Tim Linden

I'm the CTO of TimTech, I love coding with PHP and MySQL.
I'm addicted to tracking clicks and email marketing.

Why your emails keep going to spam

I’m not sure if this is a rant or not, but this keeps on happening with customers at RocketResponder. Almost every day we’ll get customers asking about emails being marked as spam. It’s true, if we have bad reputation your emails won’t get delivered. But for the most part it’s up to you.

  1. Don’t send spam! It sounds simple enough, but if you are sending spammy content of course it will get filtered. Every person who has asked why their emails ended up in spam is sending emails that I would consider spam if I got one. Obviously their list subscribed so hey they want the emails, but the primary filters are looking at overall email quality, if they see you look like spam, they’ll think it’s spam.
  2. Click Not Spam!!  This again sounds simple, but the people asking say they always goto spam. Especially with Gmail, secondary filters learn what the end user sees as spam or not spam. So if you see an email is in spam, and aren’t clicking not spam, it thinks it was right that the email was spam. Its the same reason if you don’t mark an email as spam you’ll start to get more spam going to your inbox. It’s also the same reason that when I subscribe to these user’s lists, I get it to inbox while they still get it to spam!
  3. Open your emails! This one is less known, but Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc monitor which emails you open. They care less about the content and more about engagement. If you want marketing type emails and are opening them, they want to put them in your inbox. The best way to help show your emails are wanted, is to actually open them yourself. Every email you don’t open is just re-confirming that you don’t really care if you get the email or not.
  4. Click links in your emails! Similar to opening, they actually track if you are clicking links or not. Hotmail will go as far as to warn you if you click a link in an email that looks spammy and ask if you’re sure. Click yes you’re sure, it’s your email and it confirms that it’s legit.
  5. Send emails people want! Obvious? yes but still people have this concept that if you “blast” enough emails you’ll get enough clicks to warrant the time sending the email. If this is your view, you’re going to get your emails filtered.

What people don’t seem to understand is that most email providers use reputation systems. For instance the from email address you are sending from. Or the links in your emails. I’ll bet they even track the address line that’s required by CAN SPAM. It’s no longer solely the responsibility of the ESP to get the email to the inbox which is why so many sketchy senders are finding their emails not going as far.

So I’m sure you’re wondering what we do at RocketResponder to ensure your emails aren’t being filtered because of other users. Well we do a few things:

  1. We send the emails from your email address.
  2. We use a different sub domain for every member for all links in the emails themselves.
  3. We monitor engagement and group similar senders into different sending IP groups.
  4. We monitor all our IPs against blackists and feedback loops and get notified every few hours of changes.

If you aren’t using RocketResponder then you should give it a try, we give you 30 days to try it out without paying or entering credit card info or even creating a Paypal subscription. You’ll also save some money too,  we charge $20 per 10,000 subscribers which is a huge bargain. Most other guys charge in 1000 subscriber increments, and they charge for unsubscribed users!

7 comments for “Why your emails keep going to spam

  1. February 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Awesome post and information brother. Appreciate the share.

  2. February 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Tim! This is great information and you provide some very useful tips! Very enlightening! :-)

  3. February 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Tim:
    Good to read another version of the subject “Spamming”. It´s a very easy subject to understand and acomplish. Is like “I don’t do others what I don’t want other do to me”. Unfortunately there are thousands and thousands -millions I should say- of people that do not respect none of this. They make it in such a way that it’s not easy to track them at all. Fortunately, most of their
    spam goes where it belongs…trash!
    Thank you,
    Jesus Moreno

  4. February 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks Tim, I always subscribe to my own list just to check but I don’t always open and click on links. I will be now!! Great Tips.

  5. February 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Well done, Tim. That sums it up really well. I have GMail trained to go to my spam folder, I check it that routinely. Why? Because my support tickets at TrackeryMe all go to spam because they are sent ‘from me to me’. Looks spammy, I get it.

    Truth is, I’ve had very little spam filter difficulty with Rocket Responder. It’s a terrific service…

    • February 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Tom, simply filter your support ticket messages to “Never send it to Spam”. Works for me!

  6. February 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm


    quick question:
    I read very few program owner emails, and they go to a dedicated gmail account for TEs etc. periodically I will go through them – when I have about 500 or so. I skim the subjects looking for anything that looks like I might want to actually read them, and “mark as read” the rest.
    Does Gmail consider these emails to have been opened or not in this case?

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