Why your marketing emails are going to spam and how to fix it

Imagine spending all your time creating a stellar marketing email only for it to end up in your customer’s spam folder. The pain!

Seeing those low open rates can be frustrating; however, there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.

This article outlines four reasons why your emails are going to spam and the actionable tips and best practices you should follow to ensure your emails end up in your subscribers’ inboxes.

Your subscriber engagement is low

Email service providers such as Google (Gmail) and Microsoft (Hotmail, Outlook, Live) look at how your subscribers have engaged with your previous emails to help them determine where to deliver your following email. So, if your subscribers didn’t open your other campaigns, didn’t click on any links, or marked your previous emails as spam, your future campaigns are likely going to end up in the junk folder.

You’re targeting the wrong audience

Audience targeting through list segmentation is an essential step in the campaign building process. Subscribers will only open and click on your emails if relevant to them. For example, if your subscriber lives in Sydney and receives a promotion only available to people in Melbourne, that’s not a great experience for the customer. That customer might not open your future emails, or worse, mark your email as spam!

You’ve got a bad email list

The first rule of email marketing is that you can only send marketing emails to people who have given you permission to email them, i.e., they have opted-in to receive your marketing emails.

Sending emails to people that haven’t opted-in is a big no-no. It can land you in hot water, not just with the email service provider but also with the relevant anti-spam regulations applicable in your country.

Additionally, if you don’t have proper hygiene practices, your list may contain inactive email addresses. Email service providers don’t like it when campaigns have a high bounce rate and can penalise you for sending to inboxes that have been disabled.

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Have you ever seen these phrases in a subject line or the email copy and thought it was a scam? Unfortunately, so do the email providers.

Certain words and phrases can set off the spam flag with the email providers, and these triggers can vary depending on the industry you belong to. You can check out a list of potential spam trigger words here. If you need to use these words and phrases, try to do it sparingly and within context.

How to keep your emails out of spam

Once you’ve identified why your emails are going to the junk folder, you can take actionable steps to fix the issue. Here are five tips to help you improve your email deliverability.

Segment your email list

When you set up your next campaign, only send it to customers you believe are interested in the email. Use as much information about the subscriber to determine suitability. For example:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Purchase history
  • Previous email engagement
  • Membership engagement

You can collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, you may have requested this information when the customer created their membership/account. Your website may collect information during the customer’s logged-in session or the checkout process. Your email service provider may track how the customer has engaged with previous campaigns.

So, if a customer hasn’t opened any of your previous ten emails, maybe reconsider sending them your next campaign. Besides, if your campaign performs brilliantly on a smaller list, you can always expand the list criteria slowly and test its effectiveness on a broader selection.

Perform regular list hygiene practices

In addition to segmenting your list, you’ll want to clean your list for bad emails regularly. This means archiving unengaged email addresses, constantly bouncing, are test or spam addresses, or are duplicates. This will help ensure that your list is in tip-top shape and that you aren’t wasting your precious marketing dollars emailing bad addresses.

A/B test

If you’re unsure how your campaign will perform and you may be playing it a bit fast and loose with some of your wording, you can A/B test the campaign on a smaller list of subscribers before blasting it out to the whole list.

A/B testing takes your list and randomly splits it up into three groups:

  1. Group 1 is a test group. They will receive variation 1
  2. Group 2 is a test group. They will receive variation 2
  3. Group 3 is the winning group. They will receive the winning variation

Groups 1 and 2 will have the same number of subscribers and are generally smaller than the winning group.

For example, you could test two different subject lines to see which one performs better. After a few hours, you’ll have a winner, and you can use that to send to the remaining subscribers. Most email service providers have A/B testing functionality built into their systems, so it’s worth taking advantage of it.

Use email design and copy best practices

There are some general guidelines you should follow when crafting your email:

  • Don’t use spammy words as they can trigger the spam filter
  • Avoid using excessive exclamation points, dollar signs, emojis, and words using all capital letters
  • Don’t use attachments. Malicious users often disguise viruses as attachments, so this is a big red flag for spam filters
  • Only include links to reputable websites
  • Ensure your sender information is accurate and clear
  • Always have a clear and straightforward unsubscribe link

Use spam and mail testers

There are a variety of free spam and mail testers you can use to gauge your email deliverability. These testers check your email and give you a score and advise you of things in your email that may get picked up by the spam filter. Services like mail-tester.com and Email Subject Line Grader are an excellent place to start.

If you’re looking for help with your email marketing, the AppSalon Marketing Touch Up is for you! Our Marketing Touch Up is our exceptional one week service where we solve your biggest website, email, and marketing problems, so your digital media and content shine.

We can help you with various issues such as setting up your automations, branding your emails, and optimising your segmentation strategy. Want more information? Leave your name and email below, and we’ll get in contact with you to discuss your email marketing needs.

Contact AppSalon today!

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