Emails Sent to Spam
How can I avoid emails going to spam?
This article describes how to reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked or flagged as spam. This will yield higher open rates and gain more clients for your email compaign.
Laying the Groundwork for Your Email Campaign
The following authentication methods can be used to minimize the chance of your emails being marked as spam:
Publish an SPF record for your domain
Turn on DKIM signing for your messages
Publish a DMARC record for your domain
For further information on the authentication methods above, please refer to this article from Google.
Acquire a secondary domain specifically for email campaigns, i.e. a domain separate from the domain that you use for your day-to-day business operations. Using a secondary domain means that your primary domain won't be marked as spam or even blacklisted, which could otherwise have significant consequences for your day-to-day business operations.
Complete your Google profile as fully as possible to maximize the chances of Google identifying you as a real person acting on behalf of a real business, rather than as a spammer. This should include completing all fields on your Google profile with genuine information and adding a good profile picture that is relevant and not generic.
Create an email signature which will be included at the foot of all of your emails. Your email signature should include your name, job title, email address and phone number, as well as your company's name, mailing address and website. Key to engagement with your recipients is ensuring that your email looks professional and reputable. Your recipients are much more likely to open, read and respond to your email if it's clear that the email originates from a legitimate business.
Sign up to newsletters. This will help to ensure that your email address is viewed as genuine by Google and that it's regularly used. It's important that you remember to confirm your email address when prompted by each of the newsletter providers so that the newsletters actually come through to your inbox.
Send emails to friends and family and ask them to reply. Again, this will help to ensure that your email address is viewed as genuine by Google and that it's regularly used. It will also demonstrate that your email address is used to send and receive organic emails and not just automated or bulk emails. As the interaction with your email address increases, you can slowly start to increase the number of emails that you send.
Executing Your Email Campaign
Quality content is essential not only to avoid emails being marked as spam, but also to improve engagement with your recipients. Quality content means well-written emails that are free from typos and spam words or phrases, that are not saturated with images and links, and that are not lengthy or generic, but concise and meaningful instead. You should avoid sending email attachments, especially with your early emails (file link attachments can be used instead). Your email subject should be simple and relevant.
Ensure that your emails are relevant to your recipients. One all but guaranteed way for your emails to be marked as spam is to send them to the wrong recipients, i.e. recipients for whom the content is not relevant. It's therefore essential to have the right leads and to take the time to do your research. If you're marketing to another business, make sure you send the email to the correct department or the right person responsible for making decisions regarding your product or service.
Make sure your mailing list is kept up-to-date. Another sure way for your emails to be marked as spam is for a high proportion of them to bounce, i.e. the email address no longer exists and your email cannot reach its intended recipient. Again, good leads are essential in this case. If your emails do bounce, remove those recipients from your mailing list. As a rough guide, try to aim for a bounce rate of less than 10% to avoid triggering Google's algorithm.
Schedule your emails. Email scheduling is a great way to avoid emails being marked as spam as it enables you to spread your emails out in small batches so that they aren't all sent at once in one big batch. Further information on scheduling emails can be found in this article.
Start with a small list of recipients and expand the list gradually. While it may be tempting to get your email campaign into full swing as soon as possible, doing so risks your emails getting marked as spam or even blocked from the outset. Your email account isn't yet ready to handle the volume of emails associated with bulk email campaigns. Therefore, it's best to keep your mailing list small to start with and to personalize your emails using *|merge fields|*.
This approach will result in higher engagement, good visibility and good relationships with your (initially) small group of recipients. It will also establish your business as legitimate in the eyes of Google and set a precedent for your email traffic in the future.
NOTE: When sending bulk emails, it's inevitable that some will be marked as spam. The steps above describe how to minimize the chances of emails being marked as spam, not how to avoid emails being marked as spam altogether.