- 7 Broad Classes of Reasons Why Emails get to SPAM
- 1. Email Content is ‘spam-like’
- two. Electronic mail Blueprint Doesn’t Follow the Protocols
- three. Spam laws are violated
- 4. Domain Reputation is Poor
- 5. IP Reputation is bad
- half dozen. Email Authentication is Declining
- seven. Email Engagement is Poor
- Wrap Upward
If your electronic mail open rates are low, it is quite likely that your emails are non making it to the subscriber’south inbox but are landing in spam. And then you are left wondering, “why are my emails going to spam instead of the inbox, even though I am non a spammer?” Y’all don’t enquire people for credit carte du jour details and certainly don’t sell some snake oil.
But the truth is that the spam filters don’t know your intentions and they rely solely on how you follow the rules of email marketing. If your behavior mimics that of a spammer, you are also tagged every bit one of them and your emails are sent to the spam folder.
Sometimes, you might tweak a few things while fixing your spam bug and that might but worsen the situation. This will happen if you don’t know what to look at while identifying the cause of your emails going to spam.
And so in this guide, nosotros will exist covering 7 major categories of why your emails might be going to the spam folder.
7 Broad Classes of Reasons Why Emails get to SPAM
- Email content is ‘spam-like’
- E-mail design doesn’t follow the protocols
- Spam laws are violated
- Domain reputation is poor
- IP Reputation is bad
- Email Hallmark is failing
- Email engagement is poor
A lot of factors contribute to the in a higher place and here, with this guide, we deconstruct each one of them. If your e-mail is landing in SPAM it is highly likely that you are violating more 1 police force across all categories.
Before that, a quick word on how email delivery infrastructure works.
In lodge to deal with the email SPAM problem, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and E-mail Inbox providers (like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL etc.) rely on SPAM filters, Firewalls and Blacklist directories to keep your inbox costless of “Unsolicited” SPAM emails.
I would strongly recommend checking out our definitive guide on email deliverability to learn more about how exactly this works.
To get the nearly out of this guide, delight familiarise yourself with these abbreviations:
– Email Service Provider. By ESP I specifically mean e-mail marketing software (like SendX) that helps you lot ship emails at scale.
– Companies that provide an Inbox for your emails (Gmail, Yahoo Mail service. Outlooks, Hotmail, AOL, Apple Mail etc.).
– Decides whether the email should be present in the inbox, promotions tab, spam folder or whether it should exist blocked all together.
– Net Protocol Address. In this commodity’due south context it refers to the unique public address of the server over which your emails go. This is typically maintained by the ESP.
ane. Email Content is ‘spam-similar’
Keywords in your email body & subject line
Avoid using spam trigger words in your email. These are the words that accept been classified every bit as well manipulative, pushy, sleazy or evoking negative emotions.
With sophisticated technologies like AI and Motorcar Language, email service providers can browse each and every e-mail to determine if it is spam or 18-carat.
Nosotros take nerveless a listing of 504 spam words you should avoid. You can check the list hither.
Spelling and Grammar Errors
This is a reason why about scam emails are poorly written – It is not because the scammer has poor English or he is lazy. It is considering a poorly written email self selects the most gullible victim.
What would you practise if y’all really get scammed – Study it to the police.
This is a bad outcome for a scammer. They would rather want you to ignore the email Or mark it equally SPAM, which is what a poorly worded electronic mail does!
Then, it relies on the factor that if you tin can’t notice their technique of using bad grammar you are probably too gullible or greedy for their offer.
Check out this paper from Microsoft Research that talks in-depth about this topic.
So when yous display the aforementioned behavior of using poor grammar in your emails, your emails are filtered and sent to the spam folder.
Hither are some other factors closely related to the format and readability of your email that are considered while judging whether a mail is spam or not. Avoid all of these:
- Poorly Written Email Copy
- Large Fonts and Flashy Color
- A lot of Exclamations!!!!! and $$$$$$
Links within the electronic mail
If the links inside your emails indicate to a suspicious domain or a URL which has been flagged as fraudulent then it is very probable your email will country in SPAM.
This tin as well happen if you are using an email marketing software and the backend they employ to rewrite links (to track link clicks) is spammy.
We at SendX have been very careful with this and our tech stack ensures that your links are not looking suspicious. You can attempt SendX for xiv days for free and cheque for yourself.
