Does the email go to spam? 12 Reasons Why This Happens and What You Can Do About It

Worried that your emails are sent to the spam folder? We're here for you.

In this article, we explain 12 reasons why your emails are sent to spam instead of the inbox and what you can do to prevent them from doing so in the future.

As you are about to see, you will be able to solve most of these problems on your own because they are directly related to the content of your email messages or the way you create and manage your mailing lists. email addresses.

Only a few of you will need additional help from your email marketing software provider.

For each item, I've also included practical tips that, along with best practices for email marketing, will help you improve the deliverability of your email and put it in front of your subscribers.


Buckle your belt.

Why e-mails are sent to spam instead of the inbox

Why do my emails go spam?

For many years on the Internet providing a quick and easy way to communicate, the number of "actors" trying to reach people who do not want to hear them has come a long way.

Mailbox providers looking for a better user experience are trying to stop this Internet noise by filtering these messages, which the owner or owner of the mailbox would most likely have very little desire for .

The junk mail folder is the "purgatory" of the mail flow. Without him, we would all be submerged in our inboxes.

But no spam filtering system is bullet-proof. False positives are coming.

Being caught for one of the "bad guys" is a reason for even a good email to arrive in the spam folder.

When this happens, you must change your mind.

Martin Schwill, deliverability manager at GetResponse

12 reasons why your emails go into the spam folder and what you can do to prevent this from happening

1. You do not have permission to contact your recipients

There is nothing wrong with wanting a great email list.

Although our research shows that email marketers with the longest listings tend to have lower average average open rates, you should not ignore the fact that their potential for generating Sales income is huge.

But having a large contact list should not be an objective in itself. And you should not aim for it at all costs.

Recent regulations, such as the GDPR or the future CCPA, have become stricter as to how email marketers handle the personal information of customers. It's not enough for you to give your email recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe.

Before you start sending your campaigns by email, you must always make sure that you have the necessary permissions to do so.

If you neglect this, you not only run the risk of having your e-mails sent to junk mail, but you will also be fined.

Therefore, if:

you always fill your campaigns by email with contacts from Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn or any other place where you have exchanged contacts,
you are an ecommerce company that automatically adds people to your list from the payment page,
you use a prior informed consent checkbox in your web form,
buy or download e-mail lists from "reputable sites" …

… you should stop you right away .

There are many methods of creating perfectly good email lists that you can try.

And if you're not sure if it's okay to contact some of the people already in your database, consider running a reconfirmation campaign. By sending an email asking your audience to continue and stay opt-in, you can be sure that only those who are still interested in your offer will be on the list.

Tip 1: If you have trouble managing consent, find out in the GDPR fields of GetResponse.

These will help you store, manage and easily display all the consents your contacts have given you.

GDPR fields are similar to custom fields with which you are probably already familiar, but there is one important difference: instead of changing your permissions, you can only create new versions.

Thanks to this, you will not overwrite the authorization settings of your contacts and you will know exactly which version of the consent they gave you.

Here is an example of what you will see when one of your contacts gives you consent, for example when you register via one of your landing pages.

Tip 2: If you want to prevent your emails from becoming spam, always exclude contacts that did not give you the correct consent.

This will prevent you from making mistakes when you run email marketing campaigns that are not dedicated to your entire database.

Here's how you can do this in GetResponse:

To select your target audience, check the box next to the name of the list or segment that you want to include or exclude from receiving your message. If the same subscriber is present in more than one list or segment, he will receive the email only once.

In addition to using lists and segments, you can also use delete lists, in which you can store all contacts that should not receive your communication. A delete list will not be automatically included, so be sure to include it manually when sending your campaign via email.

2. It is not clear why your subscribers subscribe

Transparency is essential, especially when you create an email list.

When completing their registration form, users must be fully aware of the type of communication they will receive in the future.

It is not normal to advertise a service and send e-mails to another, unless you have specified this in your web form.

Or simply say that you only collect proposals for a contest and that you end up using the email database for marketing communication.

Be clear about what you are going to talk about in your emails. And then keep that promise.

In doing so, you will find that you are unsubscribing and that the number of complaints is decreasing.

As for your chances of leaving the garbage file, they will certainly increase.

