Email Marketing: How to Keep Your Messages Out of Your Customer’s Spam Box

If your email newsletter is ending up in your customer’s spam box, your efforts at producing excellent communication are all in vain. How can you develop an email marketing strategy that will prevent this from happening?


As many of us know, email is a great marketing tool, allowing you to engage your customers and keep them informed about things they might be interested in, and many companies put considerable effort into their e-newsletter content.



Consider these three tips:

1. Obey the Rules

If you are sending emails that are classified as spam, even your legitimate communications are likely to end up in the recipient’s spam filter. Many companies don’t realize that an email doesn’t have to be regular advertising to be classified as spam. Simply put, spam is any unsolicited commercial email. In other words, you can’t add your contact list to your email distribution list without having them opt-in to receive your email newsletter.

Additionally, each email must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. This means you must have a way for recipients to unsubscribe within the email and take care of those requests promptly. CAN-SPAM requires that you include your full mailing address as well.

2. Communicate Clearly

Sometimes customers simply do not remember adding themselves to a distribution list. It’s a good idea to send a verification email after the initial opt-in request. It can simply say, “click this link, or reply to this message to be added to our list.” This process reminds your customer who you are, establishes that you are a trusted sender and verifies that they gave you a correct email address. Lastly, it gives you two ways to prove to a service provider that the person requested your communication if you get reported as a spammer. On another note, people are unlikely to report you as a spammer if it’s obvious how to unsubscribe. Make sure this feature is clearly communicated and not hidden.

3. Be Proactive

If you do receive an email bounce indicating your message was classified as spam, be proactive. The bounced message will usually contain the name of the service provider that bounced you. Visit their website or call customer service and inquire about the process for being removed from the blacklist.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Email Marketing Trends for 2014
Five Marketing Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
200 of Google’s Website Ranking Factors [Infographic]
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook

This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out the social media marketing and website design packages from The Sherwood Group. We’ll help you capture new business and achieve your goals.

“Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

      LinkedIn logo      Facebook logo      Twitter logo

LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


  • By Ryan Law 20 Jan 2014

    Your point about opting-in, and re-affirming that opt-in, is vital to any email marketing strategy – probably the most vital in my opinion! To add some extra points:

    4. Use non-conventional subject lines – less ‘January Newsletter’ and more ‘Breaking Business News’ or ‘You’re About to Miss Out…’. Less formulaic and commonly-used subject lines with help stay out of the spam box!

    5. Use a ‘personal’ email address to send out your newsletter. An email from ‘’ is less likely to get trashed than one from ‘’. This also helps with improving click-through rates!

  • By Jay Snively 20 Jan 2014

    Your three tips are certainly among the most important and I’ll add at least one more:

    4. Send messages regularly!

    I see many, many organizations make the mistake of emailing too infrequently.

    Often a company acquires a subscriber and then sends out an email only once or twice a year. By then, the subscriber has forgotten who it is that sent the email (or why they are on this company’s list) and [click] – it’s spam.

  • By Jay Snively 20 Jan 2014

    Clean your list to improve deliverability rates.

    Most email service providers use overall email metrics to determine your sender reputation score. In some cases, this can land your messages in the spam folder.

    It’s a good idea to run a list reactivation campaign to get those subscribers who still want your messages to say so.

    Along the same lines, you could actually ask people to unsubscribe. This sounds counter-intuitive at first, but there are a couple of good reasons to do this.

  • By 20 Jan 2014

    You can setup an email address at some of the more popular sites like Gmail,, (any of the free services). If you know anyone that uses other spam detection services ask if they can be a tester for you. Then create an email group and send your newsletter out to those addresses to test. See which one sends it to the junk folder.

    You can also periodically check sites like to see if your domain/server ip is on any spam block lists. If you are on shared hosting this can happen because of someone else sending spammy emails. Might want to move to a new server/ip to get on a clean environment.
    Without knowing your newsletter tool, it would be difficult to comment further.

    One of our services we specialize in is Email Spam Filtering service. Check out our free 30 day trials at

  • By Don Wallace 20 Jan 2014

    One issue not covered in this posting – which is mainly concerned with content – is the use of the proper tool for the email list delivery job.

    “Email newsletter” implies mass emailings. Most businesses and groups with more than a very list members should use one of the email list providers like MailChimp or Constant Contact. The providers’ job is to ensure deliverability of properly targeted email. They do this through a combination of policies – zero spam tolerance and providing a double-opt-in method for subscribers – and maintaining a high spam watchdog community reputation for their servers.

    An individual sending out email lists will find it tough to match an email list provider’s resources. It’s Constant Contact’s, et al’s job to keep their servers off of the SpamCop lists, so you can do your job.

    Now, there is also the aspect of the message content – it’s possible to create legitimate email list messages that resemble SPAM, which then get rejected by properly subscribed user’s email systems. Again, this is why it’s a good reason to use a mailing list provider – the big names such as Constant Contact have tools that you can use to grade your new email for SPAM similarity. So you can avoid the problem before sending anything.

    So, the point is – don’t use a free or ISP based standard email service for mailing lists, unless you have a list consisting of just a few colleagues who all know you.

    Don Wallace

  • By Anna HG 21 Jan 2014

    The responses so far to this interesting discussion have all been relating to the delivery vehicle for your newsletter – which admittedly is important, and I totally agree about steering away from free ISPs – nothing smacks of spam more than an email that is not obviously from a corporate account.

    However the content of the missive should also be taken into account in my opinion. I am assuming that your newsletter is not a 100% impartial, fact-based, knowledge sharing communication – there will (if not for you, then for most other companies) be some content that relates to what you do, what you offer, what a great company you are or in some other way induces the reader to *buy in* to your business in some way? An email newsletter is just another form of outreach marketing after all.
    It is prudent to run not just the subject line for your email, but the entire content too, through a spam checking application – this will indicate how likely your mail is to be regarded as spam.

    And don’t forget that it is not just the server bots that make this decision – you may have evaded them and the email has landed in the intended recipients inbox, but you also need to ensure that they don’t immediately click the *junk* button or add you or your domain to their spam reject list!

    Getting your email to the inbox is just the first hurdle – getting it read is the second!

  • By Joe Fugate 03 May 2014

    Opt in / opt out makes a huge difference here. If it’s something you opted in on and are interested in, you don’t consider those emails spam regardless of how frequent they might be – they’re part of your life and what you care about.

  • By the ghost of peter sellers watch online 09 Jun 2020

    I have mastered some important things through your site post. One other subject I would like to mention is that there are lots of games available and which are designed especially for preschool age small children. They include pattern acceptance, colors, wildlife, and designs. These commonly focus on familiarization instead of memorization. This will keep little ones occupied without experiencing like they are learning. Thanks

  • By John Deere Diagnostic and Test Manuals 09 Jun 2020

    Hi, have you ever pondered to write regarding Nintendo Dsi handheld?

  • By Kirk Aliberti 09 Jun 2020

    Keep up the wonderful work , I read few content on this site and I think that your blog is very interesting and contains sets of great info .