Emails that lands in your spam folder are sometimes Legitimate. Sometimes they do get in there, sometimes they don’t. Gmail automatically classify messages as “spam” if they look spammy. And in general, they do a pretty good job. But those filters aren’t perfect.
You must be wondering, “why are my emails landing in spam folder even though I am not a spammer?”
But the truth is that the spam filters don’t know your intentions and they rely solely on how you follow the rules of email marketing. If your behaviour mimics that of a spammer, you are also tagged as one of them and your emails are sent to the spam folder. However, understanding Gmail’s spam filtering criteria greatly helps in avoiding mails tagged as Spam. Let’s check the below main reasons and avoid it.
1. The Sender Information is Inaccurate.
You must clearly state who you are (or who is your company) and don’t include any inaccurate information that could mislead someone.
Inaccurate From/Reply-To info – Make sure the domain in the “From:”, matches the domain you’re using to authenticate your emails.
2. You’re Using Spam Trigger Words.
Gmail’s spam filter straightaway marks emails as spam when it contains certain words or phrases. For example, a mail with a subject “You are shortlisted to check free score” automatically put in the Spam folder. Similarly, if messages include a link to a website that is blacklisted, the messages will be caught in email spam filters too.
Avoid spam trigger words such as “toll-free”, “dear friend”, “risk free”, “special offer”, etc.
3. You haven’t set up proper authentication.
There are major email authentication standards aimed at authenticating your emails which will automatically make you look more trustworthy in the eyes of spam filters. Instead of being a random number, you’ve proven who you are and that you actually control the domain name that you’re sending from.
The biggest tactics are:
– DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
– SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
– DMARC – requires you to already be using DKIM and SPF
If you’re using a custom email address and you haven’t set up these authentication methods, that’s one of the biggest reasons why your emails are going to spam.
4. You’re using a bad email list.
If you’re sending bulk emails to a list of subscribers, there are a few things that can get you into spam:
No permission – if you didn’t receive explicit opt-in from subscribers, that can lead to spam issues.
Stale list – if your list contains lots of inactive/disabled email accounts where emails bounce, that looks spammy to filters.
Low engagement – if your emails have very low open rates, ISPs might take this as a sign that your subscribers don’t want your emails, which can increase the list of getting marked as spam.
5. There’s a Large Image with Minimal Text.
Your email should not be images only, have a good image to text ratio. But you should be aware of your text to image ratio and strive for 60/40, meaning that your email should be roughly 60 percent text and 40 percent image.
6. There’s No Opt-Out Link.
Your email should not be images only, add a good image to text ratio. But you should be aware of your text to image ratio and strive for 60/40, meaning that your email should be roughly 60% text and 40% image.
7. You Weren’t Given Permission.
The opt-out link in your emails is required by law and allows your recipients to unsubscribe from receiving your emails.
Having an easily visible and accessible unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email will have a great impact on your deliverability.
8. Have a Bad IP Reputation.
An email should be sent only to people who want to receive them. This is one of the most important principles to follow because it will always help improve your deliverability. Rather than purchasing unreliable bulk email lists, that will ruin your sender reputation and deliverability, build opt-in lists through your website or application.
9. Low Engagement Rates.
Top webmail providers have stated that they look at how many emails are opened and how many are deleted as of a factor in spam filtering decisions.
So, if you have low open rates or read rates, your emails are at higher risk of being flagged as spam. You need to do everything you can to increase engagement.
Other than targeting the right audience from the start, you can send your emails at the right time, perfect your subject lines, segment your list, and keep your list fresh by scrubbing it regularly.
10. HTML Emails Don’t Follow Best Practices.
Sometimes, you may want to send HTML emails from your business. That way, you can include some branding elements that make your emails more memorable and help with engagement.
However, you need to follow some best practices for sending HTML emails, so they don’t get marked as spam:
– Use a maximum width of 600-800 pixels.
– Keep your HTML code as clean and straightforward as possible.
– Keep your image-to-text ratio low.
– Optimize your images.
– Don’t use obscure fonts.
– Optimize for mobile.
In short, mail ends up in Gmail spam folder when it matches Gmail’s spam filter criteria. By avoiding the reasons listed above, you can make significant improvements.