Tip 1: Make sure your web form, the thank you page that follows it, and your welcome e-mail clearly indicate the goals of your users.

Doing it early in the subscription process improves your chances of building strong relationships with your audience. And, reducing the risk of spam in your emails.

Example of another subscription confirmation page. On this page, further reminds users what type of content they will receive in the future and how they can make sure they will not miss this content. In doing so, they reduce unsubscription rates and improve their deliverability at the same time.

Tip 2: If you want to reduce your churn, be sure to fill in the name and description of your email lists.

This will help your audience choose which lists they wish to subscribe to and about which they wish to unsubscribe.

This is what it looks like when a contact clicks on the unsubscribe link in one of the emails sent by the GetResponse marketing team.

They see all the essential information about their subscription. This includes the date of their subscription as well as the name and description of the list they have registered for.

3. You are unable to unsubscribe

This is one of the main reasons why email recipients report that emails are spam.

If anyone wants to stop receiving commercial communications from a given sender, the last thing he wants to do is spend more time searching for a way to unsubscribe.

As soon as they find this difficult or lose confidence in processing their request, they report the message as spam or manually move it to their spam box.

In both cases, the distributor is at a loss.

Here's what you should avoid:

Bury the unsubscribe link under the main part of your footer (for example, by adding blank lines on it)
Hide the unsubscribe link (for example, by changing the copy or writing in a hard-to-read color)
Ask your recipients to contact you to resign the newsletter
Have recipients log in as a panel to unsubscribe or change their shipping preferences
Take an excessively long time to process unsubscribe requests from your users

The addition of any of the above obstacles brings you closer to the email qualifying of your email and its negative rating by your ISP's spam filters.

Here is an example of an e-mail I received that makes one of the errors I mentioned above. What you do not want to do in your own email communication.

Tip 1: If you are concerned that your churn rate is too high, consider offering your subscribers a way to reduce the frequency of sending and reduce their frequency. ; sending.

A separate mailing list or segment will be enough to divide your recipients into separate groups, such as those who wish to receive your emails every other day and those who prefer a weekly roundup.

You can also add a brief description of why subscribers receive your emails and remind them when and how they subscribed to your newsletter.

Tip 2: If you have a lot of spam complaints and have followed the tips in steps 1 to 3, you can try to create an additional unsubscribe link immediately after your pre-submission. -head. text.

This may sound radical, but it's better if more people unsubscribe from your list than report them as spam.

Note: Our observations suggest that people from particular cultures may be more likely to click the "report as spam" button. One of these countries is Russia, which tends to record the highest average complaint rates, as we found in the report on email marketing criteria.

Moving your unsubscribe link to the pre-header may be your best choice if your target audience has similar trends.

4. Your e-mail frequency is disabled

E-mailing too often?

People get tired and start to ignore your emails. They stop communicating with your communication, and because of this, ISPs such as Gmail move your newsletters to the spam folder.

Send an email every two months or so?

People do not remember you and deliberately ignore your emails (maybe even tag them as spam). Or, they accidentally miss one or two and lose the chance to see your content for several consecutive months.

As you can see, none of these options is good for the deliverability of your email or your return on investment.

The second problematic for another reason.

If you have a large email list that you only contact every other month, ISPs can be alerted to sudden e-mail blasts. Such activity spikes can cause temporary deadlocks, higher bounce rates, and more e-mail in the Spam Folder.

Tip 1: Set the right frequency of emails by aggregating your email marketing statistics, such as total number of conversions, churn, and email rates. rebound).

Once you have defined the correct email program, be sure to share it with your audience, for example, in your subscription form or in the welcome letter.

Tip 2: If you want to increase the frequency of your emails without alerting spam filters, start by contacting your most engaged subscribers. Use delete lists and exclude segments that are less likely to respond to your campaigns by email.

Once you have successfully engaged your best recipients, you can start slowly, including those who read your newsletters with less readiness.

Some email marketers can get away with a high messaging frequency. Here, even the name of the newsletter suggests that this is a daily update of the newsletter. Be careful with this approach because it can easily turn against you. Users may be overwhelmed by overly frequent communication. This will result in opaque unsubscribing. This means that they will not unsubscribe from your communication, but by ignoring it, they will affect your overall email deliverability.