Using URL shortener in electronic mail
A lot of Spammers use URL shortening services similar fleck.ly to hide their spammy URL(as they all accept access to the same domain and appear the aforementioned). Never utilize generic link shorteners in your emails. However, if you do need to use them, we recommend yous use one that allows you lot to brand the links that you shorten, such as Rebrandly URL Shortener for case
ii. Electronic mail Design Doesn’t Follow the Protocols
Use of Images
Few tips here:
- Maintain a balance ration or text to image
- Avoid paradigm merely emails
- Utilize alt text when embedding images.
Spammers tend to hide all SPAM trigger words in an paradigm and employ the email body for neutral words merely. Since near SPAM filters practice non process the epitome information technology gets past them. So, an email with a really skewed ratio of Image/Text tin can start getting flagged past SPAM filters.
Some users don’t allow images in emails to load. The images in your email won’t evidence to them, making your electronic mail expect spammy and getting marked as spam. SPAM filters will have this feedback and over a period of time will start because almost of the emails with a similar signature every bit SPAM.
Non-responsive email blueprint
This in itself will non directly cause your emails to country in SPAM.
But, because that the majority of emails are now opened on a mobile device the likelihood of users marking your e-mail as SPAM will increase if the email does non render properly.
That’southward why all email templates inside SendX are responsive by default. Not simply that, we accept created one of the biggest responsive email templates resources on the web (till date). It’s available for costless.
Instance of Non-responsive Email Pattern
Electronic mail HTML is Not equal to Spider web HTML.
There are a lot of obvious HTML tags and CSS attributes that are not supported by major email clients (major culprit beingness – Microsoft Outlook).
Most email clients but don’t support wink content as information technology is considered unsafe for something as sensitive equally email. Email clients block emails containing flash. You lot can use GIFs as an alternative to brand your emails more than appealing.
Spam filters and more importantly firewalls always take a “improve to be safe than sorry” arroyo. And then, all your well-intentioned emails with any type of script will get straight to the SPAM binder.
Missing key elements
If you miss adding primal elements like :
- from name
- subject area line
- email body
- apparently text version in your email
and the email marketing software doesn’t accept a check or terminate you before sending that, then your emails volition go into the spam go into the spam folder.
No subject area line is used every bit a marketing tactic to increment opens just it’s non worth taking a hit on your IP reputation and deliverability.
3. Spam laws are violated
Missing Unsubscribe link
All marketing emails demand to have a clear way for users to opt-out of them. If you are sending emails to the opted-in list(s) ensure every e-mail going to them has a way to opt out of using an unsubscribe link.
Usually unsubscribe links are present in the footer, but you should include it in the header too. It’southward non mandated by police (considering you have an unsubscribe link in the email footer) but email providers like Gmail consider this an important signal of reputation. This is how an unsubscribe link in the header looks similar:
Unsubscribe Link in the E-mail Header
- Malformed From Email address
Issues with the HTML
If your email has different versions of HTML and plain text email or cleaved HTML, then your emails volition go into the spam folder.
Cleaved HTML will appear sloppy and unreadable on virtually all email clients. Not only will users marker your e-mail as SPAM, but it will also alert SPAM filters (they will remember y’all could be a lazy spammer using unsophisticated tools).
Email with broken HTML
An of import note hither – I accept seen mode as well often, marketers re-create content direct from Microsoft Discussion, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. These applications add additional unwanted characters to your bulletin source. Always copy your content to a patently text editor that strips off all such characters.
All templates we offering for gratis and every template within SendX is tested to ensure that HTML is non broken.
Email size > 100KB
Electronic mail Acid team did a test on email size and this is what they had to say:
We created text-simply, HTML emails in various sizes, from fifteen-650KB.
Nosotros plant that sending a file size between 15KB-100KB is A-OK. These emails successfully passed through all our spam filters with flying colors!
Deliverability issues began to occur one time the e-mail file size was over 100KB. Every electronic mail from 110KB to 650KB wound up failing multiple spam filters. Interestingly enough, once the e-mail file size was over 100KB, the number of spam filters that failed each email stayed the same. For example, an e-mail that was 110KB got caught in the aforementioned 7 spam filters every bit an email with a file size of 650KB.
Multiple studies point out that there is a correlation between electronic mail size and deliverability. We would recommend keeping emails between 15KB-100KB to ensure healthy deliverability.
Unsafe OR binary attachment
This is an obvious one. Scammers who employ e-mail spam frequently use this technique to steal your data. You would see a alert in Gmail similar this:
Dangerous Email Warning
iv. Domain Reputation is Poor
Your domain (which you use to send emails) reputation plays a vital role in your email deliverability. To borrow an illustration from the finance world, it is a lot like a credit score for your electronic mail domain. If it is high, you will get expert deliverability.
