Tips to Avoid the Spam Filter

Make sure your messages make it to the inbox

A spam filters' purpose is to look for message content or senders that should be filtered out of a receiver’s inbox.

One or even a handful of users having an email sent to spam does not mean that the majority of your audience had the same experience.

Message delivery is related to both the individual user's inbox settings, as well as the email service provider settings. Second Street’s sending technology and default templates are designed to give you the best possible inbox placement given your sender reputation and content quality. We suggest using A/B testing and keeping a close eye on your engagement metrics.

There are also other third party services like mail-tester.com or Litmus.com that can help you scan for email quality and identify potential spam issues before sending your messages. Note that these services are not affiliated with Second Street, but generally work with the test messages you can send via the platform. 

Individual Users Experiencing Messages Going to Spam

You can provide these general tips to your users if they are experiencing your messages going to spam, but the bulk of users are receiving the message as expected.

  1. Have the user mark the message as Not Spam in their inbox. This can take several attempts before the message will be marked safe. 
  2. Ask users to add your sender accounts to their safe senders list. This can sometimes be accomplished simply by adding the from address to their contacts. More detailed instructions are provided below.
      1. Microsoft Office/Outlook
      2. Gmail

High Rates of Spam for All Recipients: 

  • Poor Audience Engagement: You are sending to a list of users that is never opening or interacting with messages, or your audience never gave you permission to email them. Messages to unengaged audiences are much more likely to be marked as spam. Make sure you are only emailing users that have opted in to receive communication, and use deliverability boost when possible to filter out disengaged users before sending. 

Note: Check out this article from our Lab on writing an effective email opt-in.

  • Misleading Subject Lines: Your subject line should reflect the content of your email. Make sure your subject line is concise enough so users can see it in an inbox preview, and use a new subject line for each email send, even if it is a recurring email.
  • Unrecognizable or Suspicious From Name or Reply-To: We recommend using an authenticated custom from address when sending your emails. A from address that uses your domain helps build trust with your recipients and can improve your deliverability rates. If you license our email platform, you can set up and authenticate a custom from address within the platform. It is also best to use a from name and/or reply-to that users can easily identify. You can even make the from name a recognizable REAL person from your organization. Remember that users become accustomed to seeing specific sender names, branding, and content in their email messages, especially for ongoing campaigns, so be very deliberate with the changes that you make to this type of content.
  • Missing Required Information or Content: Make sure you are adhering to all requirements laid out in the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act. Rules outlined in this act apply to all types of commercial emails that you send. This article explains these requirements in more detail. 
  • SPAM Trigger Words: Certain “buzz words'' are seen as identifiers of possible spam content. These are often over-the-top descriptors or phrases that convey a sense of false urgency. Check out this resource for a lengthy list of possible spam triggers.  

Even more recommendations are available HERE in our Second Street Lab.