Why are my messages being marked as Spam?

Spam seems to be getting worse rather than getting better. A Spam email is basically an email that you receive from someone that you did not request, subscribe to, or are even familiar with the sender. Because of the ever-evolving nature of Spam and Spam filters, sometimes your email messages will get flagged as Spam.

Every email that goes to a mail system is evaluated for its "spammy-ness" and given a score. Below are some helpful tools to explain why your messages might be getting flagged as Spam and what you can do about it. Just keep in mind there aren’t really hard rules for spam - it is an ever-changing process, but these guidelines should serve you well.

  1. Avoid using "spammy" words and phrases. Here is an impressive list of words and phrases that commonly trigger Spam filters: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30684/The-Ultimate-List-of-Email-SPAM-Trigger-Words.aspx
  2. Don't use too many images
  3. Avoid sending to email lists that you just purchased online. In other words: know your recipients. Many spam filters will check to see if lists are out of date and will increase your spam score accordingly.
  4. Avoid sending attachments to large groups of people.
  5. Avoid sending mass emails too close together. Lots of emails being sent to lots of people in a short amount of time will quickly trigger spam filters.

Here is a great article from MailChimp (well-known and much-used mass email service) about the common and not-so-common Spam triggers their users are guilty of:


They also have a fantastic overview about what Spam is and how to avoid it:


Finally, one further helpful article from Qualtrics on avoiding being marked as spam:



There is some overlap in what these articles are sharing which means you should definitely pay attention to those things. Case in point: avoid bright red and bright green fonts.

If you follow the suggestions in these articles, you will have a much easier time getting your messages to the inbox of just about anyone you chose to mail to.

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