If you’re like most businesses, you work hard to build solid email lists and create brilliant content for your email marketing campaigns. And your worst nightmare is the thought that your emails end up in your customers’ spam folders.

Unfortunately, the filters email providers use to filter out junk can toss legitimate marketing messages into the spam folder along with actual spam.

So how do you avoid having your marketing emails go to spam? Here are some email best practice to help your messages get seen.

Enable double opt-in

Enable double opt-in

When someone signs up for your email list, send them a confirmation message and require them to click a link to confirm their subscription.

A double opt-in may add an extra step to the sign-up process, but it will help ensure that only people who want to receive your messages are on your list and that they’ve entered their email addresses correctly.

That means there’s less chance of someone clicking the spam button and fewer bounced emails (which can also trigger spam alerts for some email services).

Keep your list clean

Removing inactive subscribers from your list is also a good idea. Emailing people who don’t want to hear from you is a surefire way to end up in the spam folder.

It’s vital to avoid sending messages to anyone who has unsubscribed from your list. Not only is it bad marketing, but it can also get you blacklisted by email providers.

If you’re using an email service provider (ESP), they may have tools to help you keep your list clean and automatically manage unsubscribes and bounced emails.

But if you’re managing your list yourself, you’ll need to be extra diligent about keeping it up-to-date.

Never buy an email list or include people who haven’t agreed to receive your messages.

Use a recognizable "from" line

Use a recognizable “from” line

Make sure your “from” line is something your subscribers will recognize. If they see an unfamiliar email address in their inbox, they will likely delete it without even opening it. An ideal “from” line would include a personal name and a recognizable company name.

Write a catchy subject line

Your subject line is one of the first things people see when they open their inbox, so make sure it’s interesting and relevant. Avoid using all caps or excessive punctuation, as these can trigger spam filters.

And avoid phrases like “free” or “money,” which are also red flags for spam filters.

Your subject line should match the content inside the email. Customers who open an email and feel tricked will likely report your message as spam.

The mismatch can happen innocently even if your content goes through revisions so be vigilant about proofreading both before you hit “send.”

Use a reliable ESP

Use a reliable ESP

If you’re not using an email marketing service, you’re likely to have more problems with marketing emails going to spam. That’s because most self-hosted email servers aren’t configured correctly to avoid spam filters.

An ESP specializing in email marketing will have the technical know-how to ensure your messages avoid spam filters. They’ll also have tools to help you track your email deliverability and engagement rates and spot potential problems early on.

Some email marketing services with good reputations include:

Follow through on promises

When you collect email addresses, ensure you’re clear about what subscribers will get when they sign up. For example, if you promise a monthly newsletter but send daily emails, people will quickly get annoyed and unsubscribe.

Once you’ve lost a subscriber’s trust, it’s a challenge to win it back.

Keep the email copy professional

Keep the email copy professional

Spam filters can analyze the body of your email and look for anything that seems spammy.

To minimize your message’s risk of being labeled as spam:

  • Proofread for proper grammar and punctuation
  • Don’t use too many different fonts or colors
  • Avoid using attachments
  • Include a plain text version
  • If you include images, make sure they’re relevant to your message and that the text around them makes sense.
  • If you’re selling a product, avoid using marketing language that’s too ‘salesy’. Your goal should be to sound helpful and trustworthy and not like a used car salesman.

What if you already have a spam issue?

If your brand finds many emails are going to spam, you may need to take action. Here are some steps you should take.

Check if you’re blacklisted

If you’re on a blacklist, it’s likely because someone has reported you for spamming in the past. You can check to see if you’re on any blacklists by searching your IP address or domain name on sites like MxToolbox and MultiRBL.

Get certified

Sender Score is a reputation service that rates your IP address on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best. A high sender score means you’re less likely to end up in spam folders. You can check your sender score for free on sites like Sender Score and GlockApps.

Migrate to a new ESP

You may need to switch to a new provider if you’re using a self-hosted email server or an email marketing service with a bad reputation. As we mentioned, some good options include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Freshworks, and ActiveCampaign.

Reach more customers with good email practices

Reach more customers with good email practices

By following these tips, you can keep your marketing emails out of spam folders and ensure that more of your subscribers see your messages. As a result, you’ll be able to reach more customers and grow your business.

If you’d like professional help creating content that engages your audience, talk with a content specialist at ClearVoice. We can connect you with freelance writers, editors, and graphic designers who will create content that aligns with your marketing goals.