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Why Your Emails Go to Spam and How to Solve It


Ever found yourself asking this question:

“Why are my emails going to spam?”

You’re not alone.

Tons of emails go to the spam folder when they are caught by spam filters.

But why do they filter out your emails?

To help you get to the bottom of the problem, I’ve highlighted five major reasons why many legitimate emails (like yours) go to spam and how to avoid spam filters.

This Article Contains:

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Note: I’ll start by covering why your emails are currently going to spam and how to avoid that. If you want  first to understand what spam filters are, skip ahead to that section.

5 Reasons Your Emails Are Going to Spam

Here are five key reasons why your emails end up in the spam folder:

1. Your Recipients Never Asked for Your Emails

Anyone who hasn’t permitted you to send emails to them probably isn’t interested in receiving your emails in their inbox.

Sure, you can purchase mail lists or find email addresses from LinkedIn and other social media websites. However, when your emails reach these contacts, most of them will either ignore or delete your mail.

And if you continue sending them emails they didn’t ask for, you’re increasing the chances of your email being marked as spam and lowering your sender reputation.

But that isn’t all.

Some of the email addresses in your mailing list (especially if it’s a purchased list) might be spam traps — which further increases your bounce rate and decreases your sender score.

What’s a spam trap? 

A spam trap is an email address used by prominent ISPs for email fraud management. These look like regular email addresses but don’t belong to any user and are only used to identify and blacklist the addresses of spammers.

If you have high spam complaints, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ESP (Email Service Provider) can blacklist your email and IP address and mark you as a spammer.

2. Your Sender Address Is Incorrect

The domain name and email ID associated with any marketing email must be authentic for the spam filter to identify the sender.

Hiding the source of an email address with the help of a proxy server is a common tactic used by habitual spammers. That’s why certain spam filters, like header filters, check email headers (an HTML code snippet) to verify you as an approved sender.

If header filters can’t verify your sender information, your inbox placement chances take a big hit.

3. You’re Using Spam Trigger Words

Your emails will head to your recipient’s spam folder if they contain a spam trigger word.

What’s a spam trigger word?

Common words and phrases recognized by ESPs in spam emails are called spam triggers.

“Free,” “You are a winner,” “No disappointment,” etc., are a few examples of spam triggers.

Using such spam words in your email body can result in your mail being automatically marked as spam or junk mail (emails with too many promotional materials, donation requests, or catalogs).

Ajay’s Email Tip 

It’s essential to start and end your emails better to increase audience engagement. Read my detailed guide on how you can start and end your emails without using any spam trigger words to maximize email engagement.

4. Your Email Doesn’t Include an Unsubscribe Link

This is important if you send marketing and sales emails like newsletters or product promotions, etc.

If there’s no opt-out link in your email, you aren’t just making yourself vulnerable to spam complaints; you’re also ignoring the CAN-SPAM Act that governs email communications in the US.

Additionally, you’re giving subscribers the flexibility to unsubscribe whenever they want without lodging any spam complaints. This way, you can improve your sender and domain reputation.

5. You’re Using a Flagged IP Address

Sometimes your email has a clear header, no spam triggers, is CAN-SPAM compliant, and still ends up in the spam folder with other spam emails.

This can happen when you use a shared IP address or if your sending domain isn’t verified.

What does that mean?

Many email marketing platforms, like Mailjet and Sendinblue, offer shared IP addresses — that you and a hundred other business owners use to send emails.

If a user’s mailbox provider or email provider (like Gmail) flags a shared IP address due to spam complaints of another sender, the IP reputation of that address goes down.

This way, even if you send solicited emails through that address, it goes to recipients’ spam folder — due to no fault of your own.

You also have to check whether your sending domain follows authentications like:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): allows you to specify the mail server authorized to send emails from your domain.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): uses encrypted email signatures to verify if emails aren’t fake.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance): allows senders to validate if their emails are protected by SPF and DKIM authentications.

These authentications block spoofing (disguising an unknown source as a known source) and phishing attacks (fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive data) — ensuring that your IP reputation is preserved.

How to Avoid Spam Filters: 4 Clear-Cut Ways

Here are four smart ways to avoid spam filters to ensure that your emails reach your recipient’s inboxes.

