Why Are My Emails Going To Spam? [Gmail & Outlook]

Why Are My Emails Going To Spam Gmail & Outlook hickey media

Every year the likeliness of your email campaigns going to spam increases, and it’s not getting easier. Both Gmail and Outlook have their differences, but one thing for sure. They both have some pretty serious spam rules in place to maintain quality and relevancy.

But guess what?! There are some ways you can work around this.

With about 1 out of every 10 emails going to spam because it is not formatted correctly or was blocked. We need to plan more than ever for success. Ad copy plays a huge role in this, and certain words will send your emails straight to spam.

This raises some serious questions about what is the correct way to send emails? As platforms and rules are always changing we decided to write this blog with what we have seen getting us the best success.

Why Do My Emails Go To SPAM?!

The simple answer would be because you included images and have a bad email sending record.

But to explain it thoroughly so you can help stop this SPAM problem, let's go over a few reasons why your emails continue to go to this dreaded folder.

  • When someone on your list reports you to spam.
  • When you do not have an express permission to email.
  • Your IP address was used for spam.
  • Low open rates.
  • Your subscribers can’t remember you.
  • You have low mailbox usage.
  • When your subject line is misleading.
  • When you use words that trigger spam.
  • An invalid physical address.

    How To Prevent Your Emails From Being Sent To SPAM

    1. Build Your Own Email List

    Having a list takes a little marketing, but once it gets momentum it can be a money machine for your business. Avoid purchasing lists because they will be destructive to your overall campaigns being many people will unsubscribe and possibly report you.

    Avoid sharing lists with friends or businesses. The only way I'd suggest a sharing method would be to where you post an email featuring their products to your list. And they return the favor emailing their list about your brand. This way neither list gets damaged and you both accomplished a similar goal.

    Use tools such as Facebook and Instagram to get more leads for your email list. Place an offer in front of the right group of people, and your list will massively grow.

    2. Regularly Clean Your Email List

    Most of your subscribers will often ignore your emails instead of unsubscribing and this could lower your engagement rate, increasing the risk of getting spammed emails.

    To stop emails from spam, remove users who no longer read tour messages and delete bounced emails. Even though this will reduce your email list, it will surely improve the deliverability rate of your emails. Your email provider tracks all this information, so consistently keep an eye on this area.

    Another positive about cleaning is that it can save you a ton of money. If you have a medium to large dormant part of your list, you are paying for wasted space. Save yourself a few hundred a months by exporting them or suppressing them.

    Why Are My Emails Going To Spam Hickey Media

    3. Avoid Blacklists By Monitoring Your Reputation

    Don't piss your list off and your off to a great start. Most lists end up blacklisted because of spam complaints. Enough spam complaints will have your IP address on the blacklist in no time.

    If you keep sending bounced emails, that is a clear indicator that your sending spam. Another reason to do a proper cleaning of your list.

    The final one is a huge leap of emails in the list size. ESP's will suspect you have purchased this list and keep an eye on your more thoroughly.

    To avoid the dreaded blacklists, follow the points mentioned in this article as well do your best to send relevant content. Segment your email list and be personal. Sending a blanket email to your list is an easy answer to the spam box.

    A great way to get started with this is the double opt-in. Though it may lower your subscriber intake a little, you will build a stronger list.

    4. Provide A Preference Center For Your Subscribers

    A preference center gives your subscribers the opportunity to choose the frequency at which they wish to receive emails. This reduces the possibility of them marking your emails as spam or unsubscribing.

    Put this near the unsubscribe button the footer of our emails giving your customers an opportunity to stick around. You may just be serving them the wrong content.

    Some customers may not mind being emailed multiple times a week, while others will completely hate it. When someone subtribes give them the opportunity to choose the frequency of when you can email them. You can also add this are to the unsubscribe button on the footer of your emails. Someone may like your materials but just want to hear from you slightly less.

    This is also a great opportunity to get additional information from your customer. Ask simple questions such as: Are gender apparel are you interested in? (men, ladies, both) What are your favorite items to shop online for? (tops, bottoms, bags, accessories)

    5. Monitor Your Email Engagement Rates

    Keeping track of how your email performs is an important part of knowing if people are interested in your content. If 400 people opened and only 20 people clicked, that's a problem. We need to keep an eye on these metrics to understand what style emails get the most engagement.

    You can increase your engagement here by adding a strong call to action. Don't just add the call to action on the image in your email. Add the CTA in the image, a button under the image, and as a link to give the viewer multiple options. Don't go overkill and do more than 2 to 3.

    Why Are My Emails Going To Spam Hickey Media Group


    DO NOT buy lists, use white hat methods to get in front of the right audience to get their email. Continue to remove people from your list that are dormant and no longer open your campaigns. Keep an eye on if people are even clicking your content. If rates are getting worse for you currently its time to change what content you're presenting your audience. 

    Why Are My Emails Going To Spam? [Gmail & Outlook]

    About the Author:  Blake Hickey - For over 12 years my passion has been helping fashion companies BREAKTHROUGH the noise of online media and massively increase their profits. As founder and creative director of Hickey Media, I continue to find ways to help my customers excel. Connect with me on Instagram @HickeyMedia or LinkedIn. Or join my Facebook Community of both established and aspiring apparel, jewelry, and accessory businesses owners and employees that support and refer one another.


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