Why Outgoing Emails go to Spam Folder

As webmasters or business owners, you might have come across some problems regarding the delivery of your business emails.

What users of business emails and companies need to know is that, once an email leaves the sender, there is good possibility of it never reaching the recipient.

 Every server that receives an email abides by a certain algorithm, in order to accept or reject an email coming from a particular sender. In case the email gets accepted, this algorithm decides whether it is going to be sent to the Inbox or the Junk/Spam folder.

Every Mail Provider (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), as well as all business mail servers; abide by their own algorithm, so as to protect their users from spammers.

For this reason, you can send the same email from your business account (ex. john@mycompany.com) to 3 recipients – one using Gmail – one using Yahoo and one using Hotmail, and observe the following three results:

– The email arrives intact in the Inbox folder of the person using Gmail.

– The email gets into the Spam Folder of the person using Yahoo.

– The email never reaches (it is rejected) the recipient using Hotmail.


But what determines the result?

The most important factor is the REPUTATION of the server via which you send the emails. Your server’s reputation is, in other words, the algorithm through which the servers of your recipients decide the fate of the emails you send.

Which factors affect your reputation?

1. The past behavior of your mail server

If a business email server has been used to send SPAM emails (or if it has been used by the owner or Hackers in the past), then the server’s Reputation is diminished. This means that there is a good chance that the emails sent by this server never get delivered.

2. Your server’s IP

Following the same rationale, if your IP is blacklisted for any reason, then the emails that leave this particular IP may encounter problems in their delivery.

3. The age of your domain

Email providers, in their effort to be protected against Spammers, have become even stricter towards recently acquired domains that do not yet have reputation. Thus, it is possible, that when you first try to send your emails from your new domain they get marked as SPAM.

Just think that Spammers, too, send spam emails from new domains because the ones they had been using in the past are already blacklisted.

4. The recipients’ reactions to previous emails sent by your company (complain rates & move to Inbox)

Whether we are talking about company newsletters or personal emails via your business account, the recipients’ behavior is part of the algorithm that affects the delivery of the emails you send in the future.

For instance, if you regularly send business newsletters and the recipients report your emails more than what is considered acceptable (usually 1%, which means that one out of 100 recipients reports them) then your reputation decreases.

On the contrary, if one of your emails ends up in a Spam folder and the recipient chooses to transfer it to their Inbox, then this counts as a “positive vote” and your reputation increases.

All the actions carried out by the recipients in each particular email program they use (Gmail, yahoo mobile, etc.) are part of the companies’ algorithm.

5. A big Bounce Rate

What is a bounce rate? A Bounce rate, in email terminology, is the proportion of emails whose recipients are inactive. This may be due to the fact that some members in your list have changed their email, have changed jobs or positions, so their old emails are no longer active.

If you send an email to 100 recipients and 10 of them have changed their email, then the bounce rate is 10%, which is considered too high and also constitutes a negative vote as far as the reputation of your mail server is concerned.

Generally, a widely accepted Bounce Rate level is 5%

6. Additional Factors

Additional reasons that can constitute a negative vote are:


– You send newsletters too often

– In your emails there is no unsubscribe option

– You use bought email lists in which the subscribers have not consented to becoming members

– You send content that is not relevant to what the recipients are interested in. Even if someone has shown an interest in receiving emails from your company, this is closely connected to the reason why they chose to join your list. If they based their choice on their wish to learn more about mobile phones and your company sends them newsletters on automotive parts, then the content is not relevant to their initial interests.

When one of the above mentioned reasons applies, the recipient may make a “complaint” resulting in a decrease in your reputation.

In a particular complaint rate, the companies that receive the emails may decide to direct all the emails that come from your server to SPAM folders, or even completely reject you as a sender, which results in the emails never even being delivered to the recipient.

As many of our customer have faced this problem we started using some new settings on the outgoing emails. You can learn more here.

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