One of the major issues with cold emails is that the chances of being flagged as spam is high - it is unsolicited email after all. At least if you aren't doing things the right way. Often time, we are approached by customers who have burned up their email reputation. The truth is that though it may be rescuable, the odds of getting it burned up in the first place are not worth it to begin with.  Getting flagged on your email is a big pain considering the many hours necessary to create a good email campaign and this is counter productive vis-a-vis your campaign efforts. Open rates is generally low for any outbound effort hence spam comes in to make a bad case even worse as no body reads those - or do you ? It can lead to a lot of unnecessary, stressful hassle you don't want, and it can all be avoided with a few simple steps. This guide will show you how to avoid being flagged from sending out your emails.

Introduction: What is a cold email and why is it important to avoid spam filters?

A cold email is an email message to a prospective customer that is sent to an individual or company with whom the sender has no previous contact. It is usually sent with the intention of selling something or generating some kind of business relationship. They are a useful tool for marketers because they can be used to send important information or ask potential prospects for feedback.

Undoubtedly, cold emailing is one of the best techniques to generate sales leads and get more customers. There are some habits that will help you succeed with cold emailing. The majority of the time, cold emailing is a numbers game, so you should send as many emails as possible. But hey, be careful! Mail providers are on the look out for spammers who play the numbers game as well by sending out as many emails as possible to get their desired results. The last thing you want is to be mistaken for a spammer. This doesn't only ruin your cold email campaign, but your sender reputation as well.

How do I avoid spam filters with my cold emails?

Inbox or Spam ? Here's the secret!
Inbox or Spam ? Here's the secret!

Spam filters are features of email platforms that help identify messages that likely contain spam or advertising content. Thus, it is safe to say that you should avoid spam filters when sending cold emails. A clear and convincing subject line and preview text will significantly improve your chances of avoiding spam filters.

One of the most important things you should pay attention to in a cold email is writing an introduction. A well-written introduction can make a huge difference when it comes to getting your message read. A good introduction is short and catchy. You want to capture the attention of your recipient by giving them a preview of what they are going to learn from you. Include only one main point in your intro so they don't get overloaded by information and will be inclined to read further. Include a call-to-action in your intro if necessary, so the recipient knows how they can take action on your email and contact you back, for example: "Here, you can learn more about our service."

Cold emails are the most effective way to get in touch with your prospects or clients. It is important to keep in mind that when you email someone, they may be busy and not in a position to read every word of the email. So it is necessary not to make your emails too long and complicated.

Do's and Dont's of Cold Emailing

How to stay out of the spam bin
How to stay out of the spam bin

A) Basic Measures

- Use a personal greeting instead of a formal one.

- Keep your sentences short, straight to the point and sweet.

- Include a call to action at the end of the email.

- Don't use capital-lettered words.

- Avoid using similar words in close succession.

- Limit the use of emoticons (e.g. smiley, sad face).

- Don't use unprofessional email addresses.

- Don't forget to write a subject line.

- Send polite and courteous messages.

- Send a well-defined and clear request.

- Be careful with attachments : Attachments have a detrimental influence on deliverability in most cases. It's a good idea to postpone sending the attachment unless you absolutely need it.

- Use social media to your advantage (e.g including your Linkin, twitter handles).

- Don't forget to follow up. Don't be aggressive with follow-up nevertheless.

- Don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

- Respond to opt-out requests as soon as possible.

- Avoid using misleading or ambiguous subject lines.

- Provide a real mailing address for correspondence.

- Don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

- Avoid using words that can trigger spam in both your subject line and your email body: these are words that email providers identify as fraudulent or malicious in nature.

The following category of words can trigger spam :

--Manipulative: establishing a sense of urgency or pressure that isn't warranted.

--Shady and doubtful: conduct that is morally or legally questionable.

--Dubious: being overly pushy is sleazy.

--Free or ridiculously cheap: everyone wins.

