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Are Your Marketing Emails Being Flagged as Spam? 4 Tips You Need to Know

Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff

Follow these four steps to ensure consumers see your emails.

There are many different kinds of marketing out there, but none are quite as profitable as email. Consider for a moment that there are about 3.7 billion email users, and that number is expected to rise to a staggering 4.3 billion by 2022.

Furthermore, email marketing has the highest return on investment out of all other marketing types. On average, email marketing has an ROI of around 3,800 percent!

One of the problems that many email marketers face is the dreaded spam box. You can send out 10,000 emails, but it probably won't do much good if 9,500 of those emails end up in the spam folder.

Luckily, there are ways you can tip the odds in your favor. Here's how to keep your emails out of the spam box so you can reach a wider audience.

Use body text

There are marketers out there who send out their emails as a flyer. As a result, there is no body text within the email. This will cause most email service providers (ESP) to mark an email as spam.

You should try to use the body text to deliver your main message. It’s okay to add images, but the image to text ratio should be even or favor the text over images. On top of being marked as spam, many ESPs will automatically stop images from downloading within an email.

In other words, even if your email does make it out of the spam box, the user will have to manually download your images to even see your message. In the days of phishers, malware and spyware, the chances of that happening are slim to none.

Get certified

Much like getting a certificate for your website, you can do the same thing for your emails. Trustworthy companies are available who can review your emails and determine whether you are a trustworthy business/sender.

If you're reaching out to people using mainline email services like Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook, getting certified is a great way to stay out of the spam box. Your emails will get a check for being reputable and make it past most built-in spam filters.

Don't forget that certification looks good to potential customers too.  

Avoid "spammy" phrases

The following rule generally applies to subject lines, but it's a good practice for all of the content in your marketing emails.

When you email people, their ESP will scan it for "spammy" keywords, phrases and symbols. If you trigger one or more of these markers, your promotional email may never see the light of day.

As an example, avoid using exaggerated exclamation points. If you say something like "Open this email now!!!!!!" that email is going to go right to the spam folder. Similarly, if you use all caps, that is also considered a "spam" trigger and should be avoided.

If you check your personal spam folder, you'll notice trends that they all have in common. Look for phrases, icons and patterns that seem to end up in your folder. If those types of emails are going to your spam folder, you better believe that your company emails are going to do the same for other people if they look similar.

Be recognizable

When you'resetting up your email campaigns, you're going to have to pick a name as the sender. The best thing you can do here is to use your company name. When users see the name of your business, they will recognize and be more likely to open it, and more importantly, won't report it.

If you use a name that the person receiving your email doesn't know, there is a good chance they will mark it as spam and report it to their provider. If enough people report your emails, the result could be that all of your emails end up in the spam folder when you send any email to that ESP.

You can avoid this by simply being recognizable. Avoid using shorthand or abbreviations with your name. Let customers know exactly what business you represent.


We all want to have emails that make it through spam filters. As you can tell from your own spam folder, this can be a challenge. However, due to all of the tools and resources regarding ESP algorithms, you can increase your chances of getting your email into customers' inboxes instead of wasting away in the spam folder.

Like all forms of marketing, you'll need to spend plenty of time tweaking and fixing your emails as your business develops and you do more split tests to discover what gets you more conversions and click-throughs.

As you evolve your business, your promotional emails will shape around your products and services, allowing you to become successful and reaching a majority of your customer base with ease.

Image Credit: Feng Yu/Shutterstock
Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff Member
Co-Founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.