5. You do not pay enough attention to the hygiene of email lists

The hygiene of an email list may seem strange. But it's a process that can have a huge impact on the deliverability of your email.

The hygiene management of email lists is to identify engaged subscribers, reactivate those who no longer respond and get rid of those who have no commercial value.

And who are we talking about when we say that they have no commercial value?

Not just people who do not use your communication anymore, who clicked the unsubscribe button or who marked your emails as spam.

We also hear those who provided an incorrect e-mail address or those who abandoned their mailbox.

For your list to be clean – and hygienic – you must use the double opt-in principle and conduct re-engagement campaigns on a regular basis.

The sending of a campaign of last resort may prove even more effective if you associate it with a Facebook or Google Ads campaign.

In doing so, you make sure your list contains misspelled, inactive emails or spam traps.

If you use GetResponse, the procedure is simple.

You can serve Facebook ads directly from your account. Just select the list or segment you want to reach with your Facebook ad, customize your ad and you're ready to go.

If you'd like to learn more, read our step-by-step guide to designing Facebook ads in GetResponse.

Tip: If your list has not been cleaned up for a while, or you have not dealt with rebounds and unsubscriptions before, you must start now.

The best way to do this is to set up an automated reengagement campaign that sends a few emails to those who are recognized as inactive by the system.

GetResponse includes ready – to – use marketing automation templates that you can use to carry out such a campaign.

Here is what one of these models looks like:

If that does not work, you should choose to completely remove such subscribers from your list or try to retarget them using another marketing channel.

Do not forget that there is no rule for when a contact should be identified as inactive. This will largely depend on your sales cycle.

In e-commerce, for example, some recipients remain inactive for most of the year, but they check discount codes and vacation promotion information in their e-mails.

Look at this sample report for one of our automated emails. We send this email to users right after they have completed the subscription form in the GetResponse resources. Note that the bounce rate is close to 3%, mainly due to difficult rebounds (misspelled or non-existent email addresses). If you delete these addresses automatically and at the beginning of your subscription, you will be able to ensure that your deliverability will not be affected, especially when planning larger promotional activities.

6. Your e-mails are loaded with pictures (and light text!)

E-mail marketing is slightly different from other marketing channels.

Although images play an important role, they can not dominate your newsletters.

Many email marketers make this mistake: they fill their email templates with pictures to make them nicer and spend less time writing the sales copy.

Here is an example of a famous brand. Note that even though the body of the message contains text, it is still part of an image.

This may seem like a good strategy. After all, people love images and can read the text even if it's part of an image.

But there are two problems.

First, unless you provide the ALT text to your image, consumers who use screen readers may find it difficult to read your content.

As would be the case with the following e-mail.

Secondly, ISPs such as Gmail or Outlook see things a little differently.

Many large images create bulky emails and ISPs want to process as many emails as possible. By making your newsletters too loaded with images, you make this process more difficult and more resource intensive. And because of that, they can choose to filter your emails less favorably and place them in the spam folder or even send them back.

This does not mean that all emails containing many images will be sent to spam. E-mail marketers with high deliverability and high engagement from subscribers can often get away with slightly heavier newsletters.

But I'm going to assume it's not you, since you're reading this article.

In addition to the weight of e-mail, Internet service providers also look at the amount of visible text in your newsletters.

They check the text-image report to evaluate the quality of your message. This is because many spammers want to avoid textual content filters.

In general, the more text there is or the higher the ratio, the better.

In addition, ISPs also compare HTML and text versions of your email. These must match, otherwise the message looks at least suspicious.

Of course, this does not mean that your emails must be in text mode only. Especially since our studies have shown that e-mails containing at least one image tend to have average opening rates higher than those of simple texts.

What should you do when images must be part of your email template?

First, check to see if your email software automatically reduces the size of the images you download in your newsletter.

For example, when you add your own images in your email template in GetResponse, they are trimmed and compressed before being sent to your email subscribers. This is different for GIFs, however, which are not modified.

Otherwise, when saving your files in your image editing software, be sure to use an option called "export them to the web" or something like that below.

And if you have a budget or do not want to bother your designer, use an online tool called Squoosh. It's very fast and can help you optimize your images – to use in campaigns by email or on your website in general.

