Why Is My Email Going to The Spam Folder? How To Improve Email Delivery
With any email service & any set of contacts you will always have some mail end up in the spam folder. Every receiving ISP is using different spam filtering techniques and some ISP’s utilize some pretty crazy ideas to combat spam. So you will undoubtedly have some mail filtered at some point during sending email campaigns.
The good news is that it is not something you should dread or worry about. By following some pretty simple concepts you can dramatically reduce the chance of email being filtered.
Things you can do to improve your email delivery:
- Don’t use your email address for the “from” email address.
If you send a email that is “from” your email (let’s say firstname.lastname@example.org) and you send it to a contact with the email (email@example.com) it will most certainly be marked as spam as the “from” and the “to” is the same.
- Pay attention to the spam filter testing before sending.
This is an option on the summary step of create campaign. It will let you know if it spots any major issues with your email that could affect delivery.
- Don’t send a single graphic/image
Sending an email that only contains a graphic is a sure-fire way to have delivery issues. You should take the time to design an email with text and graphics. Not just a single image.
- Don’t use a free email address as your “from” email
Instead of using your free/personal email address such as @hotmail.com or @gmail.com you should use an email address for the company or organization for which you are sending email.
- Test different subjects & email contents
Content does play a major role in filtering email. Avoid using all caps, spammy sounding content, etc… By testing different subjects and email contents you can test responses & delivery.
- Pay attention to your links in your email
Spam filters check the URLS that you are linking to. If you link to a domain that has a poor reputation you will be penalized. Additionally you should avoid linking to URL’s that contain folders with 1-2 characters (such as domain.com/e/something/ or domain.com/es/) as some filters will count that as a negative thing.
- Don’t include links that use link shortening services
Your links should be full links to the real URL. You could experience delivery issues using shortened links from link shortening services.
- Take the time to code your HTML correctly
Improper HTML tags, broken tags, etc.. could reduce your email delivery.
- Remove inactive contacts
Delete your old & inactive contacts. Contact engagement plays a big role in email delivery. By focusing on your active contacts you can increase your overall delivery.
- Send using a consistent “from” email address
We do not suggest changing your “from” details often. Keeping it consistent can help build your reputation.
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- Avoid copying anything directly from Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc..
When you paste content directly from these applications additional characters (that you do not want) will be automatically added.
- Don’t test using the same phrase as your subject and email contents. If you send an email with a very similar subject and message body it will likely be filtered as spam. (An example would be having the subject set to “this is a test” with the body set to “this is a test”.)
Be sure to keep in mind that your primary focus should be on maintaining a healthy list of contacts, sending content that they truly want, engaging your contacts, and encouraging them to interact with your campaign. If you keep your focus on these items great delivery will follow.
What to do if your email is mark SPAM
- Make sure that you are not in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Verify that your emails make the grade and you're not falling into common filtering rules.
- Send your customers a personal email message requesting that they white-list your domain, so that your business emails don't get filtered into Spam. In this, I'm referring to a "personal" email as one that doesn't include your marketing links or business advertisements or enhancements that may flag the email as something other than a personal email.
- Check to make sure that your Email Authentication is enabled. This helps stop spam coming from your email address (even if you're not sending any that you know of). One of the common tactics by spammers out there is to spoof email coming from your domain. This causes you to get blacklisted even though you're not sending emails. Here's an article on these settings: Email Authentication - SPF and DomainKeys.
- If all else fails, you might want to consider a paid service or use a large specific email host for sending business emails- like Google mail. There are services for sending out emails for marketing such as MailChimp.com. Check them out as possible solutions since they can provide business email and newsletter services.
- Examine your email bounces. When an email bounces, it will tell you "why" it's being bounced and give you a source or reason for the bounce. If you're being listed on a service (that you may not be aware of), then you should investigate. In some cases, you can very easily remove yourself from a list simply contacting the authority who has blacklisted you. This may not always be the same person as the email administrator of that server. However, you can also send an email to an email administrator of the service to find out why your emails are being blocked. Though, I would only do this after examining the reason for the block and ,making sure that you have done your due diligence by reading their bounce messages and confirmed that you're not sending spam.