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If your email open rates are low, it is quite likely that your emails are not making it to the subscriber's inbox but are landing in spam. So you are left wondering, “why are my emails going to spam instead of the inbox, even though I am not a spammer?” You don’t ask people for credit card 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 as one of them and your emails are sent to the spam folder.
Sometimes, you might tweak a few things while fixing your spam problems and that might just 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.
So in this guide, we will be covering 7 major categories of why your emails might be going to the spam folder.
7 Broad Classes of Reasons Why Emails go to SPAM
- Email content is ‘spam-like’
- Email design doesn’t follow the protocols
- Spam laws are violated
- Domain reputation is poor
- IP Reputation is bad
- Email Authentication is failing
- Email engagement is poor
A lot of factors contribute to the above and here, with this guide, we deconstruct each one of them. If your email is landing in SPAM it is highly likely that you are violating more than 1 law across all categories.
Before that, a quick word on how email delivery infrastructure works.
In order to deal with the email SPAM problem, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Email Inbox providers (like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL etc.) rely on SPAM filters, Firewalls and Blacklist directories to keep your inbox free 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 most out of this guide, please familiarise yourself with these abbreviations:
Inbox Providers - Companies that provide an Inbox for your emails (Gmail, Yahoo Mail. Outlooks, Hotmail, AOL, Apple Mail etc.).
Spam Filters - Decides whether the email should be present in the inbox, promotions tab, spam folder or whether it should be blocked all together.
IP Address - Internet Protocol Address. In this article's context it refers to the unique public address of the server over which your emails go. This is typically maintained by the ESP.
If a portion of your email traffic is landing in SPAM then you are leaving money on the table.
A portion of your prospects and users are not getting important messages from you 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, we have attempted to lay down all that LAWS that govern the SPAM world.
So, that you are no longer part of the collateral damage in a war being waged against email SPAM.
SendX complies with all the above laws.
In case your emails are landing in SPAM and you are struggling to figure it out all by yourself, reach out to us for help.
Don't leave money on the table, fix your revenue leakage now.
1) What exactly is a spam email?
Spam email is any unsolicited email, which is usually sent out in bulk, and which is irrelevant, annoying and sometimes malicious. A few examples are fake lottery win announcements, get rich quick schemes, and fake job schemes.
2) Why do my emails go to spam?
Common reason for emails going to spam are listed as below:
- Spam trigger keywords in the body
- Spammy subject lines
- Absence of unsubscribe link
- Unsafe attachments
- Poorly written copy
3) How can I ensure that my emails don’t go to spam?
In order to ensure that your emails don’t go to spam, you need to adhere to certain rules such as the ones listed below:
- Send only to opted-in subscribers
- Explicitly ask subscribers to whitelist your email address
- Comply with anti-spam laws
- Proofread your emails to avoid spelling & grammar errors
- Avoid spam-trigger keywords
- Send them to a cleaned up list
- Include an unsubscribe link.
There are quite a few more such rules for this. You can find an extensive list on the SendX blog.
4) How can I know if my emails have gone to spam?
There is actually no way to know whether your email landed in a specific contact’s 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.
5) 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.
6) What are the common spammer-behaviors that I can avoid?
Common spammer-behaviors that need to be avoided to ensure that emails don’t land into the spam box are: bad spelling and grammar, image-only emails, and spammy subject lines containing words like “free”, “$$$”, “unlimited” etc.