Why emails go to spam and what you can do to improve delivery

Have you ever had one of your emails marked as spam? According to statistics, 80% of all sent emails are spam. As a result, spam filters are becoming stricter and even legitimate emails can end up in spam. There are some steps you can take to ensure that all your emails are being delivered into the inbox. But firstly, let’s discuss what the spam filter is and how it works.

What is a spam filter?

Even 5 years ago, the idea of the spam filter was something new and its work wasn’t checked enough. The spam filter is like a searching system, that scans the emails. If some suspicious material is found, the email ends up in junk .

How does the spam filter work?

The information that the filter looks for can be divided into three categories:

– Where the message came from:

Anti-spam organizations have created special network lists, which are called RBLs . Spam filter checks such lists for the IP, that the message was sent from. If the IP address matches one on the list, the spam score of the message increases.

– Who sent the message

Using email headers spam filters check if the email was sent by a spam engine or by a real sender. Every email has an unique ID, but when the spammers send mass emails, they all have the same ID.

– What the message looks like

Spam filter analyzes the body and the subject of the email. Strings, which can be identified as spam are ‘viagra’, ‘buy now’, ‘lowest prices’, ‘click here’, etc. Also, it looks for flashy HTML such as large fonts, blinking text, bright colors and so on. A lot of spam filters compare the whole text to the amount of suspicious words. So, for example, if your email is long, it will not be identified as spam because of a few suspicious words.

We created a list of spam trigger words that can cause your email to be marked as spam.

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Don’t hesitate!, Financially independent, Million, Save up to, Ad, For free, Million dollars, Score with babes, Additional income, For instant access, Miracle, Search engine listings, Addresses on CD, For just $ (some amount), MLM, Search engines, Affordable, For just $xxx, Money, Section 301, All natural, For Only, Money back, See for yourself, All new, For you, Money making, Sent in compliance, Amazing, Form, Month trial offer, Serious cash, Amazing stuff, Free, More Internet Traffic, Serious only, Apply now, Free access, Mortgage, Shopper, Apply Online, Free cell phone, Mortgage rates, Shopping spree, As seen on, Free consultation, Multi level marketing, Sign up free today, Auto email removal, Free consultation, Multi-level marketing, Social security number, Avoid, Free DVD, Name brand, Solution, Avoid bankruptcy, Free gift, Never, Special promotion, Bargain, Free grant money, New customers only, Stainless steel, Be amazed, Free hosting, New domain extensions, Stock alert, Be your own boss, Free info, Nigerian, Stock disclaimer statement, Being a member, Free installation, No age restrictions, Stock pick, Beneficiary, Free Instant, No catch, Stop, Best price, Free investment, No claim forms, Stop snoring, Beverage, Free leads, No cost, Strong buy, Big bucks, Free membership, No credit check, Stuff on sale, Bill 1618, Free money, No disappointment, Subject to cash, Billing address, Free offer, No experience, Subject to credit, Billion, Free preview, No fees, Subscribe, Billion dollars, Free priority mail, No gimmick, Success, Bonus, Free quote, No hidden, Supplies are limited, Brand new pager, Free sample, No inventory, Take action now, Bulk email, Free trial, No investment, Talks about hidden charges, Buy, Free website, No medical exams, Talks about prizes, Buy direct, Freedom, No middleman, Teen, Buying judgements, Friend, No obligation, Tells you it’s an ad, Buying judgments, Full refund, No purchase necessary, Terms and conditions, Cable converter, Get, No questions asked, The best rates, Call, Get it now, No selling, The following form, Call free, Get out of debt, No strings attached, They keep your money – no refund, Call now, Get paid, No-obligation, They’re just giving it away, Calling creditors, Get started now, Not intended, This isn’t junk, Cancel at any time, Gift certificate, Notspam, This isn’t spam, Cannot be combined with any other offer, Give it away, Now, This won’t last, Can’t live without, Giving away, Now only, Thousands, Cards accepted, Great offer, Obligation, Time limited, Cash, Guarantee, Off shore, Trial, Cash bonus, Guaranteed, Offer, Undisclosed recipient, Cashcashcash, Have you been turned down?, Offer expires, University diplomas, Casino, Hello, Once in lifetime, Unlimited, Celebrity, Here, One hundred percent free, Unsecured credit, Cell phone cancer scam, Hidden, One hundred percent guaranteed, Unsecured credit/debt, Cents on the dollar, Hidden assets, One time, Unsecured debt, Certified, Hidden charges, One time mailing, Unsolicited, Chance, Home, Online biz opportunity, Unsubscribe, Cheap, Home based, Online degree, Urgent, Check, Home employment, Online marketing, US dollars, Check or money order, Homebased business, Online pharmacy, Vacation, Claims, Human growth hormone, Only, Vacation offers, Claims not to be selling anything, If only it were that easy, Only $, Valium, Claims to be in accordance with some spam law, Important information regarding, Open, Viagra, Claims to be legal, In accordance with laws, Opportunity, Viagra and other drugs, Clearance, Income, Opt in, Vicodin, Click, Income from home, Order, Visit our website, Click below, Increase sales, Order now, Wants credit card, Click here, Increase traffic, Order shipped by, Warranty, Click to remove, Increase your sales, Order status, We hate spam, Collect, Incredible deal, Order today, We honor all, Collect child support, Info you requested, Orders shipped by, Web traffic, Compare, Information you requested, Outstanding values, Weekend getaway, Compare rates, Instant, Passwords, Weight loss, Compete for your business, Insurance, Pennies a day, What are you waiting for?, Confidentially on all orders, Internet market, Per day, While supplies last, Congratulations, Internet marketing, Per week, While you sleep, Consolidate debt and credit, Investment, Performance, Who really wins?, Consolidate your debt, Investment decision, Phone, Why pay more?, Copy accurately, It’s effective, Please read, Wife, Copy DVDs, It’s effective, Potential earnings, Will not believe your eyes, Cost, Join millions, Pre-approved, Win, Costs, Join millions of Americans, Price, Winner, Credit, Laser printer, Prices, Winner, Credit bureaus, Leave, Print form signature, Winning, Credit card offers, Legal, Print out and fax, Won, Cures baldness, Life, Priority mail, Work at home, Deal, Life Insurance, Prize, Work from home, Dear [email/friend/somebody], Lifetime, Prizes, Xanax, Diagnostics, limited time, Problem, You are a winner!, Dig up dirt on friends, Limited time offer, Produced and sent out, You have been selected, Direct email, Limited time only, Profits, You’re a Winner!, Direct marketing, Loans, Promise you, Your income, Discount, Long distance phone offer, Pure Profits, Do it today, Lose, Quote, Don’t delete, Lose weight, Quotes, Don’t hesitate, Lose weight spam, Real thing, Dormant, Lower interest rate, Refinance, Double your, Lower interest rates, Refinance home, Double your income, Lower monthly payment, Refinanced home, Drastically reduced, Lower your mortgage rate, Removal instructions, Earn, Lowest insurance rates, Remove, Earn $, Lowest Price, Removes wrinkles, Earn extra cash, Luxury car and Reserves the right.

