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B2B email marketing – here’s how to stop your marketing emails going to spam


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Approximately half of the email communication on the planet in January 2021 was spam, according to Statista.

Given these metrics, it is no surprise that spam filters are working overtime to ensure our inboxes are kept clear for important messages.

Early spam filters relied primarily on the email subscriber flagging marketing emails as spam.

The more flags your brand received, the lower your reputation, and the more likely your marketing emails would be to go straight in the spam folder.

Filtering spam is becoming more complex as new technologies like AI and machine learning are introduced. 

AI-powered email and SMS marketing software play a role in reducing the likelihood of emails going to spam by incorporating various best practices and features.

Email marketing software often supports authentication protocols to help verify the sender’s identity and increase the chances of email deliverability.

This software supports easy opt-in and opt-out mechanisms, allowing recipients to subscribe and unsubscribe from email lists, ensuring that only interested recipients receive emails, and reducing the chances of spam complaints.

Additionally, email marketing software programs usually have built-in tools that scan email content, decreasing the likelihood of emails triggering spam filters.

Since spam filters won’t become obsolete anytime soon, email marketers should try to better understand them.

When you understand how spam filters work, you’ll be able to set up an email system that will keep your email campaign in prospect inboxes, and make email marketing work for you.

What causes emails to go to spam

The delivery of your email campaign depends on a variety of factors.

Emails that contain certain words, phrases, or formatting commonly associated with spam may trigger spam filters.

Examples include excessive use of capital letters, misleading subject lines, and an overuse of spammy terms like “free,” “urgent,” or “guaranteed,” which are often used in digital marketing campaigns.

If you send emails to recipients who haven’t explicitly opted in to receive your messages or use purchased email lists, your emails are more likely to be considered spam.

Including links to suspicious websites or attaching files that are commonly associated with spam (e.g., .exe files) can lead to email filtering.

If the sender’s domain or IP address has been flagged for spammy behavior in the past, their

emails have a high chance of getting filtered.

Additionally, proper email authentication using technologies like SPF (Sender Policy Framework) can influence email deliverability.

As an email marketing agency, the team at More Than Words Marketing face a number of challenges when executing email marketing campaigns for clients.

If you are an email marketer, here are some of the top challenges you should look out for.

You are targeting the wrong audience

Deliverability of promotional emails is closely tied to subscriber engagement.

If your email newsletter is regularly incorrectly marked as spam, it could be because you have a low open rate, or engagement rates. 

The most common cause of low engagement rates is having an email list made up of the wrong target audience.

Every marketer wants a large email list, and email automation makes it easy to send email content to a large group at once. 

But where many fall down is by not doing everything possible to improve their email lists.

The focus should be on getting the right kind of subscribers rather than simply getting more subscribers. 

With an outdated list of personal data for prospects and customers, not only do you risk damaging your sender reputation with email bounces, but you’ll also be analysing your direct marketing campaigns based on inaccurate information.

Further, transactional emails are welcomed more by those subscribers that have a need for the product or service you are selling, so the more highly-targeted your list, the better.

The best advice for email marketing strategy we can give you is to keep your business email database clean and current.

Spam traps

Sending email to spam traps is one of the fastest ways for any small business to damage their domain reputation.

Over time, an email service provider (ESP) may shut down an account if the user stops using it. Gmail accounts, for example, have a two-year time limit.

ESPs recycle email addresses that have been locked, and sometimes turn the address into a spam trap. 

Spam traps don’t trigger bounces, but senders who email them may have their emails blocked. For this reason, it’s imperative to remove completely inactive email addresses from your list.

Low engagement

Webmail providers have stated that they consider the amount of opened and deleted emails when deciding how to filter spam.

Thus, if your open rate or read rate is low, you are at higher risk of having your email flagged as spam, and affecting your overall email deliverability.

Therefore, whatever you can do to increase engagement is a must.

Preparation for your email marketing campaign should go beyond targeting the right audience from the outset.

Using marketing automation services, you can set the right time to send your promotional email, perfect your subject line, and keep your list fresh by cleaning it regularly.

Google analytics and other marketing automation services provide email marketing statistics that help you to refine your email message through A/B testing.

IP and domain reputation

When deciding where to place an email, Gmail considers both the domain and IP address of the sender.

To prevent blocking and filtering of outgoing emails, Google recommends setting up proper authentication in Gmail.

Maintaining a clean email list

Subscribers naturally drop off of email lists as recipients unsubscribe. Thankfully, a good email list is much more important and valuable than a large list of contacts.

However, a small business must be aware that where a few individuals may unsubscribe, others may ignore your emails or mark them as spam. 

Sending promotional emails to recipients who don’t engage with your marketing message undercuts your sending reputation and makes your emails less likely to reach their inboxes. 

There is always an advantage to a leaner, more engaged email list over a large, unengaged list.

Keep your list up to date to protect your sender reputation from low engagement. 

Some of the most effective ways to clean your list include eliminating unengaged users, bounced emails, and other spam traps.

Having More Than Words Marketing update your customer and prospect databases can help you keep your databases accurate and up to date.

Our number is 0330 010 8300, or you can email us directly at