15 Best Email Marketing Practices To Avoid the Spam Folder

You might have been going through a consistent open drop rate with the email marketing that brought you here. 

But you need to understand that chances are this could be the updated spam filters that are sending your emails to the spam folders. 

This means your emails are not making it to the inbox of your target users dropping your engagement and conversion rate dramatically. 

Being in the industry of marketing or business, you have to constantly worry about spam traps, anti-spam laws, and spam triggering words 

Even if you are unaware of these, this article will help you gain control back from all these spam traps. 

Just make sure you practice these email marketing strategies and tips to ensure that your email doesn’t end up in spam folders. 

email practises to avoid spam folder

Being Aware About How Spam Traps & Filters Work

Before you even begin practicing the best strategies to avoid getting your emails into a spam folder, you must know how it works. 

Since you’re here, you already know something about spam emails, possibly it is the first time your email got spammed or you heard it is possible. 

The first thing you should do is learn as much as you can about spam filters, spam traps, and other related topics. 

What Are Spam Traps?

Spam traps are the very first line of defense for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) against spammers. 

They are actually custom-designed email addresses aimed to identify and track these spammers. 

So, if your sent email hits such an email address, you will be instantly flagged as a spammer by your ISP.

This is a highly effective filtration system to catch spammers where they are flagged, their IP address as well as their domain from where the email hosted also gets blocked. 

It also hampers their delivery rates, and so if it happens to a non-spammer email, it can take more than a year to restore your reputation of being an authentic sender.

So you wouldn’t want to step into these spam traps due to some mistakes that spammers usually make. 

What Are Recycled Spam Traps? 

Recycled spam traps aren’t as scary as spam traps, at least not in the beginning but these are certainly to worry about for marketers. 

The recycled spam traps are basically inactive email addresses acquired by ISP when the emails are not active for a while. 

If your email hits one of these addresses, the consequences are not as serious as with the spam traps, at this stage. 

In this case, your ESP or the ESP of your email client will send out a notification to your regarding the email bounce. 

The message will be informing you that the email address to which you’re trying to send is a dormant email address. 

But then if you continue to send emails to the same dormant email address getting multiple hard bounces, the ISP eventually will consider you as spam and record you for the same. 

What Are Spam Filters ?

If spam traps are the first line of defense for ISP against spammers, the spam filters are the second line of defense here. 

Spam filters are basically a program that utilizes different set criteria to filter out unsolicited, unwanted, or suspicious bulk emails. 

The program is capable of preventing these emails from reaching the inboxes of users, in the first place. 

Spam traps and filters audit your emails to tiny minute details making sure that suspicious, spammy, and poorly-written content never reaches the subscribers.

 Using A Sender Name That Your Subscribers Recognize 

One of the best email marketing practices to assure your emails do not end up in the spam folder is using a recognizable sender name. 

Make sure when you send emails, the sender name you use preferably includes your personal name along with your brand name. 

Using a personal name gives the email more authenticity and personalization, definitely puts it off the spam radar. 

Both names, especially the brand name, make your email familiar and recognizable. 

The goal here is when you send your emails to your subscriber they must know who you are and when they subscribed to you. 

Another simple reason for this is, your recipient is receiving hundreds of emails on a daily basis, amongst them, they choose which to open and which do not. 

So, their decision most of the time is based on the ‘from’ section of the email. 

In fact, according to a study conducted by Finances Online, 45% of recipients click spam based solely on the ‘from’ section including name and email address. 

So make sure your name and email address are according to the brand. 

tips for recognizable email sender name

Not to mention, Email Service Providers (ESPs) are also paying attention to the ‘from’ field of the sent emails. 

This is because the spam filtration technology also filters on the basis of the reputation of the source of the email such as domain and IP address. 

On sending emails, ESPs get an alert to perform a check on your source and if you’re using a suspicious or simply a blacklisted address, your email will be filtered out. 

However, if you change the email address often, it will also confuse the recipients and might also mark you as spam. 

