How do I Avoid My Emails being Marked as Spam?

Since the beginning of the internet, we have been fighting spam. In fact, almost 86% of global email traffic is unsolicited junk mail (with approximately 400 billion spam messages sent every single day).


Fighting spam isn’t easy and sometimes the steps people take to protect themselves can impact your online communications. This, in turn, can have a significant impact on your business.


To stop being bombarded by spam, people sometimes buy third-party email filtering services or create filters on their own to ensure that they only receive content that they deem to be relevant.


The downside of this is that depending on the receiver’s settings, your legitimate emails can get marked as spam quite easily.

It’s not a server or hosting issue, it’s just a common problem in the digital age. So how do you avoid emails going to spam? Keeping reading and find out.


1. Avoid Phishing Phrases and Spam Trigger Words

When you’re composing client emails, always try and avoid typing phishing phrases and spam trigger words. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a complete list of trigger words to avoid, but here are some examples that can give you an idea:

  • Member
  • Sale
  • Fantastic deal
  • For free
  • Act now! Don’t hesitate!


As spam is basically trying to block commercial promotions, the words that are highly common in such emails must be avoided (or used sparingly).


Phishing, on the other hand, is designed to steal identities by getting the receiver to click on a fraudulent link. So common phrases in phishing emails that you must avoid using will be related to bank accounts and personal data.


2. Ensure that you’re Compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act

Speaking of promotional emails, if you’re sending a commercial message to your customers, you’ll have to follow these rules to maintain compliance (or you’ll be at risk of fines that can total $16,000):

  • Avoid deceptive subject line
  • Avoid using misleading header information
  • Let recipients know where you’re located
  • Inform your recipients how they can opt-out of receiving any future emails
  • Immediately honor opt-out requests (the secret is to automate it)
  • Keep track of what others do on your behalf
  • Clearly identify the message as a promotional message


If you’re sending out only relationship content like a transactional email, then you will be exempt from these rules. But you still have to ensure that you don’t use any false or misleading routing information.


3. Set up a Whitelist

Send a personal email (without any advertising or marketing links) to your clients and ask them to whitelist your domain.

This action will ensure that your business email doesn’t get classified as spam.


4. Include a Text Only Version of your Email

If you’re sending HTML emails, they can easily end up in the spam folder. An easy way to get around this is to add a text-only version of your email. Further, this will also help if the recipient can’t read the HTML email.


If you have to send images, make sure that you use a good image to text ratio. Here are some tips to help your images avoid the spam filter:

  • Send a well-formed HTML for email
  • Avoid image-only emails
  • Do your best to optimize the images
  • Include a minimum of two lines of text for every graphic used in the email


5. Utilize Spam Checkers

If you have an extensive email list, it will be worth making use of a spam checking service. There are several options, so you can either go with a spam checking software or completely manage it online.


Some spam checkers you can check out are as follows:


6. Ensure that Email Authentication is Enabled

Keeping email authentication enabled will help stop spam being generated from your email address (whether you’re aware of it or not). It’s a common tactic used by spammers, so it’s best to avoid spoof emails being sent from your domain.


You can easily get blacklisted if this happens, so make sure that you check your settings. To learn more email authentication, check out this guide from Network Solutions.


7. Get your Name off a Blacklist

If your email server ends up on a blacklist, it won’t be easy to reliably send emails until you get it resolved. This is especially true for new addresses on your email lists.


What you can do is first check if your email server has been blacklisted from services like the following:


If you have the unfortunate experience of being on a blacklist, you’ll have to first follow up on the website that added you to their blacklist. This will be the first step to getting this situation resolved.


In the end, there’s really not much else that anyone can do about spam or spam filters. We can’t control how emails are received or force people to control how they receive them. But you can make sure that you follow best practices to try and avoid being perceived as spam.