How to figure out why your emails are getting delivered to spam.

This is a guide I have put together for people who have newsletter lists or communicate with customers. Its not at all a guide for any sort of mass email deployers (spammers).

Over the last 2 months or so I have written over 250+ emails for our PAR clients.

Most of our clients have us handle everything from A-Z in the setup and sequencing.

One of the things we do is test every email whether we write it or not to make sure it gets inboxed by all the major email providers.

I now have a ton of experience and wanted to share what I have learned and hopefully it will help you no matter if you are just getting started or already have emails going out.

Now I know what some of you are thinking…. my Aweber or other email provider already scores these emails for me to determine if they are spammy…

These providers rely on a spam analyzer called spamassasin or other general spam analyzing programs. These can be helpful but I have rarely found them detecting spam on things that goto spam folders. These programs used to be effective but over the years spammers use them also and get around the same rules… so major email providers do not trust them anymore.

Ok lets get started.

Setting up testing accounts

If you just want to do a quick and dirty testing you can just send to your email. But I highly recommend doing the following.

First thing you need to do is setup an account with all the major providers.

Accounts that are a must:

– Hotmail

– Yahoo

– Gmail


Even if you already have these setup new ones. Try to use some sort of identifier when you signup like [email protected] or whatever.

Once you have setup all of them setup 1 more that is going to be your primary detection account. Then setup the others to auto forward to that account. This way when you test to those accounts they will goto a primary all in one spot. I recommend using a gmail account.

You should switch this account every 6 months or so. Reason being is that I have found Gmail works a little differently and starts to develop a trust on items that are being delivered. So something that was not marked as spam in the past could be getting through to you only because you have received many emails already from that address.

With PAR we setup over 70 of the top major email providers but just doing those top 4 is probably enough. We find that if we can reliably get past spam filters on those then its pretty much 100% deliverability to the others.

My emails are going to spam on a provider. Help!

Ok the first thing I do is take out the template (if you have one). Resend and see if it goes through.

Do you have any weird charectors in the subject line? If so take them out. If that does not work try a different subject line.. something just for testing like “About our meeting” whatever just see if it goes through.

Take out the signature. I know as weird as it sounds just trust me. Even though this might go through on a bunch of other emails I have found that this in connection with other words in your email can trip filters.

If all else fails start to decompose the message. Take out the first half… test. Did it go through? No – then put it back and put in the second half.

One you have isolated the paragraph or section just go sentence by sentence until you figure it out.

It really sucks sometimes but spending 10 minutes on a email is well worth it!

Author: Jeremy Schoemaker

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