heading for the door. When they choose to unsubscribe, give them a couple of options to choose from as reasons why they are leaving. You can’t improve your marketing campaigns without knowing your weak areas. It’s a good thing!

5. Don’t Be a Stranger

Sometimes your marketing emails get marked as spam even when they aren’t spamming; even if the recipient wants to receive your emails. To prevent this from happening, you have to make sure you stay fresh in your recipient’s minds. Don’t send a welcome email and ghost your recipients for weeks before reaching out to them again. You want to be recognized, not sent to spam.

This can be tricky.

Sending promotional emails every single day becomes very annoying. Consumers say that’s THE most annoying thing marketers do. Don’t flood your email recipients’ inbox with tons of emails every week, making them regret wanting to hear from you in the first place.

Choose wisely.

Consider sending promotional emails once a week at the most. This way, you’re staying fresh in your recipients’ minds, but you aren’t inundating them with offers and information. People don’t like marketers to be needy and intrusive. Stay cool and casual.


Email marketing is extremely important in today’s world, so it’s great that you are focusing on making that a priority. However, just because you are crafting great email marketing content, doesn’t mean your emails get to your audience.

Think about your own inbox and what drives you to open an email or send it to spam. Then follow these tips and practices and watch your open rate go through the roof!

If you are looking for more information or want your business to dominate the web, our team specializes in using email and other powerful digital marketing tools to grow your business. Contact us today to see how we can help you reach your digital marketing goals.