Why do my emails end up in spam ? If you’ve ever sent an email to have it redirected to the recipient’s spam folder, you might find yourself yelling that at your computer screen from time to time.
It’s a frustrating situation – you’ve sent an important email, but your recipient(s) probably won’t see it, because let’s face it, how often do people really check their spam folders?
In this post , we will discuss some of the most likely reasons why your emails end up in spam .
These reasons apply whether you are just a person sending email from your personal account or you are dealing with delivery issues for your marketing emails or transactional website emails ( such as order confirmations ).
According to Statista , more than half of all emails are spam.
Needless to say, email spam is a big problem on the Internet, which is why email services have become more aggressive in fighting spam.
Most emails filtered to spam are really just spam. People would be annoyed if they had to manually filter all these emails, so Internet service providers (ISPs) and email services (like Gmail) set up filters to automatically block spam emails before they appear in the inbox.
However, if you make some common mistakes, your legitimate emails can also be dragged into these spam-fighting efforts.
In this first section, we’ll cover some of the most common reasons why emails end up in spam. Then, in the next section, we will share some tips to make sure you avoid the spam folder.
One of the biggest problems with email spam is the lack of proper authentication.
Think about when people call you on the phone:
It’s the same with emails. There are technologies you can use to verify your emails, which will automatically make you look more trustworthy in the eyes of spam filters. Rather than being a random number, you’ve proven who you are and that you actually control the domain name you ship from.
The biggest tactics are:
If you’re using a custom email address and haven’t set up these authentication methods, it’s one of the biggest reasons your emails end up in spam. Later in this post, we’ll show you what to do.
In addition to the lack of technical authentication tactics such as DKIM and SPF, inaccurate sender information can also cause spam problems:
Simply put, there are just some words or punctuation patterns that seem spammy.
For example ‘meet singles’ or ‘online biz opportunity’. On their own, these words may not be enough to land you in the spam filter. But they will grab attention and, coupled with some of the other issues on the list, your emails could end up in the spam folder.
In addition, avoid other spammy tactics such as:
Likewise, using bad grammar or misspelled words can also trigger spam filters as many spammers use machine translation to translate their spam emails into English.
If you’re sending bulk emails to a subscriber list, there are a few things that could get you in trouble:
The main purpose of most spam emails is to get you to click on some type of link, so it’s no surprise that using the wrong types of links can get you in trouble when it comes to spam.
There are two main things that can cause problems here:
First, you may be linking to a website that appears to be spam for some reason. For example, it could be associated with copyright infringement, be infected with malware or some other reason. Or maybe it’s perfectly legit, but it’s very close to another domain that contains spam.
Second, you could be in trouble if the destination URL doesn’t match the display URL. For example, if the display URL is:
https://google.com but the actual link is
https://anotherwebsite.com , which can get you in trouble as this is a common tactic spammers use to trick people into clicking on links.
Likewise, using URL shorteners can also cause problems for the same reason ( you could be trying to trick people into clicking on links they wouldn’t otherwise click ).
Images can also get you in trouble with spam filters.
There are two ways this can happen:
First, having a large image in your email and little to no text can trigger spam filters. This ties in with the “spamwords” point above. To avoid being hit by spam filters for using spammy words, some spammers have switched to including all text in a single image file rather than as real text.
This makes sending a single image appear suspicious to spam filters.
But you can also run into problems in the other direction. If you use a lot of images and little text, that can also cause problems.
In short, using images as a substitute for text can get you in trouble, don’t do that!
Since attachments are used to distribute malware or other malicious activities, they will always attract the attention of spam filters, especially certain file types (such as an .exe file).
In many email clients, users have the option to manually mark emails as spam.
If the person you are trying to email has previously marked your emails as spam, new emails you send will likely end up in the spam folder as well.
In addition, if you send out bulk emails, too many people marking your emails as spam can have a negative effect on your reputation as a sender. This can increase the chance that your emails will end up in spam, even if you send them to people who haven’t marked you as spam.
Curious on how you can fix the most common problems? Read our blog with 6 tips to avoid the SPAM folder