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How to Stop Marketing Emails From Going to Spam



  • Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing, but many companies struggle with having their email campaigns go straight to users’ spam folders.
  • You can prevent your company’s emails from going to spam by using best practices like adhering to federal email legislation, working with a reputable email service provider, and creating high-quality, relevant content.
  • You can further strengthen your email marketing campaign by avoiding rsiky design elements, providing an easy-to-find unsubscribe link, and being consistent in how often you send emails and what kind of content you include.

Email marketing offers a high return on investment (ROI) and is one of the best ways to promote your products and services. It also allows you to build relationships, nurture leads, and even boost your online presence.

You probably already put a lot of effort and time into crafting the perfect personalized email. But have you ever wondered how many of your subscribers receive that email?

The fact is that many sales emails get caught in spam filters. According to OptinMonster, 1 in 6 emails gets blocked as spam and never make it to your recipient’s inbox.

But don’t worry – we won’t let your hard work end up in spam. Follow these 11 actionable tips to stop marketing emails going to spam.

1. Follow Email Marketing Laws

Before starting any email marketing campaign, you must know the rules and regulations that dictate digital marketing communications. However, remember that adherence to these laws does not ensure email delivery, but it can help you get through some ISP roadblocks.

The following are the main laws that govern email communication:

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR came into effect on May 25th, 2018, and is the main piece of legislation that regulates digital marketing in the European Union. It contains six legal grounds that cover a wide range of digital privacy issues for EU consumers.

It states that consent and reasonable interest are two factors that influence email marketing. If you gather any data on your users, even if you don’t intend to use it in your email marketing campaigns, you must publish a Privacy Policy on your website.

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Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act

The CAN-SPAM Act was enacted in 2003 and is the United States’ first legislation that establishes national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail.

The act gives the recipient the right to stop receiving emails from you if they don’t want to receive them. It also makes it illegal to use a misleading subject line or to send emails after the recipient has unsubscribed from your email list. You may potentially face penalties if you violate the law.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

The CASL was approved on July 1, 2014, and establishes guidelines for Canadian web visitors. It not only manages email marketing but also a far broader spectrum of digital business communications known as “Commercial Electronic Messages” (CEM).

The legislation makes it mandatory to obtain consent, either expressed or implied, before sending any CEM.

2. Team Up With a Trustworthy Email Service Provider

Do you know the sender reputation of every single email address is defined by its online activity and the connections it has with its email receivers? It turns out that Email Service Providers (ESPs) also have a sender reputation. When they are examined as senders, they are not viewed as a separate entity, but instead, they are seen as the collection of all their clients. Hence, the results of this examination are based mostly on the reputation of their customers’ IP addresses and domains.

If you choose an ESP that has spam complaints associated with it, you run the risk of your email campaigns going straight to the spam folder. This can happen to the best of us, even when your emails are perfect.

You must exercise extreme caution when selecting an ESP to work with. Only choose service providers who ensure that only requested emails are sent and immediately prohibit spammers from their systems.

3. Ask Subscribers to Whitelist Your Email

Email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft Outlook believe that if an email comes from one of your contacts, it is not spam. That’s why they put in a lot of effort to make sure their spam filters do not capture emails from individuals in your contact list.

Therefore, when you send the welcome email, ask your new subscribers to whitelist your emails by adding your From address to their address book. This is a foolproof method to free all incoming emails from the spam filter’s restrictions.

Apart from that, having more individuals whitelist your emails can improve your sender reputation and, in general, result in greater inbox delivery rates.

4. Don’t Use a Bad Email List

The following things can get you in trouble if you’re sending bulk emails to subscribers:

You Don’t Have Permission

The first and foremost rule of email marketing is to obtain consent. If you do not do this, and instead purchase/rent/share an email list, you will wind up in the spam bin. You also risk breaching the CAN-SPAM Act and facing fines of up to $16,000. And yes, that’s $16,000 per email.

Get permission first by doing a double opt-in. Double opt-in is a method in which you send a new subscriber a follow-up email with a confirmation link to ensure they genuinely want to receive emails from you.

You’re Sending Emails to Stale Addresses

Stale addresses are emails that have been inactive for 3-6 months. If your email list has a large number of stale addresses with bounced emails, it can trigger spam filters.

So, how can you stop emails going to spam? 

Clean up your list by removing or reconfirming stale addresses. By doing this, you will increase your deliverability and engagement with the subscribers who are really interested in your message.

You Have Low Engagement

To determine spam filtering decisions, leading email service providers take into account how many emails are opened and deleted. Therefore, your emails are more likely to be marked as spam if they get low open or read rates.

If you want to stop your company’s marketing emails going to spam, you must do everything possible to boost engagement. Aside from targeting the right audience, you can play around with what time you send your emails, improve your subject lines, segment your list, and keep it fresh by cleaning it on a regular basis.

5. Proofread Your Emails

It’s generally a good idea to check your emails before sending them, but this is especially crucial if you don’t want to end up in spam. Did you know spam filters are easily triggered by grammatical errors and typos?

This is because phishing email scams are frequently riddled with errors. Spammers do this on purpose in order to obtain answers only from the most naïve recipients. Because of this, the more errors you make while drafting your emails, the more likely it is for them to end up in the spam folder.

