Experts Address Common Reasons Why Emails Go To Spam


“Oh, I’m sorry, I never received the email” seems to have become the next ”the check is in the mail” when it comes to a top excuse. However, in many cases, people are not using this as an excuse.

Experts Address Common Reasons Why Emails Go To Spam

Many important emails have been caught in spam filters, creating confusion and frustration for both sides, regardless of if the email was personal-related or business-related. 

Can you imagine that one of your clients informs you that the email he or she has been waiting on never arrived? After a few minutes on the phone with your client, you confirm that you indeed sent the email. After searching each email folder, your client finds the email, but it is in the spam folder. Throughout the week, more clients contact you regarding the same issue. 

Your emails are either in a spam folder or lost somewhere in the cyber world. When you check your email folders, each email you sent is in your Sent Items folder, but the emails are not landing in your clients’ Inbox folders.  

While improvements have certainly been made to spam filtering solutions, there are still some things that make their way into spam when they should not. Recently, a client asked, “Why does the email go to spam?” This is a good question; why do some messages go to spam filters and is there anything you can do to ensure your emails do not land in a spam folder?

There are numerous reasons why emails are trapped by spam filters. We reached out to industry experts to gather opinions on why some emails continue to land in junk and spam folders. 

Why Are Messages Going To Spam?

There are several reasons why emails are trapped by spam filters, including the type of account you are using to send messages and the keywords you are using. According to Jorge Rojas of Tektonic Inc., here are a few reasons why legitimate emails may not go straight to a client’s email inbox:

  • The sender’s server may have been listed on a blacklist
  • There may be spam trigger words
  • The message may have been sent by email service (they tend to get blocked)
  • Words in the subject that can trigger the filters
  • Message format incorrect, headers and also HTML
  • Wrong from address, or missing sender info
  • Message volume (sent to a high number of recipients)

And the list goes on, most email filter providers would not disclose their recipe.  And rightfully so, otherwise the spammers will find it easy to get around it.

Your Spam Score

Numerous things will contribute to the spam score of every email that is sent. Filters are scored from 0-10 on the Microsoft Outlook filter. 0 is considered the highest (passing the spam filter test) and 10 being the lowest (failing the spam filter test).

Ilan Sredni, CEO and President of Palindrome Consulting, Inc., believes that one of the leading contributors to emails going to spam has to do with the spam score. This is what Ilan shared with us:

“Different spam filters look into different parameters in order to score individual email as spam or not. Some of the parameters that are looked at when analyzing an incoming email are the number of users within the same domain receiving the same exact email, the sender of the email, and possibly the score of the sender’s domain. Furthermore, the contents of the email is reviewed for validity and accuracy. “

If your emails continue to land in spam folders, you will need to determine what needs to be added or eliminate to getting a score low enough to get past the spam filters.

The Messages Were Blocked By An Anti-Spam Service

Email receivers check a variety of factors when detecting spam. Some factors are related to the actual message, but generally, it is related to how often ISPs are using your sender’s reputation.

This is done to reach a decision on whether your email should be accepted and if it should be routed to the Inbox folder or the Spam or Junk folder. 

If an anti-spam service or a receiver blocks one sender that uses the same IP address, everyone who sends on that IP address will also be blocked. ISPs do not judge your message based on quality. Instead, ISPs gather their information from users. Senders who send messages that have a higher level of user activity will generally be routed to the recipient’s inbox. 

Founder and CEO of CTECH Consulting Group, Carl Fransen, shared this with us:

“The goal for a spammer is to circumvent the ever-evolving anti-spam applications.  To cover as many of the possible combinations of spam, an anti-spam program used a variety of methods to determine if a particular email could be spam. 

Are you sending from a compromised address?  When a system has been compromised and starts sending out mass spam on behalf of a spammer, that internet location (IP address) could be blacklisted.  Some anti-spam applications look at those blacklists and automatically mark everything from that address as spam.

Are you sending out a lot of large attachments or have some web links or code in your email address. This is common for signatures or a ‘book now button.  These are commonly identified as regular content that spam carries.

Are you sending out a mass email?  Some systems look at how many times you are sending out and if this one particular email has a very large recipient list.”

What Can I Do About Emails Going To Spam?

Ian Brady of Steadfast Solutions shared that we need to find out the reasons why emails are going to spam and rectify those reasons to get the emails directed correctly. This is what Ian shared with us:

  • Ensure your domain name is set up to best practices for your companies email provider. GSuite and Microsoft provide free tools to check your security. 
  • Use trusted mass email providers for any marketing emails. Configure to best practice
  • Implement an email protection solution to ensure you don’t end up on a “blacklist”
  • Content is key, especially in bulk emails. Subject titles unique, simple, reduce URL links

If your team has problems getting past spam filters, and you would like to understand the main challenges that impact deliverability and how you can overcome them, feel free to contact us.

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