Why are my emails hitting the spam folder?


Emails — a godsend after the birth of the typewriter and a time-saver compared to voicemails.

The fact that people can receive messages within a couple of minutes, if not seconds, makes it the #1 choice for marketers.

However, despite your “best efforts” in crafting a sellable, enticing and exciting email for business, there are instances when this effort directly goes to waste. And that usually occurs when your email hits the much-dreaded spam folder!

Now, the email spam-detector can either be your friend or your worse enemy. Sure you might hate it, because no one will see your message, especially if it’s something important or urgent. But think of this Code Red alert as an opportunity to relook at the content of your emails and create one that will pass through email security.

But before you jump into that, let’s find out the reasons why your email is hitting the recipient’s spam folder.

Spam-triggering words

Spam detection is like an x-ray — it scans through the entire email body to “assess” for any suspicious pieces that don’t belong there. Beware of using certain catch phrases or words, as they’re pre-marked by spam detection programs to pick out the spammy emails from the norm. Words like “free,” “winner,” or “promotion,” will more likely trigger the spam detectors to automatically re-direct your emails to the spam folder.

Also, avoid using capital letters all throughout your email, because this practice is typically used in spam emails too. But if you really do need to emphasize your point in your email, you can capitalize a few words or even mark it in bold font.

Questionable or HUGE attachments!

It’s pretty common for emails with attachments to get more scrutiny and be marked as spam compared to text-only emails. The thing is, viruses like malware or Trojan can easily “sneak” into emails through attachments, which is why there’s a strict filtering system to scan the attached document for any malicious content. It’s no surprise that emails containing big attachments are often blocked and won’t even reach the recipient’s spam folder.

But if you need to send an attachment, make sure you’re conscious of the file size. If you can, check with your recipient to see what the best way is to send a big attachment before you send. Try file-sharing websites like Dropbox or Google Drive. It will not only help you avoid your chances of getting marked as spam, but the recipient will also appreciate that you didn’t fill up his or her inbox with a huge attachment.

It’s also important to avoid sending email attachments with extensions such as .exe or .zip just to name a few. Some email servers block messages with these file extensions, because these typically are used to install or sneak in viruses.

Generic or blacklisted email address

Your email address is the first thing the recipient or the mailbox’s server looks at when checking for spam. Messages from vague email addresses (e.g. 12345ssddd@domain.com) will more likely end up in the spam folder compared to email addresses that have a more “formal” or authentic feel to it (e.g. newsletter@domain.com or firstname.lastname@domain.com). This shouldn’t be surprising though. After all, the “From” field is your first form of identification.

If your email address doesn’t look suspicious but you still get marked as spam, your email address might be in the blacklisted emails. You can check that for free by using these websites: Sender Score or DNS Stuff. Incase your email is indeed blacklisted, contact the owners of the website and ask them to remove your email address from their list.

Adding links from a domain with a bad reputation

Spam emails are not only identified through the email body or by attachments but also through the links you include in the email. Certain URLs marked as “malicious” or “dangerous” by search engines will give you a higher risk of getting your email junked automatically.

Because of this, make sure you don’t paste any URLs from domains or websites with a bad reputation. Apart from that, avoid using shortened links. Use the URL’s full link instead. This will help keep your email message away from the spam folder.

Always keep these tips in mind

It’s always a good habit to keep track of what triggers your email to be sent directly to spam. That way, you can proactively change your email content and have a “second chance” to send messages to your recipients.

Pro-tip: make sure your email body contains complete information about you (your intent for sending the email and the contact to reach you).


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Originally published at Rabbut.