10 Hints Your Emails Are Going to Spam

Email response rate dropping? It could be a simple technical issue. Check out these 10 hints to know if your emails go to spam!
how to know if your emails are going to spam
Every salesperson's nightmare:

You've crafted the perfect cold email and found the right audience, but you're not getting responses like you were just two weeks ago.

What's gone wrong?

You're most likely going into spam.

And this is a technical, email deliverability issue you need to fix.

But how to catch it soon to make sure you start fixing it right away?

Let's take a look at 10 hints that it may be time to freshen up your email domain or get a new one.
how to know if your emails are going to spam

1- Your Open & Reply Rates are Declining

The problem:

One of the most obvious signs that your emails are going to spam is a decline in open and reply rates.

When recipients don't see or respond to your emails, it signals to email providers that your messages may not be relevant or wanted. This could also be due to changes in email algorithms or filters, which may classify your emails as spam based on certain keywords or formatting.

The solution:

To avoid this issue, regularly monitor your email metrics and take note if there is a sudden drop in open and reply rates.

This could indicate that your emails are being sent to spam folders and you may need to make adjustments to improve your email deliverability.

2- You're Using Spam-Trigger Words

The problem:

Certain words, such as "free", "discount", or "urgent", may raise red flags for spam filters. They're known as spam-trigger words.

If your subject line or email content contains these words, it is more likely to be marked as spam.

The solution:

To avoid this issue, use alternative phrases that convey the same message without triggering spam filters. Additionally, make sure your email content is relevant and not overly promotional.

3- Your Sender Reputation is Damaged

The problem:

Your sender reputation is a measure of how trustworthy your email address and domain are.

If you have a poor sender reputation, you have sent out many unsolicited emails, or you have consistently had low open or click-through rates. This can happen if your email list is not well-maintained and contains a high number of inactive or invalid email addresses.

It's important to regularly clean your email list and remove any inactive or invalid addresses to maintain a good sender reputation.

The solution:

To improve your sender reputation, make sure only to send relevant and valuable content to your subscribers. Additionally, avoid purchasing email lists or sending mass emails without permission.

Make sure you regularly clean your email lists to remove inactive or invalid email addresses, and always provide an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from your emails.

If you have a damaged sender reputation, it may take time and effort to repair it, but doing so will greatly increase the chances of your emails reaching the inbox instead of the spam folder.

4- Your Email Address Was Inactive

The problem:

Your email address becoming inactive, or judged to be inactive, can happen due to a number of reasons such as inactivity for an extended period of time, exceeding storage limits, or even changing your email provider.

If your email address becomes inactive, your emails will likely go to spam folders. This is because email providers consider inactive addresses as potential sources of spam and automatically filter them out.

The solution:

To avoid this issue, regularly check and keep your email account active.

If you do decide to switch email providers, update your contacts with your new address to prevent any emails from going to spam in the future.

5- You Send a Generic Email Body

The problem:

Do you find yourself sending the same email body to multiple prospects?

This is another red flag for spam filters as it shows a lack of personalization and a singular email sent to everyone - a key spam component.

The solution:

To avoid this issue, try to personalize your emails by addressing the recipient by name and including relevant details or information specific to them.

Additionally, avoid using language or formatting commonly associated with spam emails, such as excessive capital letters, exclamation marks, or unusual fonts.

Keep your email body simple and professional to increase the chances of it landing in the recipient's inbox instead of their spam folder. Take the time to tailor your emails for each individual rather than using a generic template. This will help avoid the spam folder and make your prospects feel valued and more likely to engage with your content.

6- Your Email Contains Images and/or Links

The problem:

Including images or links in your emails can also increase their chances of being marked as spam.

This is especially true if the images or links lead to suspicious websites or contain spammy keywords.

The solution:

To avoid this, ensure that any images or links in your emails are relevant and come from trustworthy sources. Avoid using too many images and limit the number of links to only necessary ones.

Also, use proper alt tags for your images and include a clear call-to-action for any links.

Lastly, be cautious of any attachments you send in your emails, as they can also trigger spam filters.

