Surely you’ve encountered the vexing question “why are my emails going to spam?” Don’t worry – we’re here with a complete guide that explains how to avoid spam filters and prevent your emails from ending up in the spam folder.
When your email ends up in a subscriber’s spam folder, all of the effort you put into its crafting is wasted. In fact, compared with old times, spam filters are stricter than ever.
But have no fear; we have your back. We’ve written the following guide to help you keep your emails out of the spam folder and where they belong: in your recipient’s inbox. Therefore, without further ado, here are the things you must do to prevent your emails from being classified as spam.
Choosing the right domain and extension
The deliverability of your email will improve if you select the appropriate domain and extension and this topic rarely generates discussion.
Despite popular belief, email deliverability varies across domains and top-level domains (TLDs). If you pick a bad sending domain, you’ll already be behind. Simply put, there are some web addresses and file extensions that have a much higher probability of getting into spam than others.
The spammer’s diminishing deliverability forces him to repeatedly choose alternative domains and waste them. That’s they engage in the pattern of purchasing multiple domains in large sums. Plus, they need to be resourceful when coming up with the name itself (by including hyphens, as in “company-team.com”) and when purchasing domain extensions (by getting “.xyz”, “.biz”, “.website”, etc.).
This is the reason, you should be wary of using a potentially suspicious domain for your email marketing campaigns.
When deciding on a domain name, keep the following in mind:
- Do not use any unusual domain extensions.
- Give the “.com” or your country’s equivalent (“.co.uk”, “.fr”, etc.) top priority.
- If you’re unable to secure the “.com” or the official domain for your country, go with a “.co” or “.io” extension instead.
- Avoid using hyphens “-” in domain names.
- No numerical references allowed
- Insert a word before or after the brand name if that’s what you need. These are some illustrations: Get, Try, Agency, Consulting etc.
- Don’t use any phrases that could be misconstrued as spam, such as “winloadsofmoney.com” or its equivalent. Also, stay away from phrases that have anything to do with weight loss, drugs, or money.
For more info on bad and good TLDs, check the Spamhaus TLDs statistics here.
Choosing an Email Address
You need to create e-mail address with some specific details in order to further prevent yourself from the SPAM folder. You should choose accordingly;
- A human, not a brand or a hybrid of the two, should be reflected in the sending e-mail address.
- It must have a specific name (such as [email protected]) rather than a generic term (such as [email protected])
- Include both your first and last name in the “From” field. Use of a brand name or a generic “James from Company” will have unfavorable outcomes.
- Women have better open and reply rates than men, so keep that in mind.
Setup your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
In order to prevent your e-mails from turning in inside the spam folder, you need to setup your SPF according to your host, DKIM records if you’re on Google or Microsoft. Plus, we recommend you to setup your DMARC on Google or Microsoft as well, to give it a further twist.
Set up a custom tracking domain
In order to properly monitor your campaign’s success, you need a custom tracking domain. A custom tracking domain is a tracking code and URL generated by your email sending / automation tool in HTML format. This a real necessity for tracking the success of your campaigns.
Your open and click-through rates can be monitored and analyzed with this tracking. Not to mention, that is helpful for evaluating the efficacy of your campaigns.
This is really necessary to build up a history and reputation in e-mail sending. By using a tracking code you will isolate yourself from others who do not use tracking tools.
The properties of a high opening email list that avoids spam
It is crucial that you are discerning in your selection of email lists if you want to achieve high open rates and fantastic results from your cold emails. In 2022, this is especially crucial for avoiding having cold emails filtered out as spam.
What do you need to achieve that;
Almost all of the email addresses on your list should be those of highly qualified professionals.
You should make sure to address each email you send to a specific person, rather than sending them to a generic inbox like [email protected]. When trying to improve your deliverability, it’s usually a bad idea to send emails to general addresses. It will be both hard to tailor who to address at the start of the messages and it will severely compromise your deliverability.
Emails sent to a generic company address are typically forwarded to multiple recipients within the organization. The likelihood of it being flagged as spam increases in proportion to the lack of personalization. Having your email marked as spam is very annoying.
To get the best results, your list should include the recipients’ first names and, ideally, the name of the company they work for.
