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Here's why emails go to spam
Here's why emails go to spam

Reasons why your emails go into the spam folder

Bogdan Ostapchuk avatar
Written by Bogdan Ostapchuk
Updated over a week ago

According to Spamhaus, an unsolicited or uninvited message will be considered as spam if “the receiver’s personal identity and email’s context are inappropriate as the message is applicable to other recipients.”

It is evident from the definition that if you are an email marketer, NEVER send spam. Effective sales and marketing teams approach specific people for particular reasons and with clear messages.

So, how to understand that your email was marked as spam?

Open rate

This metric tracks the percentage of recipients who open your email. It’s calculated by dividing the number of unique opens by the number of emails delivered. If you have a low OR, you can consider that your email is considered spam. For example:

  • 0-25% - definitely spam;

  • 26-50% - not so bad, email was marked as spam only by some recipients;

  • 50-70% - the better the open rate, the higher chance that it is not spam;

  • 70%+ - most of your recipients saw the email.

Please note: low open rate may also be due to poor selection of emails for the campaign (not valid or outdated) or poorly written headline of the letter, so this verification criterion is not self-sufficient, you should definitely check others.

Bounce rate

Bounces happen when an email is returned to the sender because it couldn’t be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. Bounce rate measures the percentage of emails that bounced compared to the total number of emails sent. A high bounce rate means that your email was not sent to the recipient.

Spam lists

You can check here whether you are on the spam list or not :

How to check it?

  1. Enter the domain in the search field and click on the Check-in Blacklists button.

2. You will be shown all the IPs that are associated with this domain:

3. Click on each IP to see the result:

4. If it’s not zero in any field, it means that you are in the spam list. The higher number of lists, the worse situation. Please note: you can delete yourself from black lists.

Check how different providers reflect your emails

You can check which folder your email got in like inbox, others, spam, etc. To do that, you need to go to

1. Copy all the email addresses from the following screenshot:

2. You need to send the test email to all the above-mentioned email addresses. The subject and text of the letter must be filled with something neutral.

3. After that we filter to the domain from which we passed, wait a minute, and you can see where your letter went in each box.

An example of getting into spam and other tabs except for inbox:

Possible reasons for marking your email as spam

It is important that there is no single cause, it is always a combination of factors. Here are some of the most common:

  1. You use free accounts, e.g.,, etc. (this is a direct route to spam, you should make sure you make it a corporate paid account, and link your domain);

  2. You send letters from a new domain (bought less than a year ago). It's simple - the longer you use the domain, the more resistant it is to being spammed;

  3. You began to send a bigger amount of letters (f.e. it was 50 a day earlier, and then in one day began to send 500 emails a day);

  4. Your emails are often complained about by recipients (this is the reason for going into spam);

  5. Your emails contain links that lead to a third-party domain (for example, you send from but in the body of the email the links to;

  6. Your emails contain 'dirty' links. For example, if people often complain about emails that contain a link to, then if you send an email with such a link (even if everything else is great) - that particular email may go to spam;

  7. Your email contains a lot of "spam words", which are trigger words that spam filters look for and which make it more likely that you will get into spam. You can check your text with a spam text checker, such as, which highlights trigger words. The more highlighted words, the bigger chance your email will be considered spam.

  8. There are also the purely technical nuances of setting up a domain, which need to be done once, namely DMARC, DKIM, and SPF.

If you do end up in spam, what can be done?

  1. Adjusting DMARK, DKIM, and SPF.

  2. Stop all mailings from this domain (at the very least keep them to a minimum, like
    50 messages a day);

  3. If the domain is new (less than a year old) - it's worth reconfiguring the mailings to an older domain (if available), or to balance for example 50/50 the old with the new;

  4. Put all the accounts of the current domain that are doing the mailing to warm up.
    Here are the tools (they will break up the mailing a little at a time and pull it out of spam);

  5. Set up custom domain tracking or if not possible, disable open and click tracking.
    To check the information about custom domain tracking, check our article:

  6. Check texts for trigger words and edit them. To check the message:

  7. If you are on the spam list, you can write to your ISP to explain the situation.
    Usually, they remove you from the list. For example:

    • Check the website address of the person who added you to the blacklist from the website:;

    • Go to the website and look for contacts, like in the next screenshot:

    • Write to the specialists, explain the situation, and ask to be deleted from the backlist;

  8. General cold email hygiene:

    • Always answer replies, even if you are rejected. It is a good marker for your recipients;

    • It is highly advisable to add an unsubscribe link/button to the letters;

    • If your reply asks you to stop sending, you should stop sending (add it to your sender's blacklist and remove it from the campaign), otherwise, there's a good chance it will report you as spam or add you to the blacklist;

  9. You can also check the recommendations from Google on how to avoid getting in Spam folders:

If you have any further questions, please contact our support team via live chat or email: [email protected]

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