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Emails Going to Spam? 12 Reasons Why That Happens and What You Can Do About It

Are you worried that your emails won’t reach your customers’ inbox? That your bottom line will get a hit because of how spam filters evaluate your messages? Or perhaps you’re already seeing that your emails go to spam instead of the inbox and you’re looking for help?

If any of these made you nod, then don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’re not only going to tackle the main question – why do emails go to spam? – but also we’re going to offer solutions that’ll help you improve your inbox placement rate.

Best of all, you’ll be able to fix most of the issues listed here all by yourself as they’re related to things like how you’re building and managing your email list or constructing your email templates. Only a few will require some additional help from your email marketing software provider.

So without further ado, here are the 12 reasons why some emails go to spam and what you can do to prevent them from doing so in the future.

12 reasons why emails go to spam and what you can do about it

What the dreaded spam folder looks like for a Gmail user.
What the dreaded spam folder looks like for a Gmail user.

1. You don’t have the permission to contact your recipients

Although email marketing has always been permission-based, the regulations and the definition of “consent” often varies across different countries.

Because of these differences, you’d often hear about marketers who downloaded an email list from the Internet or bought it from another company, and then thought it’s OK to send them marketing emails as long as you give them the option to unsubscribe. However, that’s no longer enough.

Regulations like the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have become stricter about how email marketers handle customer personal information. They’re clear that it’s not enough to offer your email subscribers a way out.

So before you start sending your email campaigns, you should always make sure that you have permission to do so. If you neglect that, you’re not only risking that your emails will be going to spam, but you could also be liable to a fine.

That’s why if:

  • you’re still filling your email campaigns with contacts from Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, or any other place where you’ve interacted with people,
  • you’re an ecommerce business automatically adding people to your list from the checkout page,
  • you’re using a pre-checked newsletter consent checkbox in your web form,
  • you’re using co-registration or co-sponsored affiliate data with no explicit consent, 
  • buying or downloading email lists from the ‘reputable sites’…

…you should stop right now.

There are plenty of perfectly good email list building methods out there you could try. For starters, here’s the list of best ways how you can build an email list from scratch.

And if you’re unsure whether it’s OK to contact some of the people who’re already in your database, consider running a reconfirmation campaign. By sending an email that’s going to ask your audience explicitly if they want to stay on your list, you can be sure that only those who’re still interested in your offer will remain on the list.

Not sure what these look like? Here’s one example we’ve received when GDPR came into force: – Read more


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