Why Are My Emails Going to Spam? Here Are some reasons why

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Why are my emails going to spam? Do you often find yourself asking this question? If you do, you’re not the only one!

Using emails to market your business is important nowadays. But one big problem businesses deal with is their emails ending up in the spam folder instead of the main inbox. This can really mess up your marketing plans and how you talk to people. 

In this blog post, we’ll talk about why this happens and give you some tips to stop it

Now, let’s use this table of contents to navigate which section most interests you:

Understanding Spam 

Spam might be a modern problem, but it has a history that goes back several decades. The first spam email was sent out in 1978 by Gary Thuerk, an employee of the now-defunct Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), to promote a new product. The unsolicited email went out to about 400 of the 2,600 people who had email accounts on the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Some reports suggest that it generated about $12 million in new sales for DEC.

What is spam?

In the context of email, spam usually consists of advertisements, promotions, scams, or other content that recipients did not request or do not want. Spam emails often clutter inboxes, consume storage space, and pose security risks if they contain malicious links or attachments.

Spammers often collect email addresses in various ways, like buying lists or scraping them from websites. They then send out mass emails without consideration for the recipients’ consent.

Imagine spending hours crafting the perfect email campaign, only for it to end up in the spam folder, unseen by your audience. This setback isn’t just frustrating; it can cost businesses valuable opportunities.

What is a spam filter? 

Spam filters are designed to identify incoming, dangerous emails from attackers or marketers. Attackers often use emails that claim to offer a beneficial service or protect you from imminent danger, but they are just clickbait, designed to get you to click on a link that downloads malicious software onto your computer or sends you to a dangerous site.  There are different types of spam filters, but they all have a common goal: to protect users from unwanted and potentially harmful emails.

Spam filters use various criteria to determine whether an email is spam. These criteria may include the following, but are not limited to:

  • sender’s reputation
  • email content
  • presence of attachments
  • email’s format
  • recipient’s behavior

If an email meets the spam filter’s criteria, it’s classified as spam and sent to the recipient’s spam folder.

Why Are My Emails Going to Spam?

Here are 16 reasons why your emails are going to spam

  1. Poor email design and irrelevant content

If the content you send doesn’t matter to the person getting it, they probably won’t like it, even if it gets to their inbox. Also, if your email has lots of pictures, links, and not much text, it might look like spam to filters. These filters are often run by AI, so if your emails have been marked as spam before, even if you change everything about them, they might still get treated like spam.

  1. Poor Email Authentication

A major reason your emails could be marked as spam is the lack of proper authentication. Authentication methods like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC help confirm the authenticity of your emails. Without these checks in place, internet providers may consider your emails suspicious and filter them into spam folders.

By using an email authenticator, you can distinguish genuine emails from spam and fraudulent ones, thus reducing the risk of cyberattacks. Neglecting email authentication could result in wasted time, lost sales, damage to your brand reputation, and decreased email deliverability.

  1. Misleading subject lines 

Misleading content means the words you use don’t match what’s really in your email. For example, if your subject line says, “Free Gift Inside!” but there’s no gift, that’s misleading. Spam filters don’t like this because it tricks people. So, if your emails do this too much, they might end up in spam folders. It’s important to be honest and clear in your subject lines and email content to avoid this problem.

  1. High Complaint Rates

If recipients frequently mark your emails as spam or ignore them altogether, ISPs take notice. This signals to spam filters that your emails are unwanted, which can lead to future emails from your domain being automatically filtered into spam folders.

It’s important to make sure people want your emails and aren’t annoyed by them, so they’re less likely to complain and more likely to receive them in their inbox. Space out your email sends and segment your audience to ensure that you send relevant content to the right people at the right time.

  1.  When you receive negative engagements

When you receive negative engagement, it means that people don’t like your emails. They might delete them without reading them, mark them as spam, or complain about them. This negative feedback tells email providers that your emails are unwanted, so they may start sending them to spam folders instead of the inbox.

