Emails being marked as spam - but it’s not spam!?

Spam is one of the things people hate most about email. So email providers like have developed extremely effective systems to block spam emails. The downside, however, is that legitimate emails can be blocked or land in your spam folder. Luckily there are a few tricks you can use to make sure you receive important messages – and to stop your outgoing messages from being marked as spam.
Hand pointing at floating red and blue email icons
Stop legitimate emails from being marked as spam

How to stop your emails from being marked as spam

We’ve all been there – sending an email only to have it land in the recipient’s spam or junk folder. This is because virtually all email providers today use spam filters that analyze messages for certain spam characteristics. Sometimes these filters can misidentify non-spam emails and block them before the sender ever sees them. To stop your legitimate emails from landing in the spam filter, pay attention to the following points:

1. Check your mailing list

If you regularly send out messages to a large group of people – a business newsletter, for instance – make sure all the addresses on your mailing list are up to date. The spam filtering algorithms used by many email service providers look at the ratio of active to inactive email accounts (accounts that haven’t been used for a long time or are rarely used) on recipient lists. So a large number of email addresses that appear to be inactive act as a red flag to spam filters and may result in your message being blocked.

2. Don’t send unwanted bulk emails

If too many people start marking your emails as spam, your email address will be flagged for spamming and could even be deactivated. If you send out a newsletter, make sure that you provide an unsubscribe option to the recipients so they can get off your mailing list.

3. Avoid common spam words and phrases

One thing that can trigger an automatic spam filter are specific words in the subject line of an email. Some common examples are “Click here,” “Amazing,” “Special promotion,” and even “This is not spam!” These lists vary with time, but a quick internet search should provide you with the current “spammy” words.

4. Ask recipients to add you to their list of trusted senders

Most email providers give their customers the option of providing a list of sender addresses that will not be blocked as spam – usually called a “whitelist” or “allowlist.” If someone regularly complains that they don’t receive your emails, having them add you to this list in their email account will probably solve the problem.

How to keep emails you want out of your spam folder

Email providers deploy a number of filters to ensure that your incoming emails are correctly evaluated for their spam potential. These systems are based on artificial intelligence and can be “trained” to recognize your email preferences.

If an email incorrectly lands in your spam folder, you can manually mark the mail as legitimate by selecting the message and clicking “not spam.” This will move the message back into your inbox, and the email address will automatically be added to your list of trusted senders. In your account, you will find the “Not Spam” button here in your Spam folder:
Screenshot of spam folder with option of marking email as “Not Spam”
Select the email and click “Not Spam” to send it back to your inbox – and keep the sender from landing in spam in the future!

Saving an email address to your Contacts is another way to mark it as a trusted sender and should keep messages from that person out of the spam filter.

We hope this will help you avoid having messages mislabeled as spam. Please let us know how you liked this article below.

Image: 1&1/Shutterstock

Posted in

Spam Email

84 people found this article helpful.

Related articles

What is greylisting and how does it work?

What is SMTP? And how does SMTP authentication help fight spam?

What is a mailer daemon – and why did my email bounce back?