Why Are My Emails Going to Spam? 7 Ways to Troubleshoot

  • If your sent emails are going to a spam folder, there are practices you can follow to get messages in your recipients’ inboxes.
  • Be sure to avoid spam trigger words, phrases, and punctuation in the subject line and message body.
  • Also make sure your emails are authenticated, your domain hasn’t been marked unsafe, and that you follow HTML best practices.

Unfortunately, spam is inescapable. Every day, most of us are inundated with unwanted email, which our mail software tries to filter out to keep our inboxes mostly stocked with legitimate messages.

But no spam filter is perfect, and it’s not unusual for important email to get flagged as spam. In fact, your own email might get sent to the spam filter when you send it to friends, family, or business recipients. Why are your emails going to spam? There are a lot of potential reasons as well as ways to prevent that from happening.

Your subject line contains a spam trigger

This is especially important if you are sending email messages or newsletters to business clients: Email services pay attention to subject lines, and certain words can flag your email as spam. Starting your subject line with “RE:” or “FW:” might seem like an attention-grabber, but never do that if the message isn’t a genuine reply or forward. Also avoid sensational claims, subjects that are completely unrelated to the content of the email, and gratuitous punctuation and symbols. Multiple dollar signs and excessive exclamation points, for example, are particularly likely to get the attention of spam filters.

Your email body has spam triggers

Even if your subject line is clean, you can still fall prey to spam filters in the email’s body text. The same kind of cautions that apply to the subject line are appropriate here as well, but you should also avoid writing words in all caps, including incorrect or excessive punctuation, and emphasizing phrases like “free,” “no cost,” and “easy money.”

Your ‘From’ information is incorrect

A red flag for spam filters: If the “From” information in the message is wrong. Spammers often intentionally put misleading information in the From field to trick the recipient. That’s probably not your intent, but it can happen, for example, if you use automated forms on your website that can generate email replies. Make sure these tools use your website’s admin email address, and never simply use the recipient’s “To” email as the “From” address.

You’ve included attachments

Surprisingly, one of the more common reasons email ends up in a spam folder is if it contains attachments — and the more attachments, the greater the likelihood that it’ll get flagged as spam. Fraudulent emails often come with attachments because it’s easy to use them to send


malware

, so spam filters are especially wary of attachments from senders who aren’t in the recipient’s address book. Sending links to cloud storage services like Dropbox is a smarter strategy, but if you need to send an attachment to a new contact, it’s a good idea to advise them it’s coming in a separate message.

You haven’t set up email authentication

If you send a lot of email for a small business or publish an email newsletter, you should ensure that your emails are authenticated. This is typically something you can work with your domain provider to implement, though some domain hosting services will make instructions available on the website so you can do it yourself. Google recommends publishing an SPF record for your domain as well as publishing a DMARC record for your domain. Both of these protocols prevent spammers from spoofing you, sending messages that appear to come from your domain. You should also turn on something called DKIM signing, which lets your recipients verify that your domain actually sent the message.

Make sure your domain isn’t marked as unsafe

If your domain has been designated as unsafe, your email is far more likely to get flagged as spam, which will make your job substantially more difficult. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to regularly check your domain: Open the Google Safe Browsing Site Status website and search for your domain. You’ll get an immediate report that advises whether any “unsafe” content has been found. If your domain has been marked as unsafe, you should clean it up and then request a review using Google’s Webmasters Tools.

Recipients have marked your email as spam

Of course, it’s also possible that your emails are going to spam because the recipient has marked it that way. If this is a one-to-one correspondence, it might be a misunderstanding and you can reach out to the recipient another way to correct the problem. More troublesome is if this is a mass mailing, such as an email newsletter. If a significant number of recipients mark your message as spam, that can influence spam filters and send your email directly to spam for others. That’s why it’s important to follow email best practices to prevent manual spam filtering — provide an easy opt-out or unsubscribe option, don’t write spammy or misleading subject lines, only send business emails with the permission of the recipient, and send either text -only messages or be sure to follow HTML best practices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.