How to prevent emails going to recipient's Junk folder? Print

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If you have been sending emails and know that your emails are going to your recipients' junk folder and don't know what to do? Here, we explain how to improve your email deliverability In this Knowledgebase, you learn how to email to your recipients to give the best chance of making it into their inbox. This is what we called "deliverability" and is what we called the first step to having a successful email marketing.

How to prevent emails going to the Junk folder?
One of the problems faced by email sender is making sure that emails go to the recipient's inbox instead of going to the junk folder. When everything works by whether the recipient opens an email, that means the recipient needs to actually see the email first. In another word, how many of us check our junk or spam folders regularly?

To prevent your emails going to the junk folder is one of the complex issue that you need to keep in mind. Here we provide you some tips which could help your emails getting into the inbox

1. Don't Use "The Big Image"
Embedding images in email is not an issue, but sending an email that's all one big image file definitely is, for many reasons. Foremost among reasons is that spam filters look for those types of image-based emails . Big image files often carry hidden messages that would normally get caught in spam filters, so, when a spam filter can't read any real text in an email and only sees an image, it assumes the worst.

2. Don't Sound Like a Spammer!
 This one should be obvious! The more "spam-like" text and phrases your email uses, the less likely it is to end up in the inbox. There are a number of free software solutions to check the "spam score" of an email before you send it, but there are also basic rules.

  • Don't use the word "free" too many times.
  • Don't use ALL CAPS.
  • Don't use lots of colored fonts.
  • Only use one exclamation point at a time!
  • Stay away from words you'd see in spam: Viagra, drugs, porn, promo, etc.

3. Don't Have Sloppy HTML Code
Spam filters check for bad html code, particularly if it looks like the code was done in Microsoft Word and then thrown into an email. Use a professional coder (preferably one who has done email templates before and knows the best way to make them resolve properly in an inbox) or a template provided by your email sending partner.

4. Avoid Certain Attachment Types
In general, .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf attachments are safe to send, provided you include some content in the email as well. However, executable attachments such as .exe, .swf, etc. should be avoided entirely. Generally, you should not send attachments to people on your list who are not expecting them.

5. You Have Low Open Rates
Top webmail providers have stated that they look at how many emails are opened and how many are deleted without being opened as a factor in their spam filtering decisions. This is the top reason for inbox placement issues, effecting 26% of email campaigns incorrectly flagged as spam.
So if you have low open rates, your emails are at higher risk of being flagged as spam.
To increase your open rates, send your emails at the right time, perfect your subject lines, segment your list, and keep your list fresh.

6. Pay attention to your links in your email
Spam filters check the URLS that you are linking to. If you link to a domain that has a poor reputation you will be penalized.

7. Don’t use link shortening services like bit.ly
Your links should be full links to the real URL. Link shortening services like bit.ly are used heavily by spammers.

8. Examine your email bounces
When an email bounces, it will tell you "why" it's being bounced and give you a source or reason for the bounce. Though, you would only do this after examining the reason for the block and making sure that you have done your due diligence by reading their bounce messages and confirmed that you're not sending spam.

9. Break Large Lists Down
There are many reasons to break large email lists down into smaller ones, but the best reason is that doing so will mean that the spam complaints that you receive when you send your email won't be in one huge mass. It is inevitable that even loyal subscribers sometimes mark you as spam. If you send your large list in smaller segments, the email provider (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) will see less spam complaints bundled together at one time.

10. Clean" Your Email List
Most, if not all, email providers' spam filters penalize your domain or IP with a higher spam score (meaning there's a higher possibility of your emails going to junk folder) if they see that you are sending emails to bad email accounts. A bad email account is an address that doesn't exist or has been disabled. These addresses should be cleaned (or "pruned") from your email list regularly to avoid this. If you allow them to add up on your list, you will eventually be flagged as a spam provider.

11. Provide a Clear Unsub Link
Nobody likes it when somebody unsubscribes from their email list. However, providing a clear way to unsubscribe (and then honoring that unsub quickly) means that users are less likely to get frustrated and just mark you as spam. The number one criterion for ending up in the junk box is the number of spam complaints that you receive, so avoiding them at all costs is critical.

12. Test Your Email
Before you send your entire email list the message you've worked so hard on, send a test message to each of the big email providers (Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN, Gmail, AOL and one generic office address that is viewed in an Outlook client). Send the test email using the exact same server and information that you'll use with your main list. If the test ends up with most of your emails going to junk folder, then it means you'll end up in the junk box on your main send also. The pre-send test means that you can try different subject lines and email content to try to figure out what sent you to spam.


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Ultimately, you cannot force people to receive your emails or control how they perceive when an email is being labeled as spam or junk email. You can only control those factors that may lead your domain or email as being labeled as a spam by observing the reaction to the emails that you send out. Hopefully, the information that we have provided will help you (and anyone else reading this post) in at least stopping spam being inadvertently being sent as well as providing possible solutions that will lead to successfully marketing your business through email.

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