That said, let’south deconstruct what are the factors that contribute to it.
Using a free email address as your From Email address
If you are not using an ESP (like SendX) then you will need your ain domain to send emails. The reason you can not use a free email accost inside a 3rd party organization is that they have strict DMARC policies.
If you have your own domain you can gear up DMARC policies that volition tell receiving servers how to handle emails that have failed the DMARC check.
Inconsistent E-mail Book
This again is the typical behavior of a Spammer. Too, can you think of a legitimate concern that volition suddenly increment their email volume by 100x?
Sudden changes in email volume are always considered suspicious in the email world.
People marking emails as SPAM
This should not come as a surprise. If people marker your emails as SPAM, your domain reputation will go affected.
When your subscribers click on Mark as SPAM, a SPAM complaint is logged past mailbox providers like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, etc. notifying ESP’s about the same.
Since SPAM complaints are an explicit user signal about unsolicited emails (even a 0.5% SPAM rate is considered actually high).
SendX automatically removes all electronic mail addresses from your list equally presently equally we detect they have marked your email every bit SPAM for the first time. This ensures that you practise non send any farther emails to those users. We practise this to protect the domain reputation of legitimate users.
5. IP Reputation is bad
IP is non warmed up properly
IP warm-up is a process to establish a reputation for a new IP. Or an IP that has not been used for some time. This also makes it difficult to ship a lot of emails over a new infrastructure. A lot of ESPs practice non warm-up their IPs correctly which leads to poor deliverability for their users. If you are facing such issues there is little y’all tin can exercise virtually it apart from requesting your ESP to move you to a different IP or switch to a new ESP.
IP Server not configured properly
If the backend of the ESP is not configured with proper email header, authentication parameters, and encryption so the emails volition get rejected by E-mail providers (like Gmail, Yahoo Postal service, AOL etc.)
Non having TLS Hallmark
Email runs over the summit of a protocol called SMTP (Unproblematic Post Transfer Protocol) which is unencrypted by its very nature. TLS or transport level security provides a mechanism to encrypt email messages which prevent the content beingness read from entities other than the intended recipients.
You can cheque this using the email headers when you receive them. If your ESP is not using TLS authentication for their IPs, it will bear upon their reputation.
IP not having Render Path Certificate
Render Path is a company that provides data and insights to assistance organizations optimize their electronic mail marketing. They also provide certificates (to ESPs) that are used as a signal of better authorization past major e-mail providers. Check more than details.
Not having an inbox for a “from e-mail” OR “answer-to” email address that is used while sending the e-mail over the IP
Now, there could be a scenario when the domain has inbox Only the “from electronic mail” being used while sending the email does not. A common instance of this is <no-reply>@ email addresses.
SPAM filters will know this is an invalid email one time your receipts try to reply (considering the answer emails will bounciness).
It works either fashion when you effort to send an email on a domain whose e-mail address is invalid, say from your iPhone, it throws an error such every bit cannot verify server identity due to domain issues or SSL certificate bug.
You will showtime seeing a hit to your IP reputation if this happens regularly.
six. Email Authentication is Declining
Email hallmark is an important topic if you are using a 3rd political party ESP (like SendX). If you are using a mailbox provider like – Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, Apple Post etc then your emails will be authenticated by default (if everything is set up correctly).
Quite only, electronic mail authentication means – that you (possessor of the domain) are giving required permissions to a 3rd party ESP, to ship emails on your domain’southward behalf.
In instance you are wondering if it is even possible to send emails from a domain without providing permission (from the domain owner), the answer is Aye. Y’all would have seen emails having via <some_domain_name> in the e-mail header like the following.
If not, go check your inbox and you are sure to find several emails similar this. This but ways Johnny Appleseed’due south domain is sending this e-mail over the hallmark of sendx.io domain. To read in-depth about email authentication I would recommend reading the Email Authentication section of our Electronic mail Deliverability guide.
Needless to say, this is not the best fashion to send emails. And SPAM filters look at such an email with suspicion. A lot of spammers besides rely on this technique since they are able to leverage the good domain reputation of the ESP.
Always inquire for your ESP to provide email authentication. At SendX, nosotros provide email authentication for free in every program and strongly encourage our users (during on-boarding) to get their domain authenticated with SendX.
