Top Strategies and Tricks to Avoid the Spam Folder
Around 15% of emails never make it to recipients’ main inboxes. Yes, your legitimate emails could get labeled as spam. But you can’t just watch your hard work go down the drain. Spam filters may be strict, but you are not helpless — there are ways to prevent emails from going to spam folders.
We’ll show you the top tricks for skirting spam filters. But first, let’s look at how and why they send emails to spam in the first place.
Why your emails end up in the spam folder
You work hard to send out bulk emails that bring value to your readers and potentially rake in sales for your company. The problem is, scammers are also hard at work spamming inboxes with unwanted digital messages offering miracle pills or inheritance from an exotic prince.
Fortunately for consumers, email providers have long wisened up. They’ve created filters that funnel annoying (at times dangerous) spam messages to a separate folder. But unfortunately for marketers, the same spam filter can prevent well-meaning emails from reaching the primary inbox.
Spam filters use algorithms to analyze incoming emails, detect spam triggers, and send suspicious messages to the spam folder. The detection mechanism may use basic pattern matching or advanced machine learning. And the rules keep evolving, making the marketers’ job even more challenging.
It’s not always easy to convince email providers that your mass email is not spam. Still, you can deliver more messages to the right box if you learn to avoid spam filters. That’s what we’ll discuss in the next section.
Strategies to keep your emails out of spam
Let’s focus on the strategies for avoiding spam filters. Your messages deserve to be read, and we’re here to help ensure email providers are not sending your emails to the spam folder.
Avoid spam triggers
Your main goal is to make top email services like Gmail set your emails as not spam.
Spam filters pore over email content and subject lines to spot spam words and phrases. Here are common trigger words to look out for. Here’s a list.
Spam triggers go beyond just the words in your email. They also include other information that raises suspicion about the senders and their intent (mostly because they’ve been associated with scammers before). Here are examples of triggers that could raise such concerns:
Keep a checklist at hand, so you can quickly audit your emails before sending them out. What’s more, you won’t sound “salesy” if you omit these words, and people respond well to that.
Use a reputable email service provider
Designed for marketers, email service providers (ESPs) are supposed to make bulk emailing efficient. But not all ESPs are good. Some have worked with too many questionable clients and can flag you if you’re associated with them.
So, how to choose a reputable ESP? The following tips will help you.
You work hard to build a good reputation for your brand, so it’s only right that you stay away from any software provider that could tarnish it.
Get your receiver’s consent to send an email
Another surefire way to get your emails flagged as spam is to send them to recipients who haven’t given you their permission. It could even cost you hefty fines! Certain countries, including the UK, Germany, Australia, Spain, France, and the Netherlands, have laws that prohibit sending out emails without consent.
To make sure you don’t get in legal trouble, take preventive actions:
- Follow a double opt-in approach. Instead of automatically adding email addresses to your mailing list, ask subscribers to verify their registration by clicking on a confirmation link or check box you sent via a welcome email.
- Ask your recipients to whitelist your email. Another way to get express consent from your recipients is to ask them to add your email address to their contact list. This is an effective way to whitelist your emails.
Keep in mind that even subscribers who have granted you their consent can still manually mark your emails as spam if they grow wary of the messages you send. So, make sure your emails always offer value to your audience.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
Spam filters look out for an unsubscribe button or link. Failure to include one could easily send your email to the spam folder. Worse, it could land you in legal hot water (the US CAN-SPAM Act requires an option to unsubscribe).
The chances that your subscribers won’t ditch you are greater if you deliver valuable content. However, some will still unsubscribe despite your best efforts. So, make a habit of deleting your unsubscribers’ email addresses. Better yet, use a professional email service to automate the process.
Not everyone who wants to drop off your mailing list unsubscribes. Some subscribers just ignore your emails or label them as spam. This could damage your reputation and delivery rates, so always take time to purge your list of unengaged subscribers and inactive email addresses.
Use a spam-checking tool to identify potential issues
Combing through emails for potential triggers is tedious. You can ease the load by turning to spam checkers, software that shows how your email would perform when put through a spam filter. It provides metrics and insights on fixing errors and improving email engagement.
Spam-checking tools commonly have the following features:
- Email preview. Shows your email as it will appear in various ESPs and devices.
- Inbox monitoring. Checks how major email providers categorize your emails based on your domain name. It shows whether your emails reach the main inbox or get relegated to spam.
- Email analytics. Shows how many recipients actually open your emails, how long it takes for them to respond, how many links they click, etc.
- Reputation tracking. Ranks your IP reputation and tracks the issues affecting it, which include spam complaints, inactive subscribers, and getting blacklisted.
- Blacklist monitoring. Reports if your IP was blacklisted.
It’s not all about content. What your email looks like also counts. We’ll talk about that in the next section.
Optimize emails for dark mode
Android Authority ran a survey that revealed 81.9% of people use dark mode whenever it’s available. Dark mode is a trend you can’t ignore. And you need to prepare your emails for it.
It’s easy to see how dark mode could affect the deliverability rate of your emails. Once your emails get marked as spam, filters will flag them. So, optimizing your emails for dark mode must be part of your marketing campaign. The following tips will help:
You can turn to Retainly, a marketing automation platform, for assistance in optimizing your emails. This all-in-one engagement platform lets you use drag-and-drop tools and templates to create engaging emails and run A/B tests to ensure the text and images look right.
Spam filters play by complex rules. But you can easily slip through. We’ve shown you the basic steps and a tool that can help you automate some processes. Reach out to us at Retainly if you’re ready to empower your marketing campaigns. We’ll be happy to improve your customer engagement rates.