Why Are My Emails Going To Spam? 5 Reasons And Solutions

A new client asked me once about “Why is my email going to spam and ending up in people’s junk folders?”

Is this happening to you? We’ll tell you the common reasons your email goes to junk and how how to fix it yourself. In this post we talk about 5 factors that affect your spam score – or how trusted your outgoing emails are by receiving domains.

We also talk about domain and email security solutions every business should have, including DKIM records, DMARC, and Sender Policy Framework here

5 Factors That Affect Your Spam Score

Various things contribute to the spam risk rating or spam score of each email sent.

A spam score is assigned on a scale of 1-10, with lower being better. By lowering one or all of your risks which escalate your spam score, you can safely end up back in people’s inbox.

Here are some things that incrementally contribute to your email ending up in spam. Each contributing factor may have a different weight to it.

Overall, if you keep ending up in spam folders, you will have to figure out your own magical combination of things to use or eliminate to get your spam score low enough to get past the spam filters

Desktop Mail Clients, Cheap Web Hosting & Email Going To Spam

Using a desktop email client like Microsoft Outlook without SSL authentication increases your chance of ending up in spam folders. This is also true if you are using a “value priced” web hosting company and just routing your email through a desktop client like Outlook.

Why? Because your individual computer, where your individual version of Microsoft Outlook (or other email client) resides, has a higher risk of being hacked over say, Google’s G Suite service. Giant companies like Google and Microsoft with their Office 365 products work hard to ensure security and as a result, Internet Service Providers lower the spam rating of emails being sent from one of those email services.

But you, with your home computer, or small office computer with neglected network security…well, your email is viewed as more of a risk.

Solution: Switch to Google Workspace or move to Microsoft 365.

HTML code in your email signature can land you in junk folder

Why? Because HTML can be used to obfuscate links to malicious sources.

Of course, you are not a malicious hacker or sending out spam, but the bots and filters don’t know you personally. They just work on set parameters. And HTML in your signature is another check box on the “this email looks suspicious” list.

Solution(s): Remove HTML from your email signature. Try a premium email signature creator. 

Message Content Of Email Can Get Stuck In Spam Filter

Content is the most heavily weighted scoring mechanism of the lot. If an email message looks like spam, walks like spam and talks like spam, it is marked as spam.

Using sales-y language, advertising, prices, poor punctuation and grammar and certain keywords related to off colour industries (you know the ones we mean) will also increase your spam score. Here is a great list by SpamAssassin of subject lines or body content that are flagged as spam.

Solution: Use professional language in your email body and when conducting business with clients, forward your pricing and ads as PDF attachments.

Your Domain Reputation

Has your domain been on a blacklist in the past? Or is it on one presently? If so, your emails will be marked as spam.

Has the domain been registered only recently, or has it been around long time? New domains receive a higher spam score.

Does the domain contain the proper DNS records for email transactional trust? Be sure to use the right domain and email solutions to avoid problems pertaining to your domain and DNS records. Your IT support company can help you with all of these settings.

Recipient's Settings Sending Email To Spam

Why? There is spam filtering in most email clients and they vary from client to client. You can’t control this. What you can do is lower your level of suspicion.

The tips above are simple enough for most people to do on their own.

The tips below explain the more technical aspects of spam filtering. They carry a lot of weight and you need to get them right to improve your email deliverability rates. Talk to your IT support company about the following settings.

More Tips To Improve Email Security & Deliverability

Now that you are familiar with some key ways to improve your trust or spam score, learn about 3 technical changes you can make to improve your domain and email security by using DKIM, DMARC and SPF Records.


In summary:

If your team has problems getting past spam filters, try some of the above suggestions, or contact your IT provider to help you adjust your mail server settings, SSL certificates, and DNS SPF records.

For Toronto IT security services, reach out to TUCU Managed IT Services Inc. Trusted since 2003, we are SMB IT experts who will help you protect your business. In addition to security. Let’s talk!


More Posts

Free Consultation

Get IT Solutions for your business.