Why are my emails going to the junk folder?

By: Dave Kramer Monday August 2, 2021 comments

 

If your emails are going to the junk folder, it is an indication that your email sending service is working properly.  The decision about which emails go to the junk folder is decided by the email provider.

  • When you send an email to [email protected]gmail.com, AllProWebTools contacts gmail and delivers the message to gmail.  Gmail will then decide what to do with that message.
  • When you send an email to [email protected]live.com, AllProWebTools contacts Microsoft and delivers the message to Microsoft.  Microsoft will then decide what to do with that message.
  • When you send an email to [email protected]yahoo.com, AllProWebTools contacts Yahoo and delivers the message to Yahoo.  Yahoo will then decide what to do with that message.
  • The happens with each email service provider.

 

Each email provider are independently owned and operated and they each have their own rules and criteria that dictate how emails are delivered to their customers.  These rules are commonly referred to as "spam filters".  A spam filter scores each email on a scale of 1-10 as to how likely it is considered "spam".  The more "infractions" an email incurs - the more strikes against it and it's score increases.  There are a number of factors that can be considered and they are constantly changed by email providers.  Each email provider has their own criteria.  It would be impossible to list every possible criteria in this article, but we will try to help you understand some of the things that are considered in the list below.

You can think of this like sending a letter with the post office.  The post office delivers the mail to your house successfully.  Your spouse takes the letter, and forgets to give it to you and leaves it on a shelf.  The post office successfully delivered the mail to your house, yet you still did not receive the mail due to the actions of your spouse.

So the questions is: Why are my emails going to the junk folder?

We can assure you that AllProWebTools is delivering your emails to the respective email services: yahoo, gmail, live, hotmail, aol, office365, etc.

Here are some reasons that these email providers may be deciding to place your emails in the junk folder:

1 - This person previously marked your email as spam.

It is surprising how many reports we have had where someone has "accidentally" marked an email as spam.  We have even heard cases where a spouse or colleague has access to someone else's email account and has clicked the "spam" button without the email account owner's knowledge!

If this is the case, it is important for the owner of the email address, to find your email in the "junk folder" and click the button that says "not spam" or "not junk".  They may even need to do this repeatedly for a few of your emails before their email provider will begin placing your emails into the "inbox".

 

2 - Your Subject Lines Are Misleading or Contain Spam Triggers

Subject lines are a great way to get attention and get people to open your emails, but it is important that they are not misleading - which is actually against the law. Please see the CAN-SPAM Act for more information.

Some examples of misleading subject lines:

  • RE or FW: Don't start your subject line for marketing emails with "RE" or "FW"
  • "Did you get my phone call today" or "Jim told me to contact you"
  • "You just won $1,000" - when you email body talks about something completely different.

Certain words and phrases can trigger spam filters to send your email to the junk folder.  The more your email mentions words like:

  • Savings
  • Discount
  • Crypto
  • Last Chance
  • Coupon
  • Words that are in ALL CAPS
  • Multiple exclamation points or dollar signs in a row
  • No cost
  • Free

The more likely it will be classified as spam, junk, or "promotional"

We cannot give you a precise list of words that you can or cannot use, as each email provider has their own set of standards and these standards are constantly changing.  There are a number of services online where you can submit the text from your emails and they will provide you with a "score" indicating how likely those words will land you in the "junk folder".  Just do a Google search for: "email spam score checker online"

 

3 - You did not receive permission to send emails to this person

This quite simply means that you uploaded a list of email addresses of people who do not know you.  These people are more likely to press the "spam" button and report you to their email provider as someone who sends spam.  The more complaints you receive, the more likely the email provider will start putting your emails into the "junk folder" for ALL of their customers.

 

4 - You did not include an unsubscribe link

AllProWebTools will automatically handle this for you, unless you have manually configured your account not to send this link.  We recommend leaving AlProWebTools with the default settings so that you can stay in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.  Laws like CAN-SPAM in the U.S. clearly state that your emails must include a clear way to unsubscribe. 

It is important to provide an easy way for someone to remove themselves from receiving your emails.  This might seem like a bad thing (why would you want to make it easy to unsubscribe?), it can actually have the opposite effect. Making it easy to get off your subscriber list shows that your brand is trustworthy.  Hiding or simply not providing an unsubscribe option is a sure-fire way to frustrate people. It can also result in negative press about your emails and company.

 

5 - Your "From" address is incorrect or from a free email service

A major reason that your emails may end up in spam is incorrect ‘From’ information. The ‘From’ line, the one that tells your recipients who sent the email, needs to be accurate and not misleading.  This is the email address where emails will go when someone presses the "reply" button on your email.

You can view your "From" email address by going to the "Settings"-> "Company Information" from the main menu in your AllProWebTools account.  On this page at the bottom left side you will see "From Address".  It is best to use an email address that matches your website. 

It is not recommend that you use a free email service such as: 

  • gmail
  • yahoo
  • hotmail
  • aol

As your "From" email address.

It is also not recommended to send emails from "[email protected]" such as: [email protected].  Email addresses like these are commonly caught by spam filters.

Your "From" email address should be a valid email address that can receive emails.  If someone tries to reply to your email and the reply bounces back to them, this may count as another strike against your domains email sending reputation.

 

6 - You have been blacklisted

Repeated offenses can result in a permanent blacklisting of any emails you send to a provider such as:

  • Gmail
  • yahoo
  • Microsoft
  • Office365
  • Apple Mail

Each of these services may choose to block every email that you send to ANY of their customers.  These services will look at your "From" address and it will not matter what service you use to send your emails (It may be AllProWebTools, mailchimp, Constant Contact, or any other) your emails will go directly to "junk" or in some cases will be deleted immediately when they come from any email address @example.com

If your emails are landing in the spam folder for Gmail specifically, you will see this message: "Why is this message in spam? Lots of messages from example.com were identified as spam in the past."  This means that your domain name is on the Gmail blacklist and only Gmail can change this.

It is possible to be blacklisted by one email provider and not blacklisted on another.  When you get reports from your customers that your email landed in the "junk folder", we recommend taking notes about the email addresses.  You may see a pattern such as they are all gmail email addresses, or they are all yahoo email addresses.

How to appeal your blacklist status:

Unfortunately, the email providers are constantly changing these links, so it is possible that they will not work when you click them.  You can do a Google search to find updated links for these providers or to find other email providers not listed here.

Rather than appealing to these email companies (which can be a length process with many forms to fill out and then to ultimately have your appeal denied) - many people have found that it is easier to purchase a new domain name (You can purchase from AllProWebTools for just $1 / month)

7 - If you have a new domain name

You may be going to the "junk folder" because your domain is so new, there is no reputation behind it.  Email providers are sensitive to seeing a new domain that is suddenly sending thousands of emails.  You may need to slowly ramp up your email sending over time.

It is also possible that you have purchases a "new domain name" that is new to you, but was previously used by someone else who damaged that domain name's reputation by sending spam email long before you purchased the domain name.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Kramer

About the Author: Dave Kramer

My goal is to provide small business owners with the marketing, productivity, and commerce tools they need to make their business a success!

I am passionate about small business and helping small business owners to succeed in business through the use of technology and tracking systems to identify those areas in their business that can be improved. I enjoy the rush of being a part of a business that is growing.  It is so exciting to have helped so many business owners and their staff to improve efficiency.





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