Why is my email marketing message going to the SPAM folder?

Is your transnational (business/personal) or marketing emails landing into spam folder while sending to gmail, hotmail, yahoo, pop domains etc?

Here we’ll explain the possible reasons why your emails get sent to the SPAM folder and solutions to get more of your emails reach the inbox. There are multiple factors which play an important role in determining whether or not your emails get delivered to the inbox. An email spam filter is a program that is used to detect unsolicited and unwanted emails and forward those messages into user’s spam folder. No matter the organization, many email marketing campaigns find themselves circling back to the basic questions: how does a spam email filter work and why do some email messages go straight to spam instead of the inbox? Let’s dive into some reasons why your emails aren’t getting past the spam filters.

You Used Spam Trigger Words: Some spam filters are triggered by certain words in the subject line or the body of the email. Some spam trigger words include amazing, cancel at any time, check or money order, click here, congratulations, dear friend etc.

Your “From” Information is Inaccurate: It’s also against the CAN-SPAM Act to mislead anyone with your “from”, “to”, “reply-to” and routing information.

Your Subject Line is misleading: As the CAN-SPAM Act states, it is actually against the law to intentionally mislead someone with your subject line in order to induce them to view the message.

Your IP Address Was Used for Spam: Even if you never send spam yourself, your emails could get flagged as spam if your IP address was used by someone else for spam.

You Didn’t Include Your Physical Address: Did you know that it is actually against the CAN-SPAM Act to neglect including your valid, physical address? Your emails must include either your current street address, a post office box that has been registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.

You didn’t include an “Unsubscribe” Link: No matter how valuable you think your email campaigns are, you still need to give your subscribers a potential out. If you don’t, you could get spam complaints (at best), or slapped with thousands of dollars in fines. At the bottom of your emails, include an “unsubscribe” link, or a similar opt-out feature.

You Didn’t Get Express Permission to Email: The rule of email marketing is to get express permission to email first. Never buy a list of email addresses, or you risk violating the CAN-SPAM Act, and may be subject to penalties of up to $16,000.

You Have Low Open Rates: Top webmail providers have stated that they look at how many emails are opened and how many are deleted without being opened as a factor in their spam filtering decisions (effecting 26% of email campaigns).

Your Subscribers Don’t Remember You: The second most common reason that emails never reach the inbox (affecting 21% of emails) is spam complaints. Every time a subscriber reports an email as spam–even if it isn’t really spam–this complaint gets recorded by the mailbox provider. Once the complaints exceed a certain threshold, all future campaigns skip the inbox and get sent directly to the spam folder.

           The way different spam email filters work varies. Most webmail providers use their own internal algorithms and metrics to determine a spam score and conduct email filtering. However, your email sending reputation, the quality of the content of your email messages, and your subscriber engagement (e.g., open and click rates) all have a significant impact on whether your emails are caught in a spam filter.

As far as content, avoid formatting that indicates your email is spam, such as:

  • Using a wide variety of font sizes (especially bigger than 12 point), styles, and colors
  • Using all uppercase letters
  • Including a link to several link different domains
  • Using exclamation points in the subject line
  • Using symbols and numbers to help spell words
  • Including too many large images.

Maintaining a high-quality email list is also key to getting through a spam filter. If you send email campaigns to an invalid email address or to prospects and customers who consistently don’t open or click your email messages, your email reputation and deliver ability will suffer.


How Does Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo determine an Email Is Spam?

Gmail’s or other free email service providers junk mail algorithms and user-created forwarding rules are quite effective at auto filtering unsolicited email messages and unwanted junk email, and delivering them to recipient’s junk folders. Unfortunately, there are times when legitimate email messages are marked as junk, even though the subscriber wanted to receive them. Although email services don’t share the exact algorithms for deciding if an email is unwanted by intended recipients, the following are some of the major reasons why email messages may be marked as junk or why rules in Gmail may result in a message automatically being blocked:

  • Content — Typically one of the least common causes for pushing email messages to the junk box, certain words or phrases found within messages and subject lines can cause them to be caught in a spam filter.
  • Link sources — If messages include a link to a website that is blacklisted, the messages could be caught in an email spam filter.
  • Source — If other email messages sent from the same IP address that you use appear to be junk, your emails may be categorized that way, too. In other words, it’s guilt by association. This can become a problem for small email senders who may be on a shared server.
  • Headers — If there are inconsistencies in the “from” address and “reply to” address and domains, emails will be filtered as spam.
  • Engagement — Recipients who know how to create rules in Gmail can manage filter settings and deliberately label certain messages as junk email; however, engagement metrics, such as open and click rates, also can affect the email-filtering process. An increasing number of Internet service providers (ISPs), including Yahoo! and Gmail, are using such engagement metrics to determine if an email should automatically be deleted as junk email, or be blocked or filtered as spam. In effect, Google is simply trying to provide a great user experience, just as Google’s search algorithms do. So, Google views engagement metrics as an indicator of whether or not the user is interested in email from an approved sender list. We have seen tests where a list with high levels of engagement get through the Google spam filter, while a list without the engagement doesn’t get through.
    –        Most of the major email providers, including Yahoo!, AOL, Hotmail, and Gmail, use engagement-based filtering to help detect spam. This means that the more your recipients interact with your emails by opening, clicking, and reading, the more highly engaged your audience is, and the more likely you’ll end up in their inboxes. If a lot of users are marking a message as spam, it’s more likely to end up in other people’s spam folders. If you’ve moved emails out of the spam folder, that’s a positive indicator and can help ensure future emails that are similar are delivered to the inbox instead.


How can I send my marketing emails to the Inbox?

The most popular question used to ask is: how can I send my marketing emails to the gmail/hotmail/yahoo/pop domains etc? Is there any trick? The answer is really NO. Google/Hotmail/Gmail algorithms/filters are very advanced and tricking them is no in a marketer’s benefit. You can somehow follow below instructions for the better deliverability.

  • Use the SpamAssassin content analyzer to check your messages for issues.
  • Avoid using excessive punctuation and CAPS in your messages, especially in the subject line.
  • Always try to include a plain-text version of your message. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a template or type in your own HTML message, but if you do so, also include a plain-text version.
  • Use Double Opt-In list to ensure the lowest rate of unsubscribes, undeliverables addresses, and SPAM complaints.
  • Encourage your subscribers to add you to their address book.
  • Do not use primary domain name to send marketing emails or use separate SMTP service to avoid getting blacklisted.


If you have any other issue then feel free to write back, helpdesk@xperts.net.pk.