We all have been through that embarrassing moment of confessing to never having received an email and then realizing that it has been in the spam folder all along. In addition to apologizing to whoever was the sender of those emails, have you ever ended up wondering why it happens in the first place? Well if you have, consider your question answered. Read on to find out, not only why important emails get stuck inside your spam folder, but also how to stop them and how to stop sending emails that get stuck in other people’s spam folders too.

So, why does it happen?

ReturnPath concludes after a 2015 study, that only 79% of commercial emails go straight to the inbox. One reason for this is the strict spam filtering rules that govern email, which keep getting more and more rigorous by the day. Email service providers keep changing the rules and making them tougher so a mail that does not get filtered today, might get filtered tomorrow. Also, not every ISP has the same filtering rules as well. The senders of your emails may have different configurations regarding spam filtering than you do. This may lead to your spam folder being more packed than your actual inbox.

If you are the receiver what can you do about this?

Surprisingly, the solution to this annoying, pressing issue is not quite complicated. There are two main precautions to be taken in order to avoid it.

  • Number one is marking the senders as “Not junk”
  • Number two is to add the sender to the “Safe sender list”

But what if your emails keep getting marked as spam in someone else’s inbox?

There could be quite a few reasons for this, but not to worry. Read on to discover the why’s and how’s of this issue and its solutions.

Having low open rates

This is unfortunate not only because it leads to your emails getting flagged by spam filters but it means that your emails are so unattractive that not many people feel like opening them. Email service providers usually consider how many people actually take time to open your emails when filtering spam. So make sure that you keep the emails timely, subject lines on point and the recipient list segmented.

Subscribers don’t recognize you 

Even if your emails aren’t spam, recipients would identify your mail as such. This will lead to them reporting you as spam, which is bound to happen repeatedly unless you change a few things about your emails. When such repeated spam complaints reach a certain count, email service providers take care not to send your mails to the recipients’ inbox at all, but to send them directly to the spam folder instead. If this happens your emails will lay forgotten in spam folders without ever being opened.

The reason why a recipient would mark you as spam even if your emails aren’t spam is simply because they don’t recognize you. After all you’re dealing with busy individuals who most probably don’t remember ever subscribing to you.

Make sure that the branding in your email matches the branding on your website and is memorable. It would also help if the “from” line contains a name that your subscribers can easily recognize.

Sending to inactive users

Another criterion email service providers consider when spam filtering is how active an account on your list is. This reason affects 19% of emails sent and hence is a very common issue. If you send an email to a bulk of inactive accounts, there is a huge chance for your mail to get flagged as spam.

Make sure that you update your recipient list constantly and remove any user who does not interact with you frequently through email.

Work on good content

No matter how many tricks are up your sleeve to get your recipients to open your mails, lack of good content is bound to hit you back sooner or later. If you expect your subscribers to devote their time to opening your mails, make sure it includes content that is relevant to them. The way you present this content is also a key to attracting long term subscribers. No matter how important the content is, if it is presented badly and vaguely, you will lose subscribers sooner than you expect to.

There you go! These are only a few tips to make sure that your emails end up where they are supposed to in the future. Hopefully important emails chilling in the junk folder will no longer be the case! Good luck and reach out to us if you have any concerns, suggestions or general feedback.