7- You Are Not Warming-Up Your Email

The problem:

If you're using a fairly new email account and domain and you're facing low open and reply rates, it's worth checking if it was warmed up, especially before sending out large volumes of emails.

Email warm-up means gradually increasing the number of emails you send over time instead of immediately sending out mass emails.

The solution:

To avoid this issue, use a tool to warm-up your email.

Warming up your email account helps establish a good sender reputation and signals to spam filters that your emails are legitimate.

It also allows you to monitor any issues or errors and make necessary adjustments before sending out many emails.

Building a good sender reputation takes time and effort, so be patient and consistent in your email strategies to avoid being marked as spam.

8- Your Email List is Not Cleaned Up

The problem:

When was the last time you cleaned up your email list?

If it has been a while, chances are some of the email addresses on your list are no longer active or relevant.

Email providers view excessive bounce rates and inactive subscribers as indications of spammy behavior, which can lead to your emails being sent straight to spam, so it's definitely something else to watch out for.

The solution:

Cleaning up your email list regularly is crucial for maintaining a good sender reputation and ensuring your emails reach the inbox.

Consider implementing a re-engagement campaign to remind inactive subscribers to confirm their subscription or remove them from your list altogether.

9- Your Domain is New and Unused

The problem:

Another sign you may be ending up in spam, similar to the warm-up issue, is that you're using a new domain.

If you haven't used it to send emails before, this could also be a red flag for email providers. They view new domains with suspicion, as they are often associated with spam or fraudulent activity.

The solution:

Once again, the solution is warm-up. To establish your domain's credibility, start by sending smaller batches of emails and gradually increase the volume over time.

This will help build trust with email providers and improve the chances of your emails reaching the inbox. It's also important to regularly monitor your domain's reputation and address any issues that may arise.

10- Your Emails Are Bouncing

The problem:

If your emails are consistently bouncing, it's a sign to email providers that your list is not properly managed and is potentially sending spam.

Bounces occur when an email cannot be delivered to the recipient's inbox due to various reasons such as a non-existent email address or a full inbox.

The solution:

To prevent bounces, regularly clean up your email list and ensure you have permission from all subscribers to send them emails.

Additionally, monitor your email delivery rates and take necessary actions to improve them if needed.


What is Spam?

Spam refers to unsolicited or unwanted emails that are sent in bulk to a large number of recipients.

These emails often contain advertisements, scams, or malicious content and can harm the recipient's inbox and computer. They are typically sent without the prospect's consent and can clog up email servers and clutter inboxes.

Why Are My Cold Emails Going to Spam?

Cold emails often go to spam because they are sent without the recipient's consent and can be seen as spam by email providers.

The intent behind a cold email, though, is very different and non-malicious compared to spam.

However, due to sheer volume and thus the lower open rates, it is very easy for cold emails to end up in spam if prospects are not in your correct customer profile, your copy isn't compelling, or your lists are outdated.

Due to these similarities, cold emails can easily end up in spam, and salespeople should always be on the lookout for this when analyzing their metrics weekly.

How to Stop My Emails from Going to Spam?

To prevent your emails from going to spam, follow email best practices, such as ensuring you're in the right customer profile, sending relevant and valuable content, and regularly cleaning up your email list.

Additionally, monitor your email delivery rates and address any issues that may arise.

Building a good sender reputation is also important by gradually increasing email volume and maintaining consistent sending patterns.

Finally, make sure all the technical details are sorted out: warmed up email, the right amount of contacts added every day not to overdue it, analyzing and metrics tools, enough personalization with automated tools to help you, and DKIM, SPF, DMARC all set up!


Ensuring that your emails reach the inbox instead of going to spam requires constant attention and effort.

By following these hints and continuously monitoring your email practices, you can avoid the common mistakes that lead to your emails being marked as spam.

Keep in mind that email deliverability is an ongoing process.

It's important to regularly review and improve your strategies to maintain a good sender reputation and increase the chances of your emails being delivered successfully and reaching your intended audience.

For SDRs who know email deliverability like the back of their hands, make sure to get in touch with our team!
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