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10 reasons why your email marketing is going into junk that you may have overlooked

Published: 23rd June 2022
Reasons why your email might be going into the junk folder that you may have missed. If your lovingly created email marketing is going into your recipient’s junk folder, then this can be a real issue. If your recipients aren’t seeing your marketing, then they aren’t buying from you.

In this video, we are going to look at the top ten reasons why. We purposefully picked ten that people generally overlook, so if you have an issue with inbox placement, hopefully, this video will help you to identify and fix it.

Inconsistent sending volume

For your email marketing to receive good inbox placement - your send volume needs to be consistent, this means you are then visible and a known quantity to the email filters. If you go for months without sending, and then suddenly send out a campaign, there is a decent chance that your email will go into junk. This is because the filters penalise senders that don’t have a visible history to them.

Low previous engagements

If your previous email campaigns have not received many reads or clicks, then this can be classed as low engagements - this history can be seen by spam filters. It’s very common that they will penalise senders who regularly receive low engagements - they often filter their subsequent email sends to the junk. The fix for this is to make sure your data is properly opted in and your email contains a very clear call to action

Poor quality data

If your data doesn't have regular housekeeping then over time it may start to degrade. If this happens, then it could contain a percentage of dead domains, this leads to a higher bounce rate when you sent campaigns out to this data.

Spam filters will routinely penalise senders who have a high rate of bounces, this then generates a negative sender reputation. This poor reputation then means that future sends could start to run into inbox placement issues.

Sending domain not verified

Verification of sending domain is quite a big one, if you’ve got a junk folder issue, then this is the first place to start looking. If you are using third-party email software to send your emails, then it’s really important to have this in place. Domain verification is effectively adding a seal of authenticity to your send if spam filters can’t see that this is in place - then they will often class the send as spam.

Subscribers don’t remember opting-in

It’s quite common for your subscribers to forget that they opted in to receive your email, this means that they often will mark your email as spam when they receive it. When someone marks an email as spam, the results are automatically passed back to the spam filter. When this happens, the spam filter will remember this negative history and will mark future sends as spam.

The fix for this is quite easy - simply add a small line of text at the top of your mailer reminding people why they are receiving your email.

Generic send from address

Again, this is a really easy one to fix, but very often overlooked. Your send from address plays a huge part in inbox placement, mail filters penalise generic send from addresses - these could be addresses such as sales@ offers@ or news@. It’s quite common to see email from addresses such as that to be routinely filtered in the junk folder.

If you are currently using a generic send from address, if you try changing it to your name@, it’s a dead cert that you’ll get much better inbox placement.

Images not optimised

If you are sending out emails that contain images as part of the design - then it’s really important that you make sure that the file sizes are as small as possible. Each one wants to be underneath 100kb ideally. Again, this is another category that spam filters routinely penalise senders for. If you mailer contains more than a few images where the file sizes are quite large, then this is a fast track to the junk folder.

A great way to shrink files sizes down is to use an optimisation tool such as

Poor subject header line

People often check the body text of their mailer for the presence of spam phrases - but the one that has a larger effect on inbox placement is the subject header line. This is the one that most people overlook.

It’s worth making sure that your subject header line doesn’t contain any spam phrases and also creates interest with your viewers. If viewers don’t find it engaging, they won’t engage with it and this generate poor history. If it contains spam phrases thn this can mean automatic filtering to the junk folder.

Lots of decent email marketing software will contain a pre-flight checkers that will scan your subject header and body text for the presence of any words or phrases that could negatively effect your inbox placement.

Too much HTML styling

This one is another one that may not be immediately obvious, but if you just designed a great looking HTML mailer, the amount of HTML code used does have an effect on how inbox friendly your email will be.

Using lots of styling and formatting creates more HTML code. Spam filters send HTML styling heavy mailers into spam. So, the fix here is to use less styling - or create smaller emails.

Text embedded inside images

We’ve seen this one quite a bit, it can have quite a negative effect on both inbox placement and the viewing experience of your email. If you’ve had a flyer designed, it’ll be a static document with text embedded inside it. If you want to re-create this as an email, you’ll need to type the text as text.

Often, people would skip this part and just import the flyer as one big image. This is a real no-no, not only does it boost the junk rating, but if your sending domain isn’t verified, then your recipients may not load the image when first received.


Ok, That rounds up our top ten reasons why your email marketing may be going into junk that you may have missed. If you’ve got an inbox placement issue, then hopefully this quick tips video may help to get to the bottom of it.

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