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Digital Marketing Services

Why Are My Emails Going to Spam, and How Can I Fix It?

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Asking yourself “why are my emails going to spam?” Here are why your email campaigns aren’t landing in your audience’s inbox and what you can do to fix that.

If you just started sending emails with a new email address, it’s common to land in spam. Spam filters consider various factors, such as the subject and content of the email, the domain's reputation, and whether the proper records are set up to verify the authenticity of the email sender.

Here, we’ll help you answer the question, “why are my emails going to spam?” and provide some solutions for how to fix it.

Having the Proper DNS Records set up

DNS (Domain Name System) records help determine whether your emails reach the inbox or fall into the spam trap. These records, integral to the internet's infrastructure, act as a guidepost, directing email traffic and verifying sender authenticity. Essential DNS records for email deliverability include SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance).

SPF records specify which mail servers are permitted to send emails on behalf of your domain, preventing unauthorized use. You’ll need an SPF record for each service you use to send emails on your behalf. For example, you'll need an SPF record for both services if you use Gmail for personal emails and Mailchimp for your newsletter.

DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails, ensuring the content is not tampered with during transmission.

DMARC leverages both SPF and DKIM, instructing the receiver on handling emails that fail these authentication checks. Proper configuration of these DNS records is essential, as even a minor misstep can lead your emails straight to the spam folder, undermining your communication efforts.

To properly set up your DNS records to ensure smooth deliverability, talk with your IT person. Or, if you manage this all yourself, here’s a great resource for creating and updating all these records.

How the content of your email impacts spam filters

The content of your emails impacts whether they end up in an inbox or a spam folder. Spam filters look for red flags typically associated with unsolicited or harmful messages. Triggers include the overuse of sales-oriented phrases like 'Buy now' or 'Free offer,' commonly found in spam. Excessive use of caps lock, exclamation marks, and flashy formatting can also raise suspicions. Spam filters often scan for suspicious links or attachments commonly associated with phishing attempts or malware distribution. Even the ratio of text to images can impact deliverability, as spammers often use images to bypass text-based filters.

To avoid unintentional spam filtering, craft emails that are balanced, professional, and genuinely valuable to the recipient, and avoid anything that resembles spam characteristics.

Check the content of your email and avoid these pitfalls using Mailmeteor’s spam checker tool (it’s free).

Sender reputation

A sender's reputation plays a crucial role in determining whether an email ends up in the spam folder. This reputation extends to all email addresses associated with a domain, so all team members need to be vigilant about their email habits.

Various factors contribute to building this reputation over time, including the volume of emails sent, how often recipients mark emails as spam, bounce rates, and engagement metrics like open and click-through rates.

A good sender reputation signals to email service providers that your emails are likely legitimate and valuable, increasing the chances of them landing in the inbox. Conversely, a poor reputation, often resulting from sending too many emails too quickly, failing to clean email lists, or frequently hitting spam traps, can lead to your emails being blocked or filtered into spam folders. Maintaining a solid sender reputation requires good email practices, such as segmenting your audience, personalizing content, and regularly purging unengaged subscribers.

It can take time to establish your sender reputation if you're a new company. So, if you plan to send out cold-email sequences, you must build up your reputation first, or you’ll end up in spam and quickly deteriorate your reputation.

Luckily, some services can help you improve your sender reputation quickly. They achieve this by automatically sending emails from your account and replying to emails from other users who are also warming up their email addresses. The one we used at Peak Digital Studio was Mailreach.


To avoid the spam filter, ensure your DNS records are configured, your email content avoids spam filter red flags, and your sender reputation is strong. There are tools to help you, and as your reputation improves, the more likely you are to hit the inbox.

Matthew Johnson

Published on

December 8, 2023