Hither are common mistakes we see people make (when information technology comes to electronic mail authentication):
Non adding SPF Records
Information technology stands for Sender Policy Framework. It is an e-mail authentication method to detect forged sender addresses in emails. Information technology is a TXT DNS record entry which allows an IP or a fix of IPs or email servers to send emails for you. All emails not originating from these servers volition be considered equally unauthenticated.
Email inbox providers check this to either reject the post entirely or send them to Spam of the receiver’south email ID (then that no one else exploits you lot as a sender). It is a all-time practice not to allow more than ten servers to transport emails on your behalf.
To exam this, you can open whatever electronic mail that yous received and check the headers and/or the original post. The “mailed by” domain tells yous whether or not the SPF is applied properly. It should lucifer the domain of the from email address.
In inbox providers like Google Workspace, there is a simplified description of the header in the original email stating whether the SPF passed.
SPF Records Header in Gmail
Y’all tin as well await up for your SPF Records here.
Non adding DKIM Records
It is the abbreviation for Domain Keys Identified Mail service. Information technology provides a mechanism to verify that the email message has come from the domain it is claiming to and the bulletin hasn’t been tampered with forth the way.
This is done using a two-way (private key and public fundamental combination) authentication. The public primal is commonly supplied by the ESPs (again, in the grade of a TXT DNS entry which can exist queried globally) and the private primal is used by themselves to encrypt the entire or a office of the email, which can be decrypted on the receiving finish by using the public primal.
If the decryption fails, the receiver knows that either the domain hasn’t allowed this email to be sent or somebody in between has tampered the email (homo-in-the-center attack).
To check whether your DKIM is valid, you tin can check the email headers and await for “signed by”.
In inbox providers like GSuite, there is a simplified description of the header in the original electronic mail stating whether the DKIM passed
DKIM Records in Email Header
You can too expect up for DKIM here.
Not calculation (or incorrectly adding) DMARC
DMARC is a proclamation from the sending domain that their possessor knows about electronic mail authentication and receivers should receive fully authenticated emails (including both SPF and DKIM) originating from them.
It also declares what actions should be washed to emails non having the proper authentication. They may include: letting them be or not affecting them, sending them to the spam folder or blocking such emails entirely.
When DMARC is added for whatsoever domain, it can be configured then that inbox providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc., can send regular email reports as to how many emails were encountered with/without proper email authentication and what actions accept been taken.
This tin be added directly past domain owners post-obit the steps in https://dmarc.org/overview/. Although the absence of DMARC doesn’t crusade emails to land in Spam folders currently, near email inbox providers are fighting towards mandating this since the domain owners are much more than in charge and help fight e-mail spamming globally.
DMARC entry tin be checked in the original e-mail data and inboxes similar Gmail besides provide simplified headers for it.
Using via Domain
If ESP doesn’t provide you with authentication/whitelisting details(SPF/DKIM), then they are using their own domains to send your emails. These temporary domains are authenticated past the ESPs themselves.
This means that non only would your emails go over their servers, but also, your email deliverability would depend on the reputation of these via domains which might be used for their multiple clients with variable e-mail sending habits. This could touch on the deliverability and open rates of your campaigns heavily.
Y’all can bank check the “mailed by” and “via” domains to validate your settings.
Domain Present in E-mail Blacklists
Domain blacklists are quite only a directory of domains that have been involved in suspicious behavior.
A lot of publicly available blacklists (300+) take been created. SPAM filters refer to one or more than of these blacklists.
Check if your domain is in whatsoever blacklists.
We proactively assistance our users with getting them delisted from these blacklists. Exercise accomplish out to united states for more aid in this regard.
This one might sound obvious, only in the email world, this is fifty-fifty more important.
It is much easier to spoil your reputation forever when your domain is young.
This is considering – buying new domains and sending SPAM over that is a typical signature of an email spammer. So, spam filters are extra cautious about you in your early on days.
If you have maintained good electronic mail behavior for years information technology is hard to harm your reputation until something really tragic (like a phishing attack) happens using your domain.
7. Email Date is Poor
The list has inactive members
If a majority of your users don’t open your email, email providers have a potent reason to believe that the emails from this domain are no longer adding value.
There is no indicate in sending emails to a user who does not open your email. You are not only wasting your money but also calculation to a poor domain reputation. I tin’t recommend this plenty. Whenever nosotros onboard new customers experiencing low opens, we recommend them to clip their e-mail list, and maintain a valid email list at all times. Information technology would be a good idea to do some in-depth cohort assay to measure user engagement over a specific period.
