Skip to main content

Can You Really Avoid Email Spam Filters?

By March 20, 2017August 30th, 2018Email Marketing, How To Guides

email spamSpam filters are every email marketer’s nightmare and must be avoided at all costs. Emails that are sent to spam never get the opportunity to be read. There are several tips and tricks that you can integrate into your email campaign to help you avoid triggering the spam filter but let us firstly understand what a spam filter is and how it works.

What is an email spam filter?

Email spam filters are added by email providers to fish out emails that are sent for mass promotion. These filters are set with criteria that scores email senders and decides if emails should be sent to the inbox or to spam. Emails sent to spam are emails that have a low deliverability rate and a low sender score.

All outgoing emails, sent from the IP address associated with the outgoing mail server, are tracked and given a sender score. Emails are scored on their open rate, bounce rate and delete rate. Email senders that have a low open rate, or worse still a high bounce rate are viewed as spammers and will be given a low sender score. Once an email sender has picked up a certain number of ‘warning points’ they are relegated to the spam folder.


buying emails lists spam

What are the various spam filters?

There are several different filters types that you need to be aware of, including:

Bayesian – Used by Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple mail. Bayesian filters spam according traits similar to what the user has previously marked as spam.

Challenge/Response –  These filters deter emails arriving from senders not in the recipients’ contacts.

Email Firewalls – Firewalls are utilized by large companies such as Google. They stop work email addresses receiving promotional style emails.


Avoid Email Spam Filters Red Can


Common spam triggers to avoid

The most common mistakes made by email marketers include:

  • Subject Line – Subject lines need to be relevant to the content and simple. Do not use an overly gimmicky subject line – the message must make sense.  Simple, if it’s spammy, it will be caught by spam filters and/or not opened by the users. Other spam triggers include using the words: Re: or Fwd: An email filter will immediately take note if there has or hasn’t been any previous correspondence connected to the email. Other words that you need to consider refraining from use are: Guaranteed; 100 % free; FREE; $$$; !!! or an excess of other symbols; Attention; Act now!; T_e_x_t_w_i_t_h_g_a_p_s

  • Email Design – Even if you make it past the filter your subscriber may dislike your content and report you as spam. Content should be unique, relevant, offer an incentive and be exciting. The body of the email should contain a balance of images and text, some people like to read information while others may get more information visuals. Include external links to relevant content that can be of added-value to the reader and include the date to show content is timely and relevant.  The best way to ensure a positive interaction by the user and to avoid the spam filter is to include personalized emails based on the users purchase, browse and items that are closely related data.

  • Unsubscribe Link – The CAN-SPAM Act states that there must be an unsubscribe option that is not difficult to find on each email and remains available for up to 30 days past the send date. In fact, most email marketing solutions provide the “unsubscribe” link in the footer of the email.  Unsubscribe is not such a bad thing, it clears out your email list and will improve your open rate. The average unsubscribe rate sits at around 1% so be prepared for some unsubscribes.

  • Buying Email Lists – Purchasing lists are a certain way to send emails to unqualified leads and will mostly ensure a low engagement rate and a higher spam rate. Subscriber engagement is important to avoid spam filters. One certain way to ensure there is a chain of communications and engagement is to ask your subscribers to click on “opt-in.” This way you are ensuring that you are contacting those that want to be contacted.  In general, purchasing email lists isn’t entirely wise. There are several features that will allow eCommerce merchants to collect email addresses from site visitors.  If you are looking for email addresses that will convert, best to use the list building tools along with engaging calls to action.

How to Avoid Email Spam Purple Cans


Email spam filters are your enemy. If your emails are going to spam then your customers are not getting the emails rendering your email marketing campaigns redundant.

To turn a new page and design, build and deliver email marketing campaigns that work make sure to schedule your 1-1 consultation with a Remarkety email marketing pro.