Tip: To increase the text-image ratio, you can add more to your footer. You'll be able to explain why your subscribers receive email, who they're sent to, and how to manage their mailing preferences or unsubscribe.

This is in addition to the elements required by the CAN-Spam Act and other regulations. One of these items is the imprint, which indicates the name and physical address of the company that sent the email.

Another way to increase your text-image ratio is to add a copy (in text, not on an image) in the introduction of your email and in the description of your products. The same goes for creating CTA buttons, which could be coded and styled so as not to look very different from what your designer would create.

This is more a question of UX than deliverability (this will not prevent your emails from going to the junk mail folder), but you may want to consider this. Gmail, the most popular email client, will cut emails they consider too big. If you add too much content, an essential part of your message may remain hidden until someone clicks on the "View full message" link.

7. You are connecting to suspicious websites (among others)

Few e-mail marketers realize this, but when Internet Service Providers analyze the content of your email, they also look at your links.

If you are trying to improve the deliverability of your e-mails because they go to the junk mail folder, here are a few things to avoid:

Link to poorly known websites
Using links that redirect users too often
Using suspicious link shorteners
Having a low ratio text / link
Link to too many different areas

Do not forget that your links may be hidden in the images you use. If they are hosted on a website with a bad reputation, you could also be affected by spam filters.

In general, you should check the websites to which you are linking and the number of links in your email in general. Again, the higher the ratio of text to link, the better.

Regarding the number of domains to which you are linking, you should look for the so-called "domain alignment". In other words, in the ideal world, the domains used in your home address, your email domain and in the content of your email will be identical.

Tip: Before you press the submit button, scan your emails well with a spam checker, like the Assassin Spam tool built into GetResponse.

If you use this tool and notice that your score is too high (most of the filters are set to 5.0), try to identify the element responsible for the highest spam score. If you do not know exactly what type it is, try to cut the contents of your e-mail one item or section at a time and check if the score has changed.

This way, you will be able to locate the problematic section or individual element. It could just as well be a single link or part of your copy, so pay attention to all the elements contained in your email template.

8. You play dirty

Some marketers will do everything in their power to increase the opening rates of their email.

Even if their tactics mean that the recipients are lost.

What tactics are we talking about? For example, add phrases such as "Re:" or "Fwd:" to the subject line of their email.

The purpose of adding these elements is to make subscribers believe that your marketing email is just a normal message they would receive from a friend or colleague.

Of course, newsletters and other marketing communications do not work that way.

Although they include personalization or a friendly name, they are not supposed to make people believe that they were sent in response to their previous email.

Why not use "spammy" words?

You know, words like "buy now" or "free".

Believe it or not, most lists of "words to avoid" are now obsolete.

Antispam filters have evolved so much that they do not just use common expressions like those mentioned above directly. Using phrases like "cheap" will not move your emails in the spam folder.

Note: This is different for the use of drug names and other similar products.

There are nevertheless tactics to avoid.

Here are some of them, shared by our deliverability manager, Martin Schwill, for Econtent:

What is considered spam nowadays? In general, the fundamental principles always apply. This includes the use of a poor quality list that has not been cleaned and / or its subscribers have not clearly chosen to receive messages. In addition, poor quality messages, inaccurate targeting, and the lack of strong authentication technology remain key triggers for filtering. To deepen the current state of the anti-spam filters, here's what the filters evaluate behind the scenes:

If the message looks like a current or known phishing scam.

Hushbusters: These blocks of text, sometimes invisible to the recipients, are often used in the very structure of the mail to try to deceive the filters.

Hide text in HTML comments or use fonts, colors or backgrounds to reduce their visibility.

Code incorrect ou suspect.

Le ratio image sur texte.

Conseil pro: Maintenant que les filtres anti-spam sont devenus plus complexes, votre objectif principal devrait être d'accroître l'engagement de vos abonnés. Une des meilleures façons de faire est d'utiliser l'automatisation du courrier électronique. Les e-mails automatisés sont envoyés en réponse aux actions et préférences de vos destinataires, raison pour laquelle ils génèrent des taux d'ouverture et de clic supérieurs à la moyenne.