From a domain reputation standpoint:
50% email opens for 5,000 subscribers (ii,500) > xx% email open up for 50,000 subscribers (2,500)
Apart from getting a lot of SPAM complaints and email bounciness, people won’t engage with your email. So avoid buying lists or scraping emails off the internet.
Not having a double opted-in list
What is better than a Single Opt-In(SOI) list? A double opt-in list (DOI). That said, I must point out that there are valid arguments on either side.
My point of view on this is driven by this unproblematic logic – Yous don’t make coin from the size of your list (unless you sell email lists, which I sincerely hope is not the instance), yous brand money when people engage with your emails. DOI leads to improve engagement and hence amend domain reputation.
Email list size is a vanity metric for most businesses.
Be sure about the value you want to deliver with your e-mail marketing and exam out both the SOI and DOI for that. Whichever moves the needle, go for it.
Malformed From Email address
Avoid frequent changes to the From email address field and avoid obscure From email fields like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. We strongly recommend our users to use trustworthy email addresses similar “feedback@”, “newsletter@”, “support@”, “how-do-you-do@”, <your_name@> etc.
Nosotros can’t tell for sure if this goes as a directly bespeak to SPAM filters but we have seen emails with trustworthy addresses getting much amend open rates. Also, weird obscure email addresses can make some users mark them as SPAM (affecting your domain and IP reputation).
If you lot cater to users with multiple interests it is best to segment them based on that so that you simply send relevant emails.
Segments are a combination of (and) and (or) conditions on top of your electronic mail lists.
Using segments y’all can hyper-target your audience.
SendX has a powerful segment creator to help yous practise merely that. Nosotros can help you segment users based on fifty+ various attributes like – type of folio visited, company proper noun, demographic data such as age, gender, DOB, electronic mail opens, clicks. Know more nigh information technology by getting in touch with u.s.a..
If a portion of your e-mail traffic is landing in SPAM so you lot are leaving money on the tabular array.
A portion of your prospects and users are not getting of import messages from yous like: pricing changes, deal emails, new features, and product updates, upgrade opportunities and a host of other things.
Your revenue is leaking because your emails are landing in SPAM.
But, understanding why your emails are landing in SPAM could be really complicated.
With this guide, nosotros have attempted to lay downward all that LAWS that govern the SPAM earth.
So, that you are no longer office of the collateral damage in a war being waged against e-mail SPAM.
SendX complies with all the above laws.
In case your emails are landing in SPAM and you are struggling to figure information technology out all by yourself, reach out to u.s.a. for help.
Don’t leave money on the tabular array, set up your revenue leakage now.
1) What exactly is a spam email?
Spam email is any unsolicited email, which is usually sent out in majority, and which is irrelevant, abrasive and sometimes malicious. A few examples are false lottery win announcements, get rich quick schemes, and faux job schemes.
2) Why practise my emails go to spam?
Common reason for emails going to spam are listed as beneath:
- Spam trigger keywords in the trunk
- Spammy subject field lines
- Absence of unsubscribe link
- Dangerous attachments
- Poorly written re-create
3) How can I ensure that my emails don’t become to spam?
In club to ensure that your emails don’t become to spam, yous need to attach to certain rules such every bit the ones listed below:
- Ship only to opted-in subscribers
- Explicitly ask subscribers to whitelist your email accost
- Comply with anti-spam laws
- Proofread your emails to avoid spelling & grammar errors
- Avert spam-trigger keywords
- Send them to a cleaned up list
- Include an unsubscribe link.
At that place are quite a few more such rules for this. You tin can detect an all-encompassing list on the SendX blog.
iv) How tin can I know if my emails accept gone to spam?
There is really no manner to know whether your electronic mail landed in a specific contact’southward inbox or SPAM folder once it got delivered. It could have been sent to SPAM by the contact’s email service provider, or the recipient could have manually reported as SPAM, etc.
five) What happens to my sender reputation when my emails go to spam?
If your emails are regularly marked as spam by the recipients, your domain reputation will deteriorate. And based on that, email service providers may automatically send your emails directly to spam.
vi) What are the mutual spammer-behaviors that I tin avert?
Common spammer-behaviors that need to be avoided to ensure that emails don’t land into the spam box are: bad spelling and grammar, paradigm-but emails, and spammy subject lines containing words like “free”, “$$$”, “unlimited” etc.