Why Your Emails Go to Spam And How to Fix It

Industry News

Email is an essential part of our daily lives. We rely on it to effectively communicate with others, whether for personal or professional reasons. However, sometimes, you may find that your emails end up in the spam folder of your recipient’s inbox. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re sending important emails that need immediate attention. In this article, we will explore the reasons why your emails may be going to spam and what you can do to avoid it.


1. Your Email Content Triggers Spam Filters


One of the primary reasons why your emails are going to spam is that they contain suspicious content. Spam filters are designed to flag emails that contain specific words or phrases that are commonly associated with spam. If you use spam trigger words that spammers commonly use, your emails will be more likely to be placed in the spam folder.


Some spam trigger words include:


  • “Free”, “Toll-free” or “Free trial”
  • “Lowest price”
  • “Additional income”
  • “Easy money”
  • “Make money fast”
  • “No cost”
  • “Risk-free”
  • “This is not spam”
  • “Winner”
  • Multiple exclamation points or dollar signs in a row
  • Words with unnecessary spaces or punctuation
  • Words that are in ALL CAPS


These words are either heavily sales-oriented or clearly designed to avoid spam filters (such as the extra spaces). Using a few of these isn’t always flagged as spam, but using too many of them can be. Poor grammar or misspelling words can also trigger spam filters, as many spammers use machine translation to translate their spam emails into English.


To avoid this, you should ensure that your email content is clear, concise, and relevant to the recipient. Use a professional tone and avoid using excessive capitalization, exclamation marks, or emoticons. Remove any spammy words or phrases in your email copy, subject line, or preview text. Also, avoid using too many hyperlinks or attachments as these can also trigger spam filters.


2. You Have Not Set Up Email Authentication


Email authentication is a process that verifies the authenticity of an email sender. It is used to prevent email spoofing, where an attacker sends an email from a fake email address. If you’re using a custom email address and you haven’t set up authentication, your emails are more likely to be flagged as spam. 


Email authentication involves adding specific TXT records to your domain’s DNS settings, such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKey Identified Mail), and DMARC records. DKIM provides an encryption key and digital signature to verify an email, while SPF works by verifying the IP address of the sender against a list of approved IPs. DMARC is different in that it requires the other two to be enabled and lets the sender indicate that their emails are protected by DKIM or SPF.


To check whether your emails are authenticated correctly, you can use online tools such as DMARC Analyzer or MX Toolbox. To properly authenticate your emails with methods like DKIM and SPF, you need to get the records that you need from your email hosting service first. Then, add those records to your domain name using the DNS editor.

You can do this:


  • Via your web host’s dashboard if you’re using your host’s nameservers
  • Via your domain registrar if you’re not using your host’s nameservers


3. Your Email List Is Not Clean


If you’re sending emails to an extensive email list, it’s critical to keep your list clean. A clean email list means that all email addresses on the list are valid and active. Sending emails to incorrect or inactive email addresses might result in a high bounce rate, triggering spam filters. To ensure that your email list is clean, follow these tips:

  • Only add opted-in subscribers to your list. If you didn’t receive explicit opt-in from subscribers, that can lead to spam issues.
  • Include an unsubscribe link in the email and give subscribers a clear option to unsubscribe. Remove recipients who have unsubscribed from your email list regularly. 
  • You should also regularly clean your email list by removing inactive subscribers or those who have not engaged with your emails for an extended period.


4. Your Email Contains HTML Or CSS Coding Errors


If your email contains HTML or CSS coding errors, it may not render correctly in your recipient’s email client. This can make your email appear suspicious, which can result in it being flagged as spam. To avoid spam caused by broken HTML, follow these steps:


  • Use pre-built and tested email templates to ensure that your email is correctly coded.
  • Use the email testing tools such as Litmus to evaluate the display of your emails across inboxes so you can identify HTML mistakes before sending them.


5. Your Email Contains Too Many Images


Spammers often attempt to bypass spam filters by using images instead of spam trigger words. Using the images to replace text appears suspicious to spam filters. Therefore, including too many images in your email with little to no text will trigger spam filters. 


To avoid this, make sure your email contains a good mix of text and images. Add alt text for your images and keep image file sizes small to ensure that your email loads quickly. Furthermore, avoid utilizing images as the primary content of your email, as this may be flagged as spam by email filters.


6. Your Email Is Being Marked As Spam By Recipients


When a recipient marks your email as spam, it sends a signal to email filters that your email is not wanted. It directly impacts your deliverability. If enough of your emails get flagged by users, it harms your reputation as a sender and causes future emails to end up in the spam folder, even when you send them to people who didn’t mark you as spam.


To avoid this, ensure that your email content is relevant and valuable to your recipients. Segment your email list and personalize your emails to ensure that they are targeted and relevant to your recipients. Stop sending emails to people who marked your emails as spam. If you continue to send to these people, your reputation will suffer even more. Provide an unsubscribe link and make it easy for your recipients to unsubscribe from your emails if they no longer wish to receive them. Additionally, you may ask your new subscribers to whitelist your email address to avoid your emails going to spam. It makes sure your subscribers can keep receiving the emails they signed up for. By having more people whitelist your emails, it also improves your sender reputation and overall email deliverability. 


In conclusion, there are various reasons why your emails may be going to spam. By understanding these reasons, you can take appropriate measures to ensure that your emails reach your intended recipients’ inboxes. Ensure that your email content is clear, relevant, and valuable to your recipients. Keep your email list clean and authenticate your emails correctly. Additionally, avoid using spammy subject lines, too many images, and coding errors in your emails. Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe if they no longer wish to receive your emails. By following these best practices, you can improve your email deliverability and ensure that your emails reach your intended recipients’ inboxes.