To stop emails from going to spam, always proofread your emails before sending them. If you are not confident with your grammar skills, you can always use editing tools like Hemingway or Grammarly.

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6. Check Your “From” Information

The email address from which you send your emails matters. Because aside from examining the sender’s IP, domain, and content, many email service providers focus on the ‘From’ field to identify spammy emails.

Follow these rules to stop emails going to spam:

  • Try not to change your From field name too often.
  • Avoid sender addresses that are filled with a lot of digits or nonsense. For example, email addresses like 5618olpolpk@domain.com don’t seem very trustworthy.
  • Use simple and reliable From field names like “contact@”, “newsletter@”, “support@”, and “feedback@”.

7. Authenticate Your Emails

Email authentication is crucial for verifying your identity and sending valid emails. Email service providers trust authenticated emails more than unauthenticated ones, which is why they are more inclined to deliver authenticated messages directly to the inbox.

But you don’t have to worry about this if you use a free service like Gmail. This only applies if you have a custom email address, such as you@yourbrand.com.

Use these four methods to authenticate and stop emails going to spam:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF) verifies your identity by comparing the sender’s IP address (found in the domain’s DNS record) to a list of IP addresses approved to send from that domain.
  • Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) makes sure that your email is not tampered with during transmission/sending.
  • Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) utilizes the strength of DKIM and SPF by having both in order to transmit and deliver email.
  • Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) adds your company’s logo to emails so recipients can identify them easily.

8. Don’t Take Any Risks, Avoid Risky Elements.

Your marketing email campaigns may have risky tactics that can negatively affect your email delivery. That’s why you need to be careful not avoid risking your excellent reputation by circulating messages that are spammy in nature.

Before sending your next marketing email, go through the following checklist to stop emails from going to spam:

  • Use caution when using words connected with sales lingo. If they are used excessively, they may activate spam filters and redirect your emails to spam folders. Spammy words include “reward,” “free,” “bonus,” “buy,” “purchase,” “order,” and so on.
  • Don’t use too many exclamation marks. Because exclamation marks are excessively used by scammers to create a false sense of urgency, which is why they trigger spam.
  • Make sure your email is no more than 30kb in size.
  • Don’t shout at people by overdoing “ALL CAPS”. If you want to emphasize a point, capitalize only one word in a sentence, not the entire sentence.
  • Don’t use too many pictures. Try maintaining a 70:30 text-to-email ratio in your marketing email.
  • Use emojis sparingly.
  • Don’t include forms in your emails since they are not supported by email clients. Rather than that, include a call-to-action button or a link to a landing page with a form in your email.

9. Add a Clear Unsubscribing Link.

Providing an unsubscribe link may appear to be contradictory, yet it is necessary to stop emails going to spam. It will keep your email list clean, build trust, and increase your email performance. And it is also required by the CAN-SPAM Act.

In your marketing emails, you must include a clear way for your subscribers to unsubscribe from your email list. You can do this by providing a simple unsubscribe button at the bottom of your email since most users are trained to look for it there.

10. Check Your Emails Before Sending

The best way to stop emails from going to spam is to utilize spam-checking tools. Spam-checking tools are online applications that test your emails and determine whether or not recipients are likely to mark them as spam. While ISPs have the last say on how emails are filtered, spam checkers can help you troubleshoot and increase your chances of getting into your audience’s inbox.

You can use spam checkers like Litmus or Mailtrap to stop your marketing emails from going to spam and get peace of mind as you prepare for your new campaigns.

11. Be Consistent With Your Emails

Even if you follow all the tips mentioned above, you can still end up in the spam folder if your subscribers don’t remember you.

To prevent this from happening, you need to be consistent with your emails and see them as an opportunity to provide value and build a strong relationship with your subscribers. This means you should not send emails just to be consistent. Remember, aimless sending can do more harm than good.

You should set expectations early and stick to them. For example, if you said you would send an email every Wednesday, be consistent with it and we promise you your subscribers will remember you.

emails going to spam

You’re All Set to Land in the Inbox!

Nearly 85% of all emails are considered spam, which is why spam filters are crucial to safeguard our security and make our lives easier. That being said, spam filters can also be detrimental to your business and prevent your subscribers from seeing the marketing emails you’ve worked so hard on.

With this guide, we hope that you now have a better understanding of what makes emails going to spam and what you can do to prevent it. As long as you adhere to the recommended practices stated above, you can be certain that the emails you send will land in your subscribers’ inboxes rather than the spam folder.

If you need help with a new marketing campaign, or want to improve on an old one, Win at Ecommerce can help. With over 30 years of email marketing experience, we know what it takes to create a campaign that will captivate your subscribers while staying out of their spam folders. Get in touch with us to chat about your email marketing strategy.

Don't let your hard work end up in spam!

The team at Win at Ecommerce would love the opportunity to talk with you. We can give you a free evaluation of your technology and help your business win.

Damon Didier

Damon Didier

Data-driven performance digital marketer with 20 years’ experience expanding and scaling B2B and B2C businesses successfully. Develops and supports insightful customer-centric sales and marketing plans and processes with application of complementary technology.
AboutDamon Didier
Data-driven performance digital marketer with 20 years’ experience expanding and scaling B2B and B2C businesses successfully. Develops and supports insightful customer-centric sales and marketing plans and processes with application of complementary technology.
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