Quick Tip:  Just use your personal name where the email address should be something like  [email protected]  

Allow Double Opt-In Form 

To assure that you are getting only interested subscribers who are keen to receive your email newsletter, provide the double opt-in form. 

The difference between a double opt-in form and a single opt-in form is that it requires one extra step for confirmation for a subscription from the user. 

Visitors coming to your website when filling out this form first will receive a ‘confirm your registration email in their inbox. 

They have to take this extra step to confirm their subscription and if they do, it means they are quite interesting and less likely to report you as spam. 

Double opt-in forms reduce the possibilities of you getting marked as spam from your subscribers, and hence it increases your sender reputation. 

Not to mention, you have a more quality-driven list that tends to be more convertible or at least more engaging. 

Images Must Be Displayed Correctly 

There are some email users who do not allow images to be seen on their emails, this helps them to read faster and save data. 

Some of the users even just block the images together for a better experience. 

Chances are that the images you integrate into your emails won’t be displayed correctly which overall can make your emails look spammy and messy. 

When the image doesn’t appear, it shows the alt text of the image which often tends to be something random. 

But you can at least optimize this by changing or adding unambiguous and more relevant alt text to your images. 

Authenticate Your Emails 

Email authentication isn’t an easy nut to crack but the idea is to be a verified sender in the eyes of the law. 

You have to get verified on the fact that you’re an authentic person saying you are who you are and sending legitimate and relevant emails. 

The spam filtration system and other authorities trust the emails to appear in the inbox when they are authenticated as compared to the ones which are not. 

So make sure you get your emails authenticated through different standards including SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI as well. 

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

This basically confirms your identity by comparing the sender’s IP with the list of authorized IPs sent from that particular domain. 

Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM)

It makes sure that the emails you’re sending do not tamper in any way during the sending process or the transmission. 

Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

This standard measuring system uses the power of DKIM and SPF as both are needed from the sender to successfully send and deliver their emails in the inboxes. 

Brand Indicator for Message Identification (BIMI)

One of the most important authentication standards for the emails you send to your subscribers. This one focuses on the logo that brands your emails as what makes them more recognizable. 

Select A Reliable Email Service Provider 

Which email service provider you’re choosing also makes a tremendous difference whether your email will end up in the inbox or not. 

This is also because one of the credibilities that are checked upon sent to the recipients before it hits the inbox is the reputation of the email service provider. 

When ESPs have clients with a good reputation, they gain impressive reputations over time as well. 

If the clients of ESPs are sending valuable and informative emails, not to mention, also highly relevant and under the restrictions of GDPR, they score high on their IP addresses. 

ESP becomes more and more trustworthy as more and more clients gain a good reputation. 

So, if you have an ESP with a not-so-good reputation or their IP addresses are blocked, your emails have chances to end up in the spam folder of your recipients. 

Some of the reputed ESPs are known as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail which users are generally aware of. 

Giving Easy Way Out For Your Un-Subscribers 

The more you will make your email practices controlled and difficult for your subscribers, the more difficult it will be for other auditing parties to trust you as a genuine and transparent sender. 

More importantly, according to the CAN-SPAM Act, you must mention the easily readable option for ‘unsubscribe’ for the subscribers. 

This is not just morality but also a law. You need to show people that getting in as well as getting out from the subscription is extremely easy. 

Also, you respect the subscriber to unsubscribe, if they want to and let them go. It is about respecting their wishes and never sending them an email again. 

If you do not give them an easy way out to unsubscribe and they are still receiving emails from you, chances are they are going to mark you as spam. 

This will not just reduce your email deliverability hampering your campaign but also hurt your sender’s reputation. 

Stay Steer Away From Spam Trigger Words 

Some words are just infamous for being used in spam emails, and they’ve become the triggers for spam filters and traps to detect these emails.

You have to make sure that you’re not using these spam-triggering emails in your email copy. 

Pay attention to each and every word of your email, especially the subject lines. 

Certain words and phrases are a clear indication of spam words such as “cash”, “free” or “no obligation” as they all are blacklisted. 

