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Why Are My Emails Going To Spam And How To Fix It?

Written by, Ljubica Gjorgievska

Updated April, 18, 2022

If your open rates have taken a nosedive, there’s a good chance that your emails are ending up in the Spam folder of your subscribers.

If you’re wondering “why are my emails going to spam?” here are some reasons why that may be happening and how to fix it.

11 Reasons Why Your Emails Go in the Spam

Email design

A bad image-to-text ratio may trigger most email providers’ spam filters. If your emails are going to spam, there is a chance that you’ve added too many images to the email message or little to no text. 

No “unsubscribe” option

Emails that do not have a visible “unsubscribe” button could be marked as spam. This is because laws in the UK and Europe require companies and individuals that use email marketing to give subscribers the option to opt-out of any messages used for commercial purposes. 

Proper authentication

To reduce the chances of your emails going to the junk folder, you need to make sure that they are properly authenticated. 

The three most popular authentication methods include SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. 

Sender information

Email service providers require that all sender information such as the name of the sender, email address, and domain name, are accurate and clearly visible

Spam triggers

There are several words, punctuations, and emojis that email service providers mark as spam triggers, including writing in upper case, using numerous exclamation points, unusual fonts, and words like “click,” and “cash.”

Bad email list

Sending emails in bulk to an untested group of subscribers is generally considered risky. Email service providers are most likely to mark it as spam if there are recipients that have not agreed to receive marketing emails, if there are a lot of inactive addresses, or if the majority of the recipients don’t open the email message.

Subject lines

Misleading subject lines can prompt recipients to open the email and then mark it as spam.  Subject lines that include words and phrases like “urgent”, “re: work matters”, “Is this yours?” or any other statement that’s not even remotely related to the content of the email can trigger spam filters.

IP address 

When using an email marketing service, your emails are delivered through their servers and if that provider has let spam slip through before, there might be a chance that your emails are flagged as spam by association.

Too many attachments

Attachments, especially in newsletters and cold emails are generally considered bad news since that’s how viruses and malwares usually spread. To avoid your email from going to spam, steer clear of attachments, unless it’s with people who have previously responded to your emails.

Includes links to misleading sites 

An email that contains links alone can already be flagged as spam, especially in emails used for commercial purposes. Placing misleading or irrelevant links can prompt both the recipient and the email provider to mark your email as spam.

Recipient marked as spam

Finally, even if a sender ticks all the boxes, spam reports from a couple of recipients, even if it is by accident, might start a domino effect and cause your deliverability to crumble.

7 Ways to Help Fix Email Spam Problem

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent or help fix an email spam issue.

Set up email authentication and have correct sender details

It’s crucial that senders pass the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC policies to prevent emails from ending up in the Spam folder. Also, the sender details have to be accurate and consistent. 

Let subscribers complete double opt-in

Allowing subscribers to complete a double opt-in will decrease the chances of getting an email marked as spam. A clean list boosts your deliverability because it ensures your emails go to active subscribers’ inboxes. 

Ask subscribers to whitelist your emails

The easiest way to make sure you’re putting your emails in front of the right audience is to ask new subscribers to add your email to their contact list or reply to one of your emails. Welcome messages are a great way to ask subscribers to whitelist your emails and you can include a short guide on how they can do that.

Conduct spam filter testing

There are several email deliverability tools or mail testers that can help you figure out if your emails are likely to be marked as spam. Once you identify what causes low open rates, you have a better chance of reducing spam complaints. 

Proofread and review triggers

Standard proofreading may be a given, but senders also have to be mindful of the words, punctuation, letter case, and the image-to-text ratio to make sure they’re not using any spam triggers.

Use reputable email marketing providers

There are several email marketing tools and providers out there that can help improve and automate your email marketing campaigns. However, some are stricter when it comes to rules and regulations, which usually translates to higher deliverability rates.

Place an opt-out button

Having a visible “unsubscribe” button in all of your emails is a must for most companies that utilise email marketing. What’s more, if your subscribers have an option to opt out, they are less likely to mark your emails as spam

Bottom Line

Why are my emails going to spam? There are numerous reasons why your emails might be ending up in the junk folder, from trigger words, to inactive subscribers, and dodgy email marketing services. To improve your email deliverability it’s important to keep your mailing list clean, provide accurate details, and allow subscribers to opt out. 

As a writer for Don’t Disappoint Me, my job is to collect relevant key information and interpret it into a wide range of content. I also have an MSc in Marketing, so I am always trying to expand my knowledge and discover new and exciting areas of digital marketing, SEO and web traffic building. I am a nature enthusiast, so when I’m not researching and analyzing, I love to go hiking with my dogs, camping, or snowboarding. I am a bookaholic as well and have an ongoing obsession with crime TV shows and movies.