  1.  Your Subscribers Don’t Remember You

Another reason why your emails are going to be spam is because people complain about them being spam. Whenever someone says an email is spam, even if it’s not spam, the email provider takes note. If too many people complain, all future emails might go straight to the spam folder. But why would someone say your email is spam if it’s not?

Well, they might not remember you. Even if they said you could email them, they might forget, so they think you’re sending them junk.

  1. You forgot to add your physical address.

Including a physical address helps establish your email’s legitimacy and ensures transparency by showing recipients where the email is from and providing offline contact information if needed. Remember to include your address, whether it’s your home address, a P.O. box, or a mailbox from a mail service, typically near the unsubscribe button.

Even if you work from home, it’s essential to add your address. If you prefer not to share your home address, consider getting a P.O. box for your business. Failing to meet this requirement may lead email providers and spam filters to flag your email as suspicious or non-compliant, increasing the chances of it being marked as spam and not reaching the recipient’s inbox

  1. Using Spam Trigger

Your emails might have words that set off spam filters. Words like “free,” “limited-time offer,” “urgent,” and “discount” can make filters think your email is unwanted or just trying to sell something. Email providers and spam filters use special programs that look for these trigger words.

So, before sending emails, check with your email provider to see if any words make your emails seem like spam. Then, when writing emails, try not to use those words in the subject line.

Some people try to hide these words in pictures because spam filters don’t usually check images. But this trick can also make real emails look like spam. So, it’s best to avoid putting important words only in pictures.

  1. low domain reputation

A good domain reputation is important for email deliverability. When you have a low domain reputation, it means that your email domain (the part of your email address after the “@” symbol) is not well-regarded by email service providers and may not be trustworthy or wanted by recipients.

As a result, emails coming from domains with low reputations are more likely to be filtered into spam folders or blocked entirely.

  1. Inconsistent sending volume 

When your email sending volume is inconsistent, it means that you’re not sending emails at a steady rate over time. Instead, there are fluctuations in the number of emails you send, such as sending a large batch of emails one day and then very few or none the next day.

Inconsistent sending volume can be perceived negatively by email service providers and spam filters because it might indicate irregular or suspicious behavior. For example, spammers often send out bursts of emails in large quantities and then stop for a while before resuming, whereas legitimate senders typically maintain a more consistent sending pattern.

How to prevent emails from going to spam

There are many reasons for emails to land in the spam folder. Some of them are email authentication status, inconsistent sending volume, using Spam triggers, etc. A few tips you can use to keep your emails out of spam folders are:

1. Monitor the engagement metrics of your emails

You can easily see if your emails need changes or if your email system is getting better by keeping an eye on how people interact with them. You can also set up some basic measurements to understand how well your emails are doing. Things like how many times people click on links, how often they open your emails, and if anyone marks them as spam can give you a good idea.

2. Build your email list 

It’s important to send the right messages to the people you want to reach. If you send the wrong message to them or if you send the right message to people who aren’t interested, it’s a waste of time. It could even get your email address labeled as spam.

Avoid using lists that lots of other people are using, signing up for, or buying email addresses from other companies. If you try to gather email addresses in sneaky ways, like by scraping them from websites, you could end up in the spam folder.

If you want your email program to succeed in the long run, it’s best to grow your list of email addresses naturally. 

3. Use a Consistent “From” Name and Email Address

Using consistent “from” names and email addresses helps recipients recognize and trust your emails. In turn, email service providers are less likely to mark your messages as spam because they see them as coming from a consistent and legitimate source. 

4. Avoid spam-trigger Words

Steer clear of using words and phrases that commonly trigger spam filters, such as “free,” “buy now,” or “limited-time offer.” Be mindful of your language to increase the chances of your emails reaching the inbox.

5. Authenticate Your Domain

Set up domain authentication, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, to verify the legitimacy of your emails. Authentication helps prevent spoofing and phishing attacks and increases your email deliverability.

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