This is because these words are mostly seen in spam emails and hence made onto the radar. 

You also have to remember how ingenuine and spammy those emails appear that we all use to receive promises offering free prizes or a lottery. 

Focus on creating attention-grabbing but yet powerful, relevant, and good subject lines for your email. 

Get Yourself A Third-Party Certificate 

One of the alternative options to prevent your emails from getting shelved into spamming is getting yourself a sender accreditation by a third party. 

Now, this third party basically acts as a guarantee for the ISPs that you are an authentic or genuine sender and not some spammer. 

Third-party certification protects you from getting spam or getting trapped into spam filters and spam traps as well. 

ReturnPath is one of those companies that first examine your email practices, the kind of content you send out, and then certify you a trusted sender. 

When you get this certificate, it guarantees you that you will be reached to the maximum of inboxes you aimed to reach. 

And in the process, it also signals the ISPs to let you pass through all the set spam traps and filters smoothly. 

However, this is a paid service and definitely a worthy investment especially for businesses that are aggressively focused on increasing their conversion rate. 

Maintain Your IP Address Reputation 

Your IP address reputation is one of the credentials that plays an integral role in spam filtration. 

When you send your emails, it is audited on the basis of various factors where one of those is your own IP address reputation. 

It also plays a huge factor in the email deliverability of your email marketing campaign. 

Suppose you’re starting a new email marketing campaign where you are going to send emails to a large number of recipients using a newly created IP address. 

Avoid Attaching Files To Your Emails 

File attachments such as MS word or pdfs are also one of the triggers for spam-checking for your emails. 

It raises suspicions as to why you’re sending attachments to multiple people under a campaign altogether. 

Not to forget, adding files to your emails increases the load time for your emails affecting their overall experience. 

Instead of this, you can always place the link of your document or file in your emails that need to be hosted on your website. 

It needs to be in the form of the CTA that leads users to the location of your documents. 

Try Not To Use Images 

It is true that marketing without images is unimaginable, especially now in the era where images and videos are everywhere. 

But when it comes to emails, you don’t have to put too many of them, to begin with. 

Images whether they are many or of big size, increase the loading time of the email. This can reduce the deliverability rates for your emails. 

Also, it makes your emails less engaging and users might just go back without reading the email at all. 

So the best option is to cut back on the usage of images in your emails to improve deliverability. 

Sometimes email clients just do not recognize the image file which makes the email look quite messy and spammy. 

Make sure you only include the images that are highly relevant to the email content. 

You need to resize your images to make sure it doesn’t hurt the visual integrity of your email. 

Provide Value-Driven Content To Your Subscribers 

The best way to assure that your emails land in the inboxes is to raise the quality of the content. 

It is something that no one can deny. Make sure you’re offering high-value content through your emails. 

Valuable content comes from the fact of how well you know your audience. 

Once you know what your ideal subscriber values and want to know, you can craft high-quality content or resources for them. 

If your emails aren’t of good quality and people stop opening them over time, it hints to the email service provider about the spammy content. 

So what you need to know is that Gmail or Apple Mail-like email service providers pay close attention to low open rates and engagement rates. 

If they notice, that there is massive downgrading in your content quality through the degrading open rates as people are just right away ignoring it. 

Another sign is when readers are consistently pushing your emails to promotion or junk folders. 

Make sure you use personalization to make your emails even more valuable and effective. 

Ask Your Subscribers To Add You

It is important that you ask your subscribers to add you to their approved contact list. That is to their primary tab. 

This means when you send them emails, they won’t end up in the spam folder or any other tab of their inbox. 

When you sign-up with you through the double opt-in, you can create the landing page which appears after the sign-up. 

It can show how to approve you as their primary contact list or whitelist your contact in easy steps with visuals. 

When they add you to their contact list, it helps your IP reputation to get more places in the inbox. 

This is because when others or more and more people approve you as an approved contact, email, they’re okay to receive the message will be sent automatically to all the email service providers such as Apple Mail or Gmail.