1. Create Quality Email Content

If you don’t want your legitimate message to be marked as a spam email, make sure the header has all the valid information, including the “From,” “To,” and domain name, etc.

Try to keep your email body simple and concise without using spammy words. Additionally, avoid using all caps for your email message and subject line.

Personalize emails by adding your recipient’s name, and ensure that your emails are multiple-email-client compatible by ensuring:

  • The links and images have absolute paths.
  • The email contains clear preview texts.

And don’t forget to run grammar checks before sending your emails!

2. Get Your Recipient’s Permission Using a Double Opt-In

Sure, using landing page and website forms are a great way to get your leads’ email IDs.

However, you need to ensure those mail address owners are actually willing to receive marketing emails from your business.

The double opt-in method ensures this.

This way, when a prospective subscriber submits their email address anywhere online (first opt-in), they get an instant confirmation link in their registered email address.

By clicking on the link (second opt-in), they confirm their intention to connect with you and permit you to add them to your email list so you can send them emails.

This way, you get a list of authentic email addresses that want your emails, and your spam count stays low.

3. Keep Your Email List Clean

If you want your emails to get past spam filters, it’s incredibly important to update your email list regularly.

Check for spam traps, disposable mail IDs, and shared email addresses in your mail list and remove them immediately. Sending emails to such mail addresses result in hard bounces — alerting spam filters and affecting your sender reputation.

Additionally, look for email addresses that are no longer active.

You can also check the opens and clicks metrics from your email campaign reports to evaluate who isn’t interested in your content and remove them from your list.

4. Ask Subscribers to Whitelist You

As an email recipient, when you whitelist an address, you’re marking it as a safe sender — notifying your spam filter that the sender is a safe email ID.

Requesting your subscribers to whitelist your email address is a great way to avoid spam filters as the filters recognize that your recipients have marked you as safe. This way, any future email you send goes directly to your subscriber’s inbox.

The Easiest Solution to Your Spam Problems

Spam Filter_GMass Homepage

GMass is an email marketing and outreach platform that works within Gmail and is used by employees at tech giants like Google and Uber and social media titans like LinkedIn and Facebook.

However, this email marketing tool is also perfect for startups, SMBs, solopreneurs, and churches who send individual or bulk emails that can get past spam filters.

With GMass, you can:

Additionally, GMass is super easy to set up.

Just download the GMass Chrome extension, and you’re good to go!

Android users can also download the Gmail add-on to stay productive on the move.

3 Ways GMass Solves Your Spam Problems

Here’s how GMass can help you send emails that avoid getting flagged by spam filters:

1. GMass’ Spam Solver

With GMass’ in-built Spam Solver feature, you can protect your emails (including cold emails) from spam filtering.

This spam filtering solution is super easy to use and can save you a ton of time and effort.

Working within Gmail’s Compose window, GMass’ spam checker automates email testing to give you reports on Inbox vs. Promotions vs. Spam placements across 20 different Gmail and Workspace accounts.

What this does is show you where your email will potentially land — whether it will end up in a recipient’s inbox, their promotions tab, or their spam folder.

You can then use different conditions like “Eliminate images,” “Send plain text only,” and more to improve inbox placement.

Spam Filter_GMass Spam Solver

2. You Can Use a Custom Tracking Domain

GMass helps you set up a custom tracking domain for your email campaigns — securing you from spam filters.

Whether you’re using a Google Workspace or a Gmail account, GMass lets you swap out the default domains and use a branded tracking domain name, like link.mycompany.com.

While it can be slightly technical to set up, using custom domains help improve your email deliverability and avoid spam filters — as you’re no longer using a shared domain.

Check out how you can set up your dedicated tracking domain with GMass

3. Use Gmail’s IP Address

Unlike other email marketing services such as Mailchimp, GMass doesn’t use its own sending IP address.

GMass users send emails using Gmail’s IP address itself.

And, as Gmail’s sending IP address is the most reputable and widely used address worldwide, your emails have better deliverability.

Note: This doesn’t mean that your emails will always be delivered. If Gmail’s sophisticated spam filters identify that you’re sending email spam, your messages would be blocked by the Gmail spam filter.

