Why do your business emails go to spam?

When your emails end up in the spam folder, your entire email marketing campaign takes a serious hit. From careful message design to personalized offers, all efforts are in vain unless the email lands in the recipient’s inbox.

Unfortunately, many marketers make common mistakes that ruin their campaign’s ROI. To make sure your messages always reach your audience, you have to spam-proof them.

If you are asking yourself, “why are my emails going to spam?”, you may want to take a closer look at your email marketing strategy.

Review the CAN-SPAM Act

One of the main reasons why your messages are ending up in spam folders is the failure to follow the CAN-SPAM act. While you may think you are doing an excellent job, some tactics could be taking you closer to violating the act.

To make sure you are in the clear:

  •         Never use deceptive information in the header or subject lines. While it may seem appealing, grabbing a reader’s attention by using deceptive tactics or spammy subject lines won’t help secure any conversions.
  •         Be transparent about the nature of the message. If your marketing email is an advertisement, make sure it identifies itself as such. While there aren’t strict guidelines on how you should let the recipient know about it, make sure you do.
  •         Make sure the reader can always opt-out. Each email should have an opt-out option like an unsubscribe button or an unsubscribe link. By not giving the recipient an opportunity to say “no” to your marketing emails, you aren’t just violating the act. You are leaving a low-potential email address on your list, thus hindering your email list hygiene. If the reader opts out, make sure to remove their address immediately.

Even if you don’t send spam, you can still violate the CAN-SPAM act. Each violation can result in a fine that exceeds $40,000. So besides hindering your email marketing efforts, not following the act can take a serious toll on your budget.

Check Your Segmentation Strategy

If your emails are regularly marked as spam, you may not be reaching out to the right target audience. People on your email list could be interested in your products in general. However, they may not be getting the right offers from you.

Even if you aren’t sending spam, your recipients may think you are. That’s why they either delete messages or send them to the spam folder. Eventually, this behavior becomes suspicious to mailbox providers and they blacklist you.

The simple way out is to review your audience. Perhaps, the time has come to adjust your segmentation strategy and add more personalization to your messages.

Review Your Email List

When you are building an email list, you are likely to add as many addresses as possible. While it can improve your marketing efforts, this could also send your messages to the recipient’s spam folder.

People tend to change their addresses, adjust their preferences, and simply abandon their inboxes. In all these cases, your email message could end up in the spam box.

A simple way out is to implement robust email list hygiene. Add an email validator to your email marketing software toolbox. With this program, you can check your email list within minutes and find out how many invalid or inactive email addresses you are working with.

By cleaning your list, you are improving your marketing ROI, enhancing your sender reputation with the email service provider, boosting email deliverability, and avoiding the junk folder.

Avoid Spam Trigger Words

One of the “best” ways to trigger spam filters of a reputable email service provider is to use spam words. Many email marketers are very surprised by how simple, not-spammy words in legitimate emails or subject lines turn into email spam.

If you don’t want to alert spam filters and upset email service providers, you have to take a closer look at common spam words. HubSpot did an excellent job collecting all of them in one place. Take the time to check your content against the list. You may be surprised at what you find.

It doesn’t mean you have to avoid these words entirely. To bypass spam triggers, make sure not to overdo it and keep dangerous words out of the subject line.

Ask for Permission

One of the easiest ways to drown in spam complaints is to buy an email list. Sending messages without permission is likely to help them settle in the spam folder.

Consider using drip campaigns to make sure that your email subscribers are actually happy to get your emails. As soon as someone signs up for your list, an automatic message must go out to confirm their decision.

This way you won’t just avoid the spam folder. You can improve your email marketing efforts and keep the email provider happy.

Check Your IP Address

Your emails could be triggering spam filters simply because it has been compromised. If IP addresses are used to send spam emails, the IP reputation suffers. So even if you’ve never sent a spam email before, you could still face reputation issues.

A simple way to avoid this problem is to work with a reputable email service provider. They usually have robust protocols in place to prevent these problems. Take the choice of email providers seriously. Their reputation can affect your entire campaign.

Reconnect With Your Subscribers

If it has been a while since you’ve dropped anything useful in the recipients inboxes, they can easily forget about you. With large amounts of information and marketing materials people face in their inboxes daily, it’s easy to forget who is who.

To make sure your subscribers know who you are, you have to build close relationships with them. A solid marketing campaign involves seamless communication with your audience. Make sure to check your email list to see which subscribers you haven’t connected with lately.

If they don’t recognize you, they could be spending your messages to spam regularly, thus hurting your entire campaign.

Work on the “From” Line

One of the main reasons why your messages are going to spam is poor “from” data. The “from” line tells your subscriber where the email is coming from. It has to be as accurate as possible. You may be sending spammy-looking emails without knowing it.

When you set up an email marketing campaign, take a careful approach to designing the “from” field. It should reflect what your company is about without any misleading information. To make the email more personal, companies often use the first names of the senders.

For example, a flower shop’s “from” line can look like:

  •         Jenny from Tom’s Flower Shop
  •         Tom’s Flower Shop
  •         Offers from Tom’s Flower Shop

Don’t leave the from line empty either. While flowershop@gmail.com may be transparent, it doesn’t sound friendly or personal. It will not send your email to spam but won’t catch the recipient’s attention either.

Work on Email Authentication

A common reason your emails are going to spam is the wrong email authentication setup. Authentication authorizes the email services to send messages on your behalf. Once authenticated, they appear with your sending domain name even when mailed by another party.

A poorly set up authentication could send your messages directly into a spam box. While there are several email authentication methods, the most popular approaches are DomainKey Identified Mail, DMARC, and Sender Policy Framework.

If you are using an automated email service and notice that your messages are ending up in the spam folder, take care of proper authentication.

Rethink Your Attachments

Attachments are a thing of the past. Today, to send a marketing email, you don’t need to attach any special offers as documents. All you need is to add a link or insert an image into the message’s body. However, some companies keep attaching files because it seems like an easier thing to do.

Attachments are a big red flag for most spam filters. No matter how legit they are, a service provider could view them as spam.

If you must send an attachment, consider uploading the file to Google Drive or DropBox. This way it can pass the spam filters unnoticed.

Streamline Email Engagement

Another important reason for spam issues is a lack of engagement. If your subscribers aren’t opening your emails, your open rate suffers. Eventually, the email service decides that your emails aren’t good enough to end up in their users’ inboxes.

Work on your email marketing strategy to make your messages more appealing and ensure at least some engagement. You can also go back to reviewing the email list. The lack of engagement could mean that some of the addresses are inactive.

The Takeaway

The common reasons why your emails are ending up in spam folders include poor message design, spam-triggering words, bad IP reputation, and spam law violations.

To fix the problem, take the time to rethink your approach to email marketing, review your email provider, and manage your email list well.

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