24 Tips for Keeping your Mail Out of the Spam Folder

Friday, November 4, 2016

Did you know that many ISPs admit that 10-20% of legitimate mail ends up in the spam folder because of filters? Here are a few tips to help you increase the chances that your mail will make it to the inbox. 

1. Verify your sender domain. 

2. Don't send to an old list through your Elastic Email account. You will damage the very IPs that you will then look to have good delivery on. Read this first. 

3. Personalize the email you're sending by using the recipient's name. Merge fields can help you with this. Spam filters like to know you're acquainted with the person you're sending to. 

4. Ask your recipients to add you to their contact lists or safe sender lists. You can easily ask your recipients to do this when they sign up to receive your mail. 

5. Take care of the IPs you're using. Whether you've opted for a private IP or are using one of the shared IP pools it's important that you abide by our terms and ensure that you're using good sending and list management practices. Our team works diligently to keep IP reputations intact, but if someone sends spam, then it can rapidly affect other senders. 

6. Use a double-opt in list and make sure your subscribers are familiar with your mail and brand. Your contacts should have agreed to receive mail from you and should be expecting it. 

7. Your email needs to look good. Spam filters will shut down a campaign that looks like junk mail. It should be balanced between images and text. Find out more about how to make a great email. 

8. Keep branding consistent between your social platforms and your email marketing. 

9. Make sure any code you're using is clean. Any sloppy code or extra tags will likely cause a problem. For example, copy and pasting html from a program like Word can cause format issues and trigger spam filters, we don't recommend it. 

10. Use A/X testing to help determine how your campaigns can be improved. 

11. Don't use purchased lists or lists you gathered for another company or product and then send different, unrelated mail to that list. If you hit spam traps when you send your campaigns, your mail is much more likely to end up in the spam folder or your account paused for a full Elastic Email review. 

12. Include an unsubscribe link and physical address in your mail - even in transactional mail. This is a mandatory Elastic Email requirement. 

13. Make sure the content you're generating is relevant. If it's not, your subscribers are more likely to mark the mail as spam. Too many complaints about your mail (again, meaning that a recipient has marked it as spam) will mean that more of your mail ends up in the spam folder. 

14. Try testing your mail with mail-tester.com to help you determine what might flag a spam filter. 

15. Simply avoid "spammy" content. Using words or phrases similar to "click here", "dear recipient", "cash", "make money", "free"  can increase the likelihood that your mail ends up being filtered. 

16. Use links that work and are connected to legitimate sites. Domains should not be blacklisted. All links that are connected to your email campaigns should be reputable. Avoid link shorteners. There should not be multiple re-directing links. 

17. Avoid any attempt at deception. Subject lines that include random characters, start with "Re:" or "Fwd:" or make any deceptive claims will damage your sender reputation and send your mail to the spam folder. Don't use CAPITALS. 

18.  Do not use random 'From' addresses like cskhgi7779@yourdomain.com for example. We suggest more commonly used ones like 'newsletter@yourdomain.com, support@yourdomain.com, contact@yourdomain.com'. In addition, your mail will not even get delivered if you're not complying with dMARC. You cannot use common addresses from domains like Gmail, Yahoo, Comcast, AOL, Hotmail and more as your from address. 

19. Don't send a whole bunch of test emails to a single address. Multiple tests to a single email address may mean that your mail ends up in the spam folder because it looks like you're spamming. Spread your tests out to several addresses at different ISPs. 

20. Monitor your mail and choose how often you send with care. Sending email to the same addresses everyday might be too often, but sending mail only once every three months might not be enough because your recipients can forget about you. Determine a consistent sending schedule that will keep your subscribers engaged. 

21. Don't send test mails that literally include the word "test" and then are empty otherwise. This is not going to give you any legitimate feedback about how your actual campaigns will perform. 

22. Include a text-version of your mail. You can find out how to do that in the Settings guide. 

23. Avoid adding attachments if possible, these can be difficult to get through spam filters. 

24. Do not use a single, large image in your mail - this looks like spam because it often is. 

If you have any additional tips you think are helpful or have any additional questions, send them our way! Our support team is always happy to help. 


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