5 Reasons Why Your Email Goes to Spam Instead of the Inbox
At a very high level, your legitimate emails aren’t making it to the inbox because mailbox providers have developed sophisticated anti-spam technologies that make it harder for spammers to reach the inbox. Unfortunately, even if you’re a legitimate sender, this could still affect you. The problem is, these security measures are so smart that one small mistake as a sender could leave the majority of your email in the spam folder. So what can you do to keep your email out of the spam folder? Here are the 5 top reasons why your email might be landing in the spam folder:
1. Didn’t Get Permission from Recipients
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that emails should be sent only to people who want to receive them. This is one of the most important principles to follow because it will always help improve your deliverability. Rather than purchasing unreliable bulk email lists that will ruin your sender reputation and deliverability, build opt-in lists through your website or application. Make it easy and enticing for your web traffic to join your email list. This can be as simple as making the subscribe button easily accessible or offering a reward for joining. No matter how you do it, building these lists organically will undoubtedly help your email land in the inbox.
2. Receive Negative Engagement
One of the reasons the previous point is so important is because when genuinely willing and interested people receive your emails, they are more likely to engage in a positive manner. This means they will open, explore, interact with, and potentially forward your email. Positive engagement like this is closely monitored by mailbox providers and will help drive up your sender’s reputation. The higher your reputation, the more emails will land in the inbox instead of the spam folder. Anything you can do as an email sender to drive wholesome, positive engagement with your mail will go a long way in landing your email in the inbox.
3. Have a Bad IP Reputation
Depending on your email sending configuration, you could be sending on a shared IP address. While this could be the best option for you based on a number of factors, sharing an IP could have drawbacks. If the IP address you are sending on already has a negative reputation from previous or current senders with bad habits, you have to deal with the consequences of your emails landing in spam. While there isn’t much you can do on your own to prevent a problem like this, work with a reputable email service provider.
Email service providers will do all of the necessary leg work to ensure their IP addresses (shared or dedicated) are well maintained and properly warmed to promote the best possible deliverability. If you’re sending more than 100,000 emails per month, you can improve your inbox placement using a dedicated IP address.
4. No Unsubscribe Link
Having an easily visible and accessible unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email will help your deliverability. At face value, it probably seems like the opposite would be true, but here’s why an unsubscribe button is essential: I get it, you want people on your lists to stay on your lists, but the truth of the matter is there will always be people who wanted to receive your emails at one point, but no longer do. These people need to have any easy option to opt-out of emails via an unsubscribe button. If they don’t, they become more likely to mark you as spam, which lowers your sender reputation — ultimately impacting your ability to reach the inbox. Having a large amount of spam complaints on your email is easily one of the most damaging factors in deliverability.
5. Bad Email Design
When designing the email that you’ll be sending to your recipients, it’s important to follow a couple best practices:
- The email should be mobile friendly and desktop compatible
- The email should be on-brand so people recognize you easily (This includes things like colors, fonts, images, and tone)
- Your email should not be images only, have a good image to text ratio
- Avoid spam trigger words such as “toll-free”, “dear friend”, “risk free”, “special offer”, “free”, etc.
- If it’s a marketing email, the email must include a physical address to stay compliant with CAN-SPAM
- The text in your email should be simple, to-the-point, and easily consumable for quick readers