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How To Get Your Emails Delivered Into Spam Folders

Written by: Melissa Filich

Yes, you read that correctly. We are going to be talking about the biggest mistakes email marketers make that result in emails being delivered directly into spam/junk folders. If you are guilty of any of these bad, yet very common, habits don’t worry, there is still time to correct your marketing mishaps and get onto the road to higher inboxing and a better sending reputation. 


Purchase your contact lists 

Purchasing a list can do a lot more damage than just simply causing high spam delivery rates. It can get you blacklisted and labeled a spammer. It can cost you a lot of money in fees if you are using an email service provider such as GreenRope whose sending policy clearly states that sending to a purchased list is a violation of their terms of use. 

Pro Tip - Instead of purchasing a list that comes with far more problems than benefits, take the time to cultivate your list of contacts using various signup forms both on your website and social media sites. Using forms ensures that the contacts on your list want to receive your emails. To further solidify your relationship with these contacts, always use a double (confirmed) subscription option whenever possible. 

Double (confirmed) vs. single (unconfirmed) opt-in have one fundamental difference. With a confirmed opt-in, there is never a doubt that the person who subscribed to your list not only wants to receive your emails and that that they are who they claim to be. 


Use a noreply “from” email address

Using an email address such as is not recommended. This type of “From” address is typically flagged by email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. and results in your content getting filtered automatically. They also instill a lack of appreciation and confidence in your recipients. 

The FTC states, “Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.”. Sure, accurately depicts where the email may be coming from, but it also gives the impression of lackluster customer appreciation. If you do not care enough to hear their response, why should they care enough to give you their business? 

Pro Tip - use your real name and welcome interaction from your clients, they are precious after all. 


Don’t use: Your Business <

Instead, use: Sara from Your Business <>


Use a blacklisted IP address to send emails 

Whether you are using a shared or dedicated IP, if you see a sudden spike in bounces across all domains you are likely experiencing a blacklist. 

What does it mean to be put on a blacklist? Blacklisting is the process used to identify and filter malicious IP addresses from accessing various networks

What can cause a blacklist? Sending high risk spam content and/or sending to contacts that have not given you their permission. 

Pro Tips -

How do you get the blacklist removed? If you are using a dedicated IP you will want to reach out to the blacklist’s site directly and follow their instructions for IP removal. If you are using a shared IP the best place to start is with the IP owner. 

You might not be sending spam but are you using a shared IP? There are multiple advantages of using a shared IP, primarily it is a low cost solution for low volume and seasonal mailers to have access to an IP that is already warmed up with a quality reputation. The downside to a shared IP is that if someone else sends spam it will affect your sending. 

Can you have a dedicated IP? Absolutely! Contact GreenRope’s support team for more information on costs and the necessary steps to get you going on your own dedicated IP. 


Get as many spam complaints as you can 

Spam complaints can cause a lot of problems for your future sending. You may be wondering, why would anyone deliberately push the spam button on an email they requested?  Simply put - they don’t remember subscribing or why they subscribed in the first place. Another reason a reader will opt to hit the spam complaint button instead of unsubscribing is if the unsubscribe link is too hard to find. 

Pro Tip - Don’t let your engagement get too low, keeping your brand fresh in their memory is key. Your email should quickly and easily identify you, your company, and the pain points your recipient has along with how you can help resolve it. 


Make your subject line misleading or generally crummy

The subject line is your email’s first impression. It has to be enticing enough to get your subscribers to open the email, from there, hopefully they will engage further and become qualified leads leading to more conversions. However, using misleading text in your subject line is a surefire way to get your emails delivered to spam folders, marked as spam, or worse yet the dreaded blacklisting! The CAN-SPAM act clearly states “Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.” - Federal Trade Commission

Don’t forget about the preheader either. Why settle for one first impression when you can have two? The preheader does exactly that, it acts as a second subject line or mini preview of the content to come. The preheader gives you that much more of an opportunity to impress your recipients and convenience them to open your email. 

 Pro Tip - Keep your subject line focused and upbeat with a hint of urgency. Here are a few examples of bad subject lines: 

  • LAST CHANCE! GET 50% OFF ALL PRODUCTS, TODAY ONLY! - All caps is never advised, no one likes being screamed at. 
  • Red Is The New Black! - A subject line that is so vague it will get little to no engagement from recipients. 
  •                             - Perhaps the worst subject line of them all, a blank subject line! 
  • Get Your Special Deal NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Overuse of punctuation is an exciting way to get your spam filtered or marked as spam!
  • I cannot wait to tell you all about this new product that is going to make your life so much easier. Claim yours today while supplies last or until next Tuesday when we stop shipping. - How long is too long when it comes to subject lines? If your subject is getting into multiple sentences, or even worse, multiple lines, that is a bad subject line. Use the preheader to help break up the content instead. 


Use a lot of high risk spam words 

High risk spam words are a series of ever evolving keywords that are identified by receiving servers and filters to identify problematic emails. At times there might not seem to be a way around using one or more of these high risk words but your creativity will pay off with more inboxing resulting in more engagement and conversations. 

The heavy hitting high risk spam words: 

  1. Free
  2. Win
  3. Prize
  4. Sex

Less obvious but still risky spam words: 

  1. Amazing
  2. Act now
  3. Apply
  4. #1
  5. $
  6. 100%
  7. 4u
  8. Free 
  9. F R E E (with spaces, you aren’t clever!) 
  10. cancel at any time
  11. check or money order
  12. click here
  13. Congratulations
  14. Deal
  15. debt
  16. dear friend
  17. for only ($)
  18. free or toll-free
  19. great offer
  20. Guarantee

Pro Tips - Unfortunately, there is not a clear DO NOT USE list of words, making finding a solution to effective email marketing tricky. The main thing to remember when composing an email is to do so from a position of value, this will ensure the biggest return on your sending efforts. 


Don’t include a physical address 

If you kept reading the CAN SPAM act referenced in section 5 you probably noticed the regulations regarding physical addresses being clearly mentioned in your emails. 

“Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you've registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you've registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.” - FTC

Pro Tip - Put your physical address in the footer of your emails, next to your contact and unsubscribe information for recipients to find easily. 


Don’t put an unsubscribe link anywhere 

Yikes! This is a mistake! Guess what happens if you do not make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe? They click the spam button instead which leads to blacklisting, and can potentially end in costly fines if you are using an email marketing solution such as GreenRope.

Pro Tip - If you aren’t using an email marketing solution to create and send your emails that automatically adds an unsubscribe link to your emails and tracks your engagement for you, we suggest creating and saving a template with an unsubscribe link for all your future emailing needs. 


Be aloof, don’t engage with contacts

Not engaging is worse than engaging poorly. What’s the trick to the perfect level of engagement? Knowing when and how often your subscribers want to hear from you. Using the industry leading analytics inside GreenRope, you can easily find out the key to unlocking the door to perfect engagement with your recipients.

Pro Tip - In addition to reviewing past campaigns to identify how frequently people actually engage with your email content then base your sending frequency, you can also create A/B testing campaigns to further discover what works and then build consistency from there. 

Are you still experiencing problems with your deliverability rates or want additional tips on how to get a higher inboxing rate? Contact us any time, our dedicated support team is available 24/7. 


Additional resources you may enjoy: 

Email Tracking & Engagement

20 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Happy, Healthy Email Lists



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