How To Avoid A Spam Filter In Email Marketing?

How To Avoid A Spam Filter In Email Marketing?


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The world of email marketing can be all-inclusive. However, at times, it can be extremely deceptive as well. One such deceptive element of an email marketing campaign is email spam. That’s right. Being an online merchant who uses email marketing, you must know all the aspects of email spam so that YOU don’t get flagged as deceptive by your target customers and hindered by a spam filter.

Every merchant who sends emails to its target customers must understand that email spam is something that frustrates the recipients and it becomes extremely crucial for email marketers to take measures so that their email doesn’t end up being in the spam folder of the email box after being filtered by a spam filter.

To know how to avoid spam filter and stop your emails from going to the spam folder, let’s understand everything about how spam filter works.



Email Spam In Numbers


  • Per day, 14.5 billion messages worldwide account for spam.
  • Of all the emails worldwide, 45% are spam.
  • 36% of all the spam emails are related to advertising.
  • Emails related with finance account for 26.5% of all the spam emails.
  • In the year 2016, 3 out of 4 companies fell prey to phishing.
  • 7 of the world’s top 10 spammers are from the USA.



Spam Filter and Spam Emails


Sometimes, the unwanted, irrelevant emails that are sent in bulk to the users end up landing in the spam folder and are considered as spam emails. These bulk emails being shot up to the customers’ inbox may either be sent by a business for generating profit, or by some unreliable source to lure the recipients for some fraudulent activity.


52% of participants in a recent survey stated that spam was a major problem.

spam email


Now barring the reason why such emails are sent, they are considered as spam and get filtered out by spam filter and never reach the recipient’s inbox.



How Do A Spam Filter Filters Spam Mails?


Whenever an email is sent to customers, the internet service provider of the customer sends the email through the spam filter and that is the step when the spam emails get filtered out by a spam filter. Like the internet service providers, email inbox provider also does the same and send the unwanted, spam emails to the spam folder after spam filter filters the emails.

A spam filter or anti-spam software basically check the emails coming to recipients inbox for the common attributes that spam emails contain. The similar attributes that the spam emails contain, if are present in the email, emails are sent to the spam folders and not in the inbox. This whole process takes place between the time when an email is being sent by the sender and being received by the customer.

The interesting point here is that online merchants sometimes do not even get to know if their emails are being checked by a spam filter and going to the spam folder. However, if some points are taken into consideration as to how a spam filter works, it can be prevented.



Reasons Spam Filter Sends Emails To Spam Folder


For online merchants using email marketing, it is very important to know why their emails go to the spam folder and not in the inbox, as it can badly affect not only the sales and business but also the reputation of the business.

Let’s see the reasons why an email is considered to be spam by a spam filter.


You’re Not Following The CAN-SPAM ACT Guidelines


If you’re not following the guidelines made by CAN-SPAM, a law that sets the rules for commercial emails and gives the recipients the freedom to stop getting emails from you if the emails are not wanted, your emails will get filtered by spam filter and will go to spam folder. If you buy the email list, you are violating the CAN-SPAM ACT as it strictly says that an email can be spammed by spam filter if it is unsolicited.

However, you can get the express consent which makes it evident that your website visitors are subscribing to your emails. To get the express consent, a merchant may have an opt-in form on its website which makes the visitors acknowledge that they are interested in subscribing the emails by the website. As a result, you may send the emails to such subscribers without being labeled as spam by spam filter.


There are researches that indicate that spam email makes up an even greater part of worldwide emails, 73% in fact.

There are researches that indicate that spam email makes up an even greater part of worldwide emails, 73% in fact.


Misleading Content


If your email content is misleading, it will definitely be filtered by spam filter and will go to the spam folder, according to the CAN-SPAM act. As per the guideline of the act, sending an email with a deceptive subject line to lure your customer to open the email is forbidden. Such emails with such misleading content get flagged as spam by spam filter and in order to avoid it, avoid using misleading subject lines even if you are using it to be a little more creative.


According to a survey that was conducted by Litmus and Fluent, almost 50% participants expressed that they felt deceived when they opened a promotional mail due to a misleading subject line.

how to avoid spam filter

Source: Litmus and Fluent


Low Open Rates


One of the most common reasons why an email gets filtered by spam filter is low open rates. Quite often, users don’t even open the emails and delete them as they consider the mail to be useless or spam. In this case, the email inbox providers also consider this open rate and while filtering out the emails in future, they take into consideration this point.


IP Address of the Email Service Provider


It sometimes happens that the email service provider that you use may have other senders also who might have been labeled as spam. In this case also, no matter how accurate your emails are, there are chances that you may be flagged as spam by spam filter as the IP address of the service provider has already been used by a spam email sender. To avoid it, always use a reliable email service provider while conducting an email marketing campaign.


Wrong ‘Sender Info’


As per the guidelines of CAN-SPAM, a sender can’t send a mail with a wrong “from” as it is believed to be misleading. As a result, the mail would be considered as spam by spam filter. To avoid such practice, a sender should always use an appropriate name (company name, seller name etc). Such practice also instills the sense of relationship amongst the target users.