9. Vous n’utilisez pas le bon logiciel de marketing par courriel

Je sais que cela ressemble à notre propre klaxon, mais c’est impossible de ne pas mentionner un facteur critique: votre logiciel de marketing par courrier électronique.

Ce n’est pas seulement la technologie qui vous permet d’envoyer des emails à des milliers, voire des centaines de milliers de destinataires en quelques minutes. Votre fournisseur de services de messagerie joue également un rôle important dans la livraison de vos courriels aux boîtes de réception de vos abonnés.

Prenons notre exemple.

Ici, chez GetResponse, nous gérons la réputation de votre IP, traitons les rebonds, vous désabonnent, déposez des plaintes concernant les spams et configurons des boucles de feedback.

Grâce à cela, nous savons quand une adresse email n'est plus active, est mal orthographiée ou quand le destinataire souhaite se désabonner. Dès que nous voyons de telles adresses, nous les supprimons de votre liste afin que votre délivrabilité ne soit pas affectée et que vous n'ayez pas à payer davantage pour les contacts qui n'ont aucune valeur pour votre entreprise.

Nous collaborons également avec divers fournisseurs de services Internet et organisations anti-spam pour apprendre les uns des autres à mieux sécuriser nos systèmes et à lutter contre les spammeurs et les phishers.

En conséquence, notre adresse de courrier électronique est de 99%, comme indiqué par Return Path.

Conseil 1: Une autre chose qui mérite d’être poursuivie est l’authentification par courrier électronique. La configuration des enregistrements SPF et DKIM vous rendra reconnaissable pour le fournisseur de services Internet. En vous identifiant, ils seront sûrs que vous ne serez pas sous l'identité de quelqu'un d'autre. Cela vous aidera également à augmenter votre réputation et à faire en sorte que toutes les bonnes choses que vous fassiez «restent» à votre marque. Cela vous aidera également à mieux connaître votre réputation.

Astuce n ° 2: Bien que concevoir et coder vos propres emails à partir de zéro fonctionne pour de nombreuses personnes, l'une des raisons courantes pour lesquelles les emails deviennent des spams est que leur code HTML n'est pas propre.

Pour éviter cela, embauchez un développeur qui maîtrise spécifiquement le jeu de conception d’e-mails (le codage d’e-mail est très différent des sites Web de codage) ou utilisez un créateur de courrier électronique.

Ce dernier vous aidera à concevoir et à modifier vos modèles de courrier électronique librement, sans déranger vos concepteurs. De plus, vous saurez que vos courriels sont conçus spécialement pour tous les clients de messagerie les plus populaires.

10. Le taux d'engagement de votre courrier électronique est faible

Les filtres anti-spam regardent également combien vos abonnés s'engagent dans votre communication par courrier électronique.

Plus vos destinataires interagissent avec votre contenu, meilleures sont vos chances de tomber dans la boîte de réception.

Cela signifie également que vous n’êtes pas obligé d’être aussi prudent que ceux qui commencent tout juste à envoyer des campagnes par courrier électronique ou dont les courriers électroniques se retrouvent dans le dossier spam.

Vous pouvez ajouter des images plus lourdes à vos newsletters, envoyer de plus grosses explosions en une fois, ou même augmenter votre fréquence de publipostage et toujours accéder à la boîte de réception sans problème.

Le contraire est également vrai. Plus votre taux d'engagement est faible, plus vous devez faire attention à la manière dont vous gérez vos campagnes par courrier électronique. Vous devez déployer des efforts supplémentaires pour que vos courriels soient livrés avec succès.

Si vous constatez que vos statistiques de marketing par e-mail moyennes sont inférieures à celles de l'industrie du courrier électronique, il y a quelques petites choses que vous devriez faire.

Tout d'abord, concentrez-vous sur l'amélioration de l'hygiène de votre liste de messagerie. Comme nous l’avons vu au point 5, il est essentiel de garder votre liste de toutes les adresses e-mail incorrectes ou inactives. C’est pourquoi vous devriez régulièrement lancer des campagnes de réengagement qui réactiveront et sépareront les destinataires inactifs de vos lecteurs les plus fidèles.

