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Take These Anti-Spam Steps to Dodge the Junk Folder!

Reading Time 5 min.

There’s nothing more annoying in newsletter marketing than your message ending up in the spam folders of your recipients. Choosing the right newsletter tool already helps improving the deliverability of your emails. By being a member of the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) and by supporting security certificates such as SPF, SSL and DKIM, CleverReach offers their customers a high degree of deliverability. According to recent rankings on emailtooltester.com, CleverReach delivers the most emails to the inboxes of recipients in comparison with other newsletter tools!

CleverReach’s already putting a lot of effort into smoothly delivering your business newsletters. But there are also some anti-spam steps you as a sender can take to make your emails go straight to the inboxes of your recipients. In today’s post, we’ll show you what makes spam emails spammy and how you make email clients recognize your newsletters as „the good guys“.

What is a Spam Email?

Phishing emails aim at getting at the personal data of recipients. Spam senders often pretend to be well-known businesses like Amazon. You are probably familiar with unwanted spam emails in your inbox. Email chain letters, fake Amazon and PayPal messages or other phishing emails bug and upset recipients. The messages are sent without the consent of the recipient and mostly by bots as mass emails to countless email addresses. That’s why spam is often also called unsolicited bulk emails or junk. Spam senders hope that recipients click on links, buy products, reveal private data or download malware to their PC. Fortunately, most email clients like Outlook, gmx and Thunderbird detect these emails directly and send them straight to the junk folder.

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What Happens if Your Email Become Spam?

If your emails slip into the junk folder of your recipients despite your best intentions, this causes several problems for your email marketing. First of all, you pay for recipients who don’t get your emails, which is annoying enough. But in the long run, the overall reputation of your mailings can suffer from the fact that your emails are detected as spam, so that your sender address ends up on email blacklists. Email clients like Outlook or Gmail will block your messages for recipients not to receive potential spam. This makes whitelisting in email marketing ever so important, as it proves that you’re a reputable sender.

How to Improve Your Deliverability

Nowadays, spam filters are often very complex and react to the slightest trace of spam. It might happen that your newsletter accidentally ends up as spam. However, details in newsletter design, as well as technical requirements can determine whether an email reaches your recipient or ends up in the junk folder. By taking these steps, your emails can be spared from a life as a spam email:

Adjust the Technical Settings

Your internet provider offers you the chance to get various authentications and security certificates. That signals website visitors and email clients that you’re a reputable provider who takes care of the data security of their users. The most common certificates and signatures that can also be added to CleverReach are the following:

  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): SSL-encryption protects the data of your customers from unauthorized access. An SSL certificate for your website is especially essential for the transfer of personal data. In addition, the German Tele Media Act has made SSL encryption mandatory since 2015. If you already have an SSL entry on your website we’ll show you how to add it to your CleverReach account.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): DKIM is a kind of “seal“ for your email to prove the authenticity of the sender. DKIM lets your email get past the security check when arriving at the recipient’s inbox. This prevents phishing and other spam messages. Read this post on how to set up DKIM in CleverReach.
  • SPF (Senders Policy Framework): Just like DKIM SPF allows you to prove your identity and the legitimacy of your newsletters to your recipients. Leave an SPF entry with your provider (if possible) to minimize the risk of spam. Find out how to add an SPF entry.

Avoid Phishing Warnings

Mail filters set phishing alerts when a link in an email does not match the target address. This is because phishing mostly works with redirects, similar to, for example, tracking by adding parameters to the URL. If you want to avoid these phishing warnings, then it is best to not write out whole links in your email. Link a text instead, for example “Click here“.

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Use Your Own Subdomain

Some spam filters react to tracking links that differ from the sender’s address. Work around this problem with your own subdomain, that you can also use for the tracking URL. Find out how to set up your own subdomain in CleverReach.

Optimize Your Subject Line

Avoid spammy words and phrases often used by dubious senders, such as “Congratulations!“, “Exclusive deal!“, “Act now“ or too many special characters or capital letters. Standard phrases like “February Newsletter“ are also not advisable, as spam filters get suspicious easily. Make your subject line match the content of your email and rouse interest in your recipients.

Add Image Descriptions

Always add a meaningful (Alt)-Text to your images to describe it. If you don’t add an image description or fill it with a “spammy“ description, it’s more likely to become spam. You can add the image description via “Add image“ in the Drag & Drop Editor in CleverReach.

The Right Balance of Images and Text

Spammers try to circumvent spam detectors by sending their message as an image. So if newsletters are sent with only images and little or no text, email filters will get suspicious. Design your mailing in a way that the most important content is conveyed in your body text and images only support your message visually.

Send on a Regular Basis

Send regularly – but keep everything in moderation! If you send only a few mails, your recipients might forget about you and be astonished to see your emails in their inbox. Too many mails, on the other hand, can annoy your subscribers. In both cases it is important to avoid that your mails are deleted unread or even moved to the junk folder.

Be Safe and Relevant to Dodge the Junk Folder!

Count on official security certificates and relevant content to boost the deliverability of your emails. Recipients who receive the email they want with interesting content at just the right time won’t associate your newsletters with the word spam. CleverReach will assist you on the technical level to ensure that your emails end up safely in the inbox of your recipients!


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Sabine Kowalski

Sabine Kowalski arbeitet als Content Spezialistin bei CleverReach®. Privat bloggt sie über Mode, Nachhaltigkeit und alles zum Thema Selbermachen.