1. Email Marketing

Why do my emails land in spam

Emails landing in spam is probably the biggest nightmare for anyone who relies on email marketing to grow their business or communicate with customers and prospects.

While most of the reasons behind this can be fixed with little investigation and effort, some cases do require extra attention. So let’s explore the common reason behind emails landing in spam and how you can fix it.

Effects of your emails going to SPAM

When your emails land in the spam folder, it can have several negative effects on your email campaigns and communication efforts. Here are some of the key effects:

  1. Low open rates: Emails in the spam folder are less likely to be opened by recipients. This can result in lower open rates for your email campaigns, impacting the effectiveness of your communication.
  2. Reduced click-through rates: Even if your email is opened by some recipients, being in the spam folder can decrease the chances of recipients clicking on links within the email. This can lead to reduced click-through rates and lower engagement with your content.
  3. Damage to sender reputation: When emails consistently end up in the spam folder, it can harm your sender reputation. Email service providers (ESPs) monitor recipient engagement and spam complaints, and a poor sender reputation can lead to future emails being flagged as spam.
  4. Missed opportunities: If important emails, such as newsletters, promotional offers, or transactional emails, are sent to the spam folder, recipients may miss out on important information or opportunities, leading to a loss in conversions or engagement.
  5. Wasted resources: Sending emails that end up in spam folders wastes resources, including time, effort, and potentially money spent on email marketing campaigns. It reduces the ROI of your email marketing efforts.
  6. Difficulty in reaching recipients: Once your emails start going to spam, it can be challenging to get back into the primary inbox of recipients. Rebuilding trust and improving email deliverability can take time and effort.

To mitigate the effects of your emails going to spam, it’s important to follow best practices for email marketing, such as maintaining a clean email list, avoiding spam trigger words, personalising your emails, and regularly monitoring your sender reputation.

Reasons behind your emails going to SPAM

There are several reasons why emails land in spam — it may be a single reason or a mix of multiple issues.

Let’s go through the most common ones and also see how you can identify and fix them.

Domain fails DNS authentication

The most common reason behind emails landing in spam is when the domain DNS hasn’t been properly configured, but the good news is that this is pretty simple to identify and fix.

Just go to the settings section of your email marketing tool and look for senders/domains, and you’ll see an option for DNS verification. If it shows a warning like the above image, then you need to setup the same.

Here’s our complete documentation to help you out with DNS authentication.

Poor domain reputation

Domain reputation is a score (also known as sender score) that’s assigned to your domain based on multiple factors, like how old if your domain is, your past sending history and much more.

These are combined together to assign a score to your domain. If your domain has a poor score, then the chances of your emails landing in spam is high.

If you’d like to see the score for your domain then you have multiple options, the easiest one is by using Google Postmasters where you need to simply verify your domain to see your sender score.

Apart from Google Postmasters, there are others like Talos Intelligence which too can give you this data but has a different working mechanism.

Domain in blacklist

Another reason behind your email landing in spam can be that your domain has been added to a specific blacklist. Many email clients like Gmail and Hotmail use these blacklists to block spam emails.

There are several tools like MxToolbox which you can use to check whether your domain is present in a blacklist.

Negative user behaviour

Email clients track user behaviour, such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints. If recipients consistently mark emails from a particular sender as spam or do not engage with the emails, future emails from that sender may be filtered as spam.

The only solution is to clean your list, make it easy to unsubscribe, and wait for things to get normal.

Spam traps in your list

Spam traps are email addresses set up to catch spammers sending unsolicited emails. There are two types: pristine spam traps, which have never belonged to a real person, and recycled spam traps, which were once active but are now used to identify senders with poor email practices.

Here’s how to fix this:

  1. Use double-opt in
  2. Set up opt-in reconfirmation emails for low engaged users – e.g. if a user hasn’t opened your last 5 emails, you can send an email asking them to confirm they still want to receive them.
  3. Use email validation/list cleaning tools. There are tools like ZeroBounce that can clean an email list by removing invalid emails and spam traps (only use this method if you have the right consents).

Content triggers spam filters

The content of your email can also cause your emails to land in spam. There are certain phrases like “make money online”, “online betting”, etc. that can trigger these filters. Apart from these phrases, linking to spammy websites can also cause your emails to land in spam.

So always double-check your email content before pressing the send button.

Email has unsafe attachment

Just like your email content, attachments in your marketing emails can also be a reason your emails land in spam. Avoid attaching installable software packages (.apk, .dmg and others) or files that you aren’t sure of.

Inconsistent sending volume

If you’re someone who has an inconsistent send volume which differs by a lot, then that might also be a reason behind your emails landing in spam.

Ideally, you should start with a smaller number and slowly increase the daily/weekly send volume and stay consistent once you have reached your desired sending limit.

Domain name triggers spam filters

Your domain name can at times also trigger spam filters. This generally happens when your domain name is very similar to popular domains; for example, amaz0n.com or amazon-reviewscom can be considered as a spoofed version of amazon.com.

Be it intentional or unintentional, it’s better to stay away from such domains. Not only can your emails land in spam, but you can also get into legal trouble for copyright/trademark violations.

Best practices

Email marketing is not rocket science, and you just need to follow some simple steps to stay compliant and out of the spam folder.

  1. Ensure domain is authenticated
  2. Slowly ramp up the sending volume
  3. Ensure your marketing emails have an unsubscribe link
  4. Never email purchased contact lists
  5. Don’t link to spammy sites

These are some best practices that everyone should follow. Also, if you’re looking for an affordable and easy to use email marketing tool, then why not get started with EmailOctopus – it’s entirely free for up to 2,500 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. Plus paid plans start from just $9 per month.

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