La deuxième chose que vous devriez considérer est le plombage. Au lieu de jeter vos nouveaux abonnés dans le même flux de communication que tout le monde reçoit, vous devriez les traiter d'une manière plus spéciale. En concevant une campagne anti-goutte, vous pouvez transformer vos nouveaux contacts de parfaits étrangers en consommateurs actifs, un message à la fois.

Les courriels de bienvenue sont les bienvenus. Ils ne sont pas seulement intéressants pour créer une bonne première impression, mais également pour l’engagement et la délivrabilité. They reach an average of 80% open rates and 25% CTRs, and can help you get your customers used to checking your emails in their inbox. You can also use welcome emails to ask your recipients to add you to their safe senders list.

And setting up welcome emails is easy. All you have to do is either set up an autoresponder or a marketing automation workflow that’ll be sent right after a new contact joins your list.

Here’s what this looks like in the GetResponse Autoresponders:

Last but not least, make sure to segment your audience for all major campaigns. Rather than sending email blasts to everyone who’s on your list, pick the customer segments that are most likely to be interested in your offer.

This way you can exclude those who’ve been already receiving too many emails or would find the content you’re about to promote irrelevant.

Pro tip: Increasing your email engagement rates takes time. If you’re having deliverability issues, be sure to start sending your email campaigns to your most engaged audience.

11. You’re sending your email campaigns from a freemail domain (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo)

When starting their journey with email marketing, marketers often use freemail domains like Gmail or Outlook to send out their newsletters.

Up to a certain point, this works fine. Their emails reach the recipients and the marketer doesn’t need to do any extra work to get them delivered.

But when their list grows, the freemail domain in the from address is often the reason why their emails end up in the spam folder.

The reason for this is that ISPs prefer to see domains that have been registered by an individual sender, whom they can trackback.

Naturally, this is not possible for freemail domains, like Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail.

This may explain why freemail domains are often abused by people who deliberately want to send out spam.

The good news is that it’s an easy fix.

All you have to do is set up your own company domain or create a subdomain under your existing domain and use it for your email campaigns.

Even if you’re going to use it only in the from address, and not the mailing domain you’re physically sending your messages from, it’s going to help you deliver your message better.

That isn’t to say that changing the from address is going to instantly change things for you. Your from address will slowly build a reputation of its own, so it’s best to gradually increase your sending volumes rather than go for a big email blast right away.

Pro tip: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but using tools like the Spam Assassin will help you identify such common mistakes as the freemail domain in your from address.

By running your newsletters through a spam checker, your chances of reaching the inbox grow considerably higher.

12. Your mailing IP has a bad history record

If you’ve gone through all the aforementioned reasons, fixed them, and your emails are still landing in the spam folder – the chances are that your mailing IP is to blame.

The IP you’re sending your email campaigns through builds a reputation of its own. And this reputation stays with that address for months, even when nobody’s using the IP to run their email campaigns.

This means that if you’ve acquired an IP address (or your email software provider assgined you one), it may have someone else’s reputation still affecting the deliverability.

This isn’t usually a problem, because most email marketing providers use a number of shared IPs to process your campaigns.

In other words, the reputation is built by a number of marketers at the same time. Plus, the email traffic is directed through different channels to make sure the deliverability stays intact.

Having said this, if you’re experiencing deliverability issues and you’re using your own mailing IP, this is something you should explore further.

Note: It’s also possible that your IPs’ reputation gets affected by someone else who’s sending their campaigns from an address within the same class. This is rarely the case, but if nothing else works, you should check out the reputation of addresses within your IP class, too.

Pro tip: To check if your IP is listed on one of the popular blacklists, you can use online tools, like the MXToolBox.

Bear in mind that not all blacklists affect your email deliverability. Some were created only for commercial reasons and aren’t used by ISPs when filtering your emails.

Even if you do find your IP or domain listed on one of them, it doesn’t necessarily mean your emails will go into the spam folder.

Action plan

Now that you’ve learned these 12 reasons why your email campaigns could be going to spam instead of the inbox, it’s time you start improving your email deliverability.

If you’re unsure about any of the factors mentioned above, just reach out to us in the comments and we’ll do what we can to help you out.

And if you’re ready to move your campaigns to an email software provider with 99% deliverability, there’s GetResponse for you :).

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