Fool-proof reason for emails landing in Spam

Last Updated, 2020-07-17 email-spam email-delivery


If you had already sent or planning to send an email campaign, the biggest problem you has or will be facing is the email spam folder. Before getting started, let us understand the difference between delivery and deliverability which every ESP aka Email service provider promises and ISPs, aka Internet Service provider follows.

Delivery is sending out an email to your recipient's mailbox and will not count where your email has landed (primary inbox, spam or any other tab).

Deliverability is all about sending out an email to recipients primary inbox.

The increase in email deliverability is directly proportional to business profit. So, how will you increase your deliverability rate? The answer is simple by avoiding your emails landing in spam.

In this tutorial, I will go through all the reason which is making your email land in spam.

Reason 1: You are simply not allowed (not permitted)

Means when you are planning to send out an email, make sure every recipient in your list has permitted for sending emails. The significant rule of email marketing is permission. So, how will you get permission?

  1. Never buy an email list. If you are doing so, then you not only violating the CAN-SPAM act but also killing your reputation.
  2. Always use double Opt-In concept to collect email addresses. This process will allow you to check whether the email address is valid or not, also will give you the chance to get permission from the recipient.
  3. Don't add email addresses manually in the list that you might have received in conferences, visiting cards because they might be willing to accept your emails on the newsletter or product updates but, that is also against the CAN-SPAM act.

The rule is simple always add or send emails to those who have willing opt-in for your emails.

Reason 2: Email Sending IP reputation is low.

Low IP reputation will land your emails to spam. There might be several reasons for lousy IP reputation but when you are using an ESP then make sure they provide you with the right IP. Low reputation IPs are usually marked as SPAM by an Internet service provider due to which Emails sent via such IPs are directly segregated to Spam folders.

Even if your emails are not spam, but that could be flagged as spam because there might be the probability that IP might be used by any other user who has intentionally send spam emails which have degraded the IP reputation.

Reason 3: Your subscribers shows no more interest.

In Q1 of 2020, a survey stated that how subscribers are getting themselves out of the list which says that spam complaints are raised to 42% and ESPs assure that spam rates are only 23%.

Every time a user clicks on marked as spam, the ISP takes this as complaint and keep this as a record, which can be used in future emails. Once the complaint threshold has crossed the limits, all the emails are moved automatically to the spam folder instead of inbox.

Why would a subscriber mark your email as spam? The reasons are quite simple, which are as follows:

  1. The subscriber doesn't remember you anymore even though they have willingly opted-in.
  2. The subscriber is not interested in your emails any more.

To avoid unsubscription, make sure you always use a brand colour, logo, and the from address properly.

Reason 4: Low Engagement Rates.

Every ESPs has their dashboards to analysis what can be the correct time for the campaign? What are the open rates? Or what are the email- addresses that need to be removed before the next email campaign?

Similarly, it is necessary to check the no of emails opened and how many emails are deleted without opening so that ISPs like google, yahoo and others can remove such type of emails in their spam filtering.

If you have low open rates, then there is a higher risk of emails landing in spam.

Reason 5: No Physical Address.

It is recommended that your street address or a post office box should be registered with U.S postal Sevice or a private mailbox should be registered with a commercial mail agency under Postal Service regulations.

It is all about having a traceable address; these mistakes are usually done by small business who work from home, no need to worry about exposing your home address you can always get a P.O box for company.

Reason 6: Inaccurate From Address

According to the CAN-SPAM Act, your "From address", "Reply-To" and routing information should be identical. This information should be accurate and determine where the mail has been originated.

For example, If you are receiving an email from a Prime minister, then it has to be from the prime minister. If you are designing an email and making it look like a google's email then it is illegal.

Reason 7: Using SPAM trigger words

ISP's spam filters are upgrading day by day and algorithms are getting stronger. Spam filter's primary task is getting all the SPAM related words within the content of your email and deciding where your email can be moved.

Few of the triggers are as follows:

  1. Double your income.
  2. You're winner
  3. great offer
  4. guarantee
  5. increase sales
  6. order now
  7. promise you
  8. check or money order
  9. Click here
  10. congratulations
  11. dear friend
  12. for only ($)
  13. free or toll-free

and more such 400+ words that default SPAM words.

Reason 8: Weak email headline.

Email Headline is the second most crucial part after from address. The headlines of the mail should be clear, which should state the intention of the email. These includes

  1. Don't use words which looks more of sales.
  2. Don't make false promises.
  3. Don't use capital letters (its look shouting out to recipient).
  4. Don't use any kind of punctuation or explanatory marks.

So when you are writing a subject, do keep yourself in the recipient's shoe.

Reason 9: No unsubscribe link in the email.

No matter how urgent your email campaign is, there should always be unsubscribed link within your email. Most commonplace for placing an unsubscribe link is at the bottom of your email body. Also, when a recipient asks you to remove from the email list, you should always have a process of opt-out similar to opt-in.

You can always take a survey regarding opt-out but only after removing from the subscription list.

Keeping logic simple if you didn't include Unsubscribe link the emails will be deleted or reported as spam.

Reason 10: Small text with a Bigger image.

Marketers are always interested in keeping their emails beautiful and engaging but do you know making such emails unnecessary make your mail heavy which is including pointing to SPAM.
It is also seen that about 55% of total emails created are of visual content.

A simple formula for avoiding the spam folder is to keep simple text with clear intention. Don't panic or assume that you just need to use text; it is often said that you should keep the ratio of 65% text and 35% of the image.

Reason 11: Playing with Email body.

Sending text emails are always useful; you don't need to worry about anything. But you can't include branding within the text, so it is equally important to keep a good ratio of HTML, text and images.

A right branding email is said to have more open or read rates than a regular text email. You can follow a few steps to avoid your emails landing in spam folders which are as follows:

  1. Images used in emails should have 600-800 pixels with a maximum width.
  2. Keeping the text-to-image ratio high.
  3. Don't experiment with fonts (always use Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana).
  4. Make your email responsive (compatible with all devices).
  5. Compress your image before using in email.

Other Related Tutorial.

Email Spam