There are several things you can do to improve your email delivery:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • The email should be identified as an ad if that is what you are sending
  • The recipients should have information about your location
  • Include unsubscribe link
  • Do not use too many special symbols, especially at the beginning or in the end of the sentence
  • Check the formatting. If it is possible, avoid different colors of the fonts
  • Do not use shortened URLs. Those are often used by spammers to hide their real URLs
  • Add text version of an email. When you send HTML emails, include a text version of the email
  • Test email with spam checkers like https://www.mail-tester.com/ where you will send your email to the specified address and then check your score
  • Check your IP and domain in blacklists. If your IP or domain is blacklisted you should whitelist it or contact your email service provider before sending emails.
  • Be careful with the images. It is recommended not to send emails with images only. Make sure you have no less than two strings of the text to every image and your images are optimized
  • Avoid some types of attachments like .exe, .zip, .swf. It is okay to use .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf
  • Check SPF and DKIM records. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records allow domain owners to publish a list of IP addresses that are authorized to send email on their behalf. The goal is to reduce the amount of spam and fraud by making it much harder for malicious senders to disguise their identity. Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) helps you protect your company from email spamming and phishing attempts. It provides a method for validating a domain name identity that is associated with a message through cryptographic authentication. You may use this guide to set SPF and DKIM for your domain in cPanel
  • Do not purchase email lists. It is common practice to purchase lists of potential clients. However, a lot of email addresses in such lists are not correct and your IP/domain can get blacklisted for mass mailing very fast. It is better to send individual emails to real people
  • Check your how your emails are delivered. You can create different email accounts with popular email providers like Google, Yahoo and so on and send test emails to them
  • Send the emails to your clients on a regular basis and instruct your recipients on how to whitelist your email address.

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