If you want to send “different” email content to each recipient and boost your lead, click, or response rate, personalization is crucial. You don’t want to engage in spammy behavior by sending identical emails to hundreds or thousands of people. The likelihood of your message ending up in the spam folder will increase if you do this.
A TARGETED and clean email list is essential.
Your list should contain potential customers that are most likely to be interested in your emails. The more the opening rate for your e-mails is, which is the percentage of your emails opened vs. your emails sent, the more you will be rated as a credible source.
Having access to quality emails and data is cool. But once you get the list, it’s not finished. You still have work to do if you want to get the best results. Thus spending time on your list is a key factor to maximize your campaigns results and your deliverability.
This is the list of actions you need to do to before going to the next step :
- Correct first names and last names inversions
- Remove irrelevant job titles
- Remove irrelevant companies
- Remove generic email addresses
By doing these steps, you’ll improve the quality / relevance of your list, minimize errors and reduce the risk of irritating people and having your emails reported as spam.
The best email verification strategy to avoid the spam folder in the long run.
You may have read that before. You have to verify your email list before sending your campaigns. By verifying we mean checking the validity of the email addresses in your list and removing the ones that are not valid.
There are plenty of tools that verify email lists. Mailchimp, Hunter.io ZeroBounce are some ot the examples. You can check this article to learn more.
Methods for composing commercial-quality, non-spam emails.
Phrases commonly used in spam are not always those you would expect. You can get flagged as spam without even mentioning sexuality or enhancing penis size in any way. There are probably many more that you’re missing.
- Aggressive punctuation : typically, avoid the “!!!“.
- Do not use the word “Crypto”: Assume, for the sake of argument, that starting tomorrow, malicious spammers unleash a flood of spam containing the word “Crypto.”
- Avoid aggressive punctuation like “!!!”
- Stay away from capital letters LIKE THIS
- No Attachments : sending attachments is associated to phishing and hacking. If you want to share a catalog you can always use a medium like DocSend that allows you to send a link to your doc.
- Use fewer Links : the fewer links in your email, the better. If you really need to send a link, make sure the website is https secured
- Use less image content : the less image, the better for your deliverability. You can even remove your fancy logo in your signature, it can only be better to prevent landing in spam.
- Do less HTML formatting : the less formatting, the better. Remember, your email has to be the most human possible. A human does not use complicated HTML when he sends an email. The HTML code has to be the lightest possible with minimum formatting.
Tips on how to avoid having your emails flagged as spam while still satisfying your readers.
People can mark your e-mails as spam if;
- They have no use for your email.
- Your email begins with “Hi Last Name,” for instance, you may have offended the recipient.
- The sales pitch in your email is too aggressive.
- It’s hard to get out of email lists.
- They dislike your name simply of racism etc.
- They dislike both your product and your company’s image
- They’re annoyed by your email somehow
- They have an excessive amount of email.
Simply putting yourself in the receiver’s shoes would be a good idea. Basically you should write an email you would choose to open.
For reference, here are our guidelines:
- Make sure your list includes people who might be interested in your offer.
- Frame your sentences in a way that makes the recipient feel special and valued. Make it seem like you wrote a handwritten email to him. Here’s an example: I found you in my LinkedIn recommendations…
- Maintain a pleasant, helpful demeanor and avoid being overly sales-oriented.
- Avoid bombarding people with too many follow-ups. Even though sending follow-ups is effective, doing so too frequently can irritate recipients and get your messages flagged as spam. Make it clear in your follow-up messages that you appreciate how busy they are.
- Ensure that it is simple to unsubscribe easily. Put an visible and easily clickable unsubscribe button so people will choose to unsubscribe for your e-mail list rather than marking your e-mail as spam ruining your domain history and reputation.
- For cold emails, don’t send more than 200 emails per day per email address and domain.
- Behaving like a human not a robot or a bot is necessary remember.
After reading this entire guide, you should realize that the days of simply sending email campaigns and seeing high open rates are long gone, and that email deliverability is now a skill, a job, or even more so, a science.
To achieve long-term success, you must be methodical, adhere to best practices. But once you get it right, you’ll be amazed at how much better your email game got.