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!

New RocketResponder Widgets!

Well this is something I’ve been wanting for a while. I love seeing the number of subscribers to my blog right smack on every page. It motivates me to keep that number growing and it gets visitors interested in subscribing.

Let’s face it, people don’t want to miss out so if they see lots of people have subscribed they want to subscribe too. It’s almost like an authority ranking of sorts. It proves you’re someone worth subscribing to!

Subscriber Widgets

We’ve got widgets in a variety of styles that will stand out. And what’s even more cool about them, if someone clicks the subscriber count they’ll get to a subscribe page for your list, and if they click the Powered by link they’ll be clicking your referral link ;-)

So it’s just another way to get more people subscribing and more people in your downline at RocketResponder!

Why you actually want double opt in

I’m actually surprised how many people want single opt in for Rocket Responder. I understand the core reason, they want more people on their list. But the whole reason you confirm a subscription is to make sure the person actually signed up for it.

Everyone rants about spam. Nobody likes it. So why wouldn’t you want to play by the same rules you expect for your inbox?

You want an active list right? You want your subscribers to click your links, buy your products, etc. So start out on their good side with a quick confirmation email.

It’s OK if they don’t confirm immediately, it’s OK if not everyone confirms. It’s MUCH better than having them think negatively about you or even worse, reporting your email as spam!

You could also think of it this way.. Most autoresponders charge based on number of subscribers. Do you really want to be paying MONTHLY for subscribers who never wanted your email, marked it as spam and have it always go to spam, or filter it to delete automatically? No way!

Just something to think about.

The whole reason RocketResponder exists

I’ve done a video tutorial for using RocketResponder with blogs. This is the reason the site exists. I’ve been too frustrated with all the other options out there. Poor Jon has been logging into his autoresponder and sending an email out manually for years.


If you full screen you’ll see full detail. But it’s so simple people are confused when they are done. Justin was waiting wondering what the next step, I had to tell him there was no next step it was already done.

I really see my success in business as a result of starting this blog. I don’t do crazy pitching I don’t do much with it really, but it has given me a voice and is the reason most people know who I am.

Before the blog I was just a guy running a traffic exchange. People knew my name but that was it. After my blog people see me as a friend and they get to interact with me.

So that’s why I’ll be pushing blogging & list building from now on. I’ve been holding back because all the other options were too expensive or too difficult for newbies. I can now show people how easy it is!

Know your Target Market

This weekend a program was soft launched and a few people joined. There were some problems, and interestingly enough I heard someone emailed out about it to their list trashing the site. Pretty funny IMO because only a handful of people have even heard of it, and less actually joined.

Anyways, this person was quick to attack it without having an account. And from what I’ve heard the main complaint of this person is the price point of our lifetime upgrade. Well here’s some food for thought..

Know your Target Market

You really need to start here. This will change how you do a lot of your pricing and even setup of the site. Without knowing what your target market is, you won’t have a guide on where to go. It’s easy to listen to voices in the crowd yelling their opinions, but when you know your target you’ll stand firm on your decisions. Most of the voices have no clue what you are up to ;-)

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

In this case we are talking about a lifetime upgrade. Now if you know me, I don’t like lifetime upgrades! But for this specific site we thought about it, and decided a lifetime upgrade would be a good option for some. The problem is the trend for owners to sell lifetime upgrades way too low. They do them for a cash grab. That’s not what I’m about. I’m about being committed for the long haul. And when you are in for the long haul selling yourself short is an easy way to fail down the road due to insufficient funds.

Be Willing to Test It Out

Here’s a big one. So many people are uptight about doing the right thing, they tend to do nothing. I’m a huge fan of trying things out. So it doesn’t work the way you planned? So what, you can change it. Wow. Isn’t that amazing? You aren’t locked in for eternity on your decisions. Amazing. So take that understanding and use it to your advantage. Take risks! Some of them will have HUGE rewards. We had no idea if Sweeva would take off like it did. WELL worth it ;-)

Be Willing to Change

Once you try something, you need to be willing to change. If you know your target, try something, and it doesn’t work change it. Otherwise you’ll just continue doing the same thing over and over.


I’m sure many are wondering what this launch is about. Well if you go surf Sweeva I’m sure you’ll see it in rotation. We’re giving the members the first go around on getting referrals. No JVs here. So far it’s been working pretty good, and 19% have upgraded. Of course it’d probably be higher if I didn’t goof and upload the wrong files to wrong sites, there’s a reason I goto bed early..

Autoresponder Services vs Autoresponder Scripts

We talk about building lists all the time. In Traffic Exchange Live we had a viewer who was going the in house route for sending out emails. There are pros and cons to doing it yourself or doing it with a service.

Auto-Responder Scripts

The biggest reason to use a script and run it yourself is complete control. I do this with StartXchange. I have certain features that I want to be able to do, that wouldn’t work if it was hosted elsewhere. I also don’t have to worry about variables that are out of my control when a third party is involved.

The problem is this comes at a cost. There are SPF records, DomainKeys, Sender ID, Reverse DNS, Abuse Feedback Loops, Unsubscribe lists, and bounce processing.. Just to name a few. There are also whitelists to be added to, dedicated ips, certifications, etc. It costs time and money, and it’s really easy to make a mistake that messes up your deliverability.

If you do it right and are on top of your game, you can get great results. I really love the results with StartXchange’s email deliverability. But if you do it wrong, you end up wasting all that time and money when you could be building a list. On top of that you aren’t likely to get good results unless your list is large and you are mailing fairly frequently.

Auto-Responder Services

With a service there are many of the same problems, but they are no longer your problem. If you go with a reputable service it’s all done for you. You essentially save your time and efforts for the other things in your business.

Of course there are some down sides. You are limited to what the system lets you do. That’s why in some instances you’ll have to go your own route. And you are affiliated with the neighborhood of the service you use. If they have a bad reputation, or weak security, it could affect you negatively.

So what should you do?

In the end for most of you going with a 3rd party is going to be the best choice. I personally do in house email for StartXchange for the specific reasons above. I then use Aweber for my blog because it has a blog broadcast feature.

And then everything else I use Traffic Wave for because it’s downright simple (and you don’t have to pay more when your subscribers go up). I even have a video tutorial showing how easy it is.

If you are like the guy who was talking to us, determined to do it yourself, it is possible. Just know that it’ll take work and research to do properly. Which some people are OK with. (hey I did it lol)