In a survey conducted in 2005, 53% of people stated that they had lost confidence in communicating through email due to spam.

In a survey conducted in 2005, 53% of people had stated that they had lost confidence in communicating through email due to spam.


Do Not Use ‘Spam Words’


Sometimes, overpromising can cost you your business. Even if you are trying to convey a message more accurately or that your product is going to do wonders for the users, don’t use words which are common amongst spam emails. Some of the spam trigger words that can be harmful to your email marketing campaign are: Click Here, This is not spam, Amazing, Risk-free etc. If such words are used, chances are high that spam filter will filter your email as spam email.



Although there are many, the above-mentioned points are some crucial ones that you, as an online merchant must keep in mind to avoid your emails from going to the spam folder after being filtered by spam filter as spam email.


Now comes the part where you can see what are the steps that you need to take to make it sure that your email doesn’t get considered as an unsolicited spam email by a spam filter and may make its way to the users’ inbox.


DO’s To Avoid Being Labeled As Spam By A Spam Filter




In contrast to blacklisted spam emails, ask your users to whitelist your emails as soon as you send them the first email. Ask them to add you to their contacts and you may easily make the way for your emails to their inbox.


Build Your Own Email List


As already discussed, it is always a bad idea to buy a list while doing the email marketing. On the other hand, sending the emails to the users who have an interest in your product makes it easy for you to get to their inbox. As per the CAN-SPAM ACT, unsolicited emails are considered to be spam by spam filter, so send the emails to those who have opted in. At the same time, always avoid:


  • Renting or purchasing an email list.
  • Sharing the list with partners.
  • Scraping emails, as they will never give a fruitful result.


Send Personalized Emails


Spam filter also keeps a check on whether you know your email receiver or not. It is always recommended that you should add the first name of the customer that you are sending an email to, to avoid being flagged as spam email. The best part about personalized email is that the open rate is high with such emails. The CAN-SPAM ACT says that you should also add your information in the mail for where you are located.


According to a report, emails that are personalized with a subject line are 26% more likely to be opened.

According to a report, emails that are personalized with a subject line are 26% more likely to be opened.


Use Company Domain


Mails sent in bulk are filtered out by spam filter if they have not been sent using a proper domain. There are chances that an email which is not sent by an email service provider gets labeled as a spam email. So while starting an email marketing campaign, stop using free email accounts as provided by many email service providers.


Use Full Links


Person or company sending a fraud spam email would never want to disclose what lies in the link that it is providing in the spam email. Hence, they always use the shortened link and once the user clicks the link, their system becomes prone to the malware attack. To stand out, always use the full links so that email service providers or internet service providers or spam filter can identify you as a genuine sender.


Use An Email Service Provider


There are multiple email marketing companies which can help you in your email marketing campaign and provide service to enable you to know if your email can be categorized as spam email by a spam filter or not. On the basis of that, a sender may check the pointers and can redesign the emails to be sent. Some of the leading email marketing companies are:

  • HubSpot
  • InfusionSoft
  • MailChimp
  • Salesforce, and
  • GetResponse


Manage The Metrics


  • Spam Complaints
  • Open Rates
  • Click-through Rates


Sending an email doesn’t end the process. Every merchant needs to understand the metrics also as it is as vital as sending an email in an email marketing campaign. With a better understanding of metrics, you will get aware of the performance of your email marketing campaign as to how successful a campaign is and what are the measures that you can take in the future campaigns.


Consider SPF, DMARC, and DKIM


While sending an email in an email marketing campaign, it is very important to authenticate your email so that internet service providers or spam filter do not consider you to be a spam email sender. How to do that? Consider the following:



  • SPF(Sender Policy Framework) – It checks the sender and receivers IPs and confirms if the sender is not any fraudulent who’s trying to be someone else.


  • DKIM(Domain Keys Identified Mail) – It checks if the emails are tampered while they were on their way to reach the receiver.


  • DMARC(Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) – It requires both the above-mentioned elements to be accurate for an email to be sent.



Let The Users ‘Unsubscribe’


No matter how important the email marketing campaign is, always give the liberty to your customers to unsubscribe. Also, without much delay, take the action of removing them from your email list as soon as they unsubscribe so that they don’t get frustrated and mark you as spam. According to the CAN-SPAM ACT, you must honor the choice of your customer to unsubscribe.





Though email marketing campaign is the need of the hour today, it is equally important for email marketers to understand if their campaign is working or not. Sending the email won’t put an end to your responsibility as a marketer in the dynamic marketing environs. Understanding the concept behind why an email marketing campaign is not a success too is not the only point to consider. Understand why the emails are not reaching out to the people they are intended to reach or why your emails are going to spam folders as spam email. Always remember that the higher your email engagement is, the lower there is a chance of it getting labeled as spam; and the lower the chances of it going to spam folder as a spam email is, the higher the engagement can be.

So keep in mind the pointers mentioned in this post, follow the CAN-SPAM ACT, avoid the spam filters to filter your email, prevent them from being labeled as spam email, and make your email marketing campaign a roaring success.



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  1. Avatar for shekhar srivastava

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