You still have to follow all the best practices I listed earlier to avoid spam filters.

Read up on when your emails could get flagged as spam when using GMass.

FAQs about Spam Filters

I hope “why are my emails going to spam?” is no longer a question that worries you!

However, I’m sure you still have other questions about spam filters in general. Here’s a small section answering most of the common FAQs on spam filtering:

1. What Is a Spam Filter?

A spam filter (also called an anti-spam filter) is a program that detects and blocks spam emails or unsolicited emails from reaching your inbox. These include scam ads, phishing mail, hoax offers, and malware, etc.

However, sometimes spam filters might incorrectly label a legitimate email as spam.

Such emails are known as false positives.

Check out my article on spam emails to know more about limiting spam.

2. What Are the 3 Categories and Types of Spam Filters?

Spam filter or anti-spam filter categories are based on the spam detection systems’ locations in the email sending process.

Spam filter types are based on how filters work.

Here’s a quick look into both:

A. Spam Filter Categories

There are three common types of spam filter categories:

  • Gateway Spam Filter: an on-premise solution that exists behind a network’s firewall. It screens all incoming emails before they enter the company’s network.
  • Hosted Spam Filter: cloud-based software that can be used within an organization’s network.
  • Desktop Spam Filter: locally downloadable filters that can be customized according to users’ needs.

B. Spam Filter Types

The three main types of spam filters include:

  • Content Filter: checks the email header and body. It scans the recipient address, return address, looks for spam trigger words, and blocks unwanted emails.
  • Bayesian Filter: analyzes your spam preferences based on the emails you mark as spam and automatically filters incoming emails with similar spam qualities intuitively.
  • Rule-Based Filter: follows the spam settings you specifically define to screen an incoming message and block spam messages.

3. What Is the CAN-SPAM Act (2003)?

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) spells out commercial email sending standards in the US.

Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the CAN-SPAM Act empowers email recipients to stop senders from emailing them.

Note that the CAN-SPAM Act applies to both bulk and individual email sent from any business.

Here’s a rundown of the act’s essential rules to help you send CAN-SPAM-compliant emails:

  1. The “From,” “To,” “Reply-to,” domain name, other header information, and subject line should be accurate.
  2. If an email message is an ad, senders should clearly identify it as an ad.
  3. Email messages should include the sender’s valid physical postal address.
  4. The body content of any commercial email should offer recipients the choice to opt-out from receiving further emails. It must also clarify how they can go about this.
  5. Any opt-out request should be honored within ten business days.
  6. Businesses can’t charge a fee or ask for any information when a recipient opts out except the email address of that recipient.
  7. Once a recipient opts out, businesses can’t sell or transfer their email addresses in the form of mailing lists.
  8. In case of any third-party email sending assistance, businesses should ensure that they, too, are complying with the law.
  9. Any violation of these standards is subject to financial penalties.

Final Thoughts

Spam filters help you keep spam messages or phishing attacks at bay.

But sometimes, even your legitimate emails can get caught by spam filters!

While one of the easiest ways to avoid spam filters is to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s safer to follow the other methods I covered in this article as well.

And if you want a super fast and easy way to dodge spam filters and reach your recipients’ inbox folder, GMass can be your best bet.

A powerful email outreach tool, GMass not only uses the world’s most trusted Gmail IP address to send emails but also helps you with custom tracking domains and its automated spam solver.

So why not try out GMass today to enjoy better email deliverability?

Ready to transform Gmail into an email marketing/cold email/mail merge tool?

Only GMass packs every email app into one tool — and brings it all into Gmail for you. Better emails. Tons of power. Easy to use.


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  1. Whenever I press gmss instead of send button, it takes me to a google screen and want me to finish something I do not know. I use google all the time and why gmail does not allow me to use gmass button? Please let me know. I do have a gmail account. This is happening since last 6 to 7 years. I used to use gmass before. Please let me know. I do want to use gmass.


  2. Hello.
    You need to add a paid feature that can automatically mark my messages as “Not spam”
    I send 1k emails to your address and on all these accounts, my email marked as “Not spam” (if the email is in the spam folder)
    It will help increase Gmail reputation
    Thank you

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