In The Battle Against Email Spam, We Are All On The Spam-Filters’ Side, Right?

The technology that email and internet service providers are developing and deploying to unclutter our inboxes by analyzing incoming emails and auto-filtering them into junk folders is invaluable.

But as an email marketer, there is a risk of getting caught up in the dragnet.

According to Return Path, about one-fifth of all permission-based marketing emails – emails that the recipient proactively opted to receive – are auto-filtered into spam/junk folders. That means the size of the average business contact list is effectively reduced by 20 percent!

But there are ways to keep your email campaign out of the spam folder and alert the bots that you are sending relevant messages your contacts want to receive.

Incorporate these practices into your email marketing campaign to stay on the good side of spam filters.

Four Ways to Keep Your Email Campaign Out of the Spam Folder

1. Get Set Up With Reputable Email Marketing Software

Services like MailChimp and Constant Contact are careful to instruct their clients against spam practices. For example, they ask their clients to verify that each new contact has in fact opted into receive emails, and they automatically include an unsubscribe link in every email sent. Their anti-spam track record has resulted in good standing with email service providers like Gmail and Yahoo. As a result, marketing emails coming through these providers are less likely to be tagged as spam than a marketing email from a common email address like “[email protected]


2. Make Sure Everyone Has Opted In

Send emails only to people who want to receive them. Adding unauthorized contacts to your email list will likely result in recipients flagging your email as junk, or take the additional step of reporting you to a global spam identifying service.

Spam filters rely on recipient reports to help them learn who is spamming and what spam techniques are being used. Getting flagged is a lingering hit to your credibility and ability to keep your future sends out of junk boxes.

Avoid getting flagged by only sending to legitimate contacts.


3. Email Authentically

Rely on the authenticity of your relationships with your contacts and the value of the email you are sending rather than resorting to subject line tricks to increase your open rate.

A couple examples of tricky subject lines:

  • Manually typing in re: or fwd: to imply that the email is part of an ongoing conversation.
  • Saying “you’ve already won” or “redeem your prize” when the body of your email actually requires more actions from your contact to be eligible for a giveaway. Even if you are giving something away, be aware that words like “free” and “prize” as well as excessive exclamation points and use of ALL CAPS stick out to spam filters.

Consider also the way your “from line” reads.

An email’s from line is the first indication in inboxes who the email is from, appearing to the left of the subject line, and spam filters take a close look at them.

Emails from illegible, random addresses like [email protected] are a big red flag. Personalize your from line to read out as your name or your brand name. If you are using addresses like “[email protected]” or “[email protected],” make sure it is used to consistently send only high-quality, relevant emails to opted-in contacts. This will build the address’s reputation as a trusted sender.

4. Don’t Think In Terms Of Email “Blasts”, Rather Stay In (To Borrow A Phrase) Constant Contact

Emailing only sporadically can lead to contacts who have forgotten about their relationship with your company and possibly don’t remember giving you their contact information. If recipients don’t recognize your business’s from line, they are more likely to delete the email, mark it as junk, and report you as a spammer.

Sending a steady flow of relevant emails to thoughtfully grouped segments of your contact list is not only the best way to achieve your email marketing goals, it’s also the best way to stay in the good graces of spam filters.

Thanks for stopping by,


Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company offering digital advertising strategy and execution, responsive web designinbound marketing, and social media marketing for clients throughout the United States. We work closely with our clients to craft strategies specific to their needs.