--Needy: a frantic tone or assertions that are overstated or exaggerated.

--Improbable and unrealistic: statements that outright appear to be too good to be true.

Words such as 100% free, act now, order now, buy immediately, hurry up, do it today, respond ASAP, instantly, limited time, start earning today, money back, free investment, email marketing, hot sales, urgent, last chance, last day, only for you, offer won't last, expires soon, don't wait, once in a lifetime, serious cash, million, billion, US dollars and symbols such as !!!, $, and CAPS can trigger spam filters and get your emails filtered out into the spam bin. Thus, it is important to keep your email template precise and professional.

B) Advanced Measures

  • Configure your Email Infrastructure Properly: This is the act of authenticating the domain from which you will be sending your emails. This allows the recipient's server to confirm your identity and ensure that the email was truly sent by you. This significantly reduces your chances of being flagged as spam. Authenticating your domain entails configuring three main protocols: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
Sender DNS Records (SPF, DKIM and DMARC)
Sender DNS Records (SPF, DKIM and DMARC)

-SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a standard which verifies your identity by determining whether or not your email is sent from a domain's allowed IP address.

-DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) is a security standard for email that ensures messages aren't tampered with while in transit between the outbound and inbound servers. As email leaves an outbound server, it employs public-key cryptography to sign it with a private key. In other words, this authentication mechanism adds a digital signature to every outgoing email from a specific domain, which the prospect's system subsequently verifies. DKIM therefore ensures that an email is not tampered with while it is being sent.

-DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is an email authentication mechanism that when published for a domain, governs what occurs when a message fails authentication checks (i.e. the receiving server cannot verify that the message's sender is who they say they are). When a sender is not authenticated with SPF and DKIM, DMARC contains information that decides what should happen to such a mail e.g reject the mail or forward it to the spam bin. Its purpose is to allow email domain owners to safeguard their domains from unauthorized and unlawful use, often known as email spoofing.

Contact your mail provider in case you have any difficulties setting up these protocols.

  • Pick the right tool for your campaigns : This could make the difference between success and failure. Here comes your number one email tool ;

  • Avoid Bounces as much as possible : When an email is not delivered for a long period of time due to issues such as fraudulent email addresses or unverified inbound domain, this is referred to as a bounce. This is something to stay away from, as your reputation gets worse with increase in bounces, making it increasingly difficult to avoid spam filters. Tracking bounce rates allows you to assess the likelihood of being blacklisted by spam filters hence you should monitor it closely. One of the greatest strategies to reduce bounces is to keep your email list updated. Clean and verify your list on a regular basis. Generally, bounce rates should be under 1% to be unharmful. Anything above that will trigger spam filters, alerting them  to the fact that you're sending emails to outdated and invalid email addresses.

It is best to have your mailing list verified before every campaign. MurList Email Validate is a fast and accurate email verification tool that detects inactive, spam-trap, and disposable emails, ensuring that all recipients exist, minimize bounce rate and maintain a good sender reputation. In addition, Email Validate equally removes duplicate emails from your list and gives you selectable download options, permitting you download the very best and most optimized list of prospects for your outbound sales campaigns.

MurList Email Verification Tool
MurList Email Verification Tool

  • Avoid open rate tracking as much as possible as this is known to considerably affect deliverability : If your prospects use powerful spam filters, it's a good idea to keep the amount of links in your email message to a minimum, as these links are often harmful to deliverability.

  • Don't send bulk email : Sending so many emails at once will outright get you banned or if you're lucky , you might be labelled as newsletter. It is therefore essential to send your mails in bits to avoid this hassle but this in itself will be a daunting task if you have to do it manually. MurList Email Campaign Tool gives you the ability to set an interval or wait time between sending to each prospect on your campaign list. This prevents your emails from being sent in a blast which can jeopardize deliverability.

  • Send unique content to each prospect : If you send an identical email copy over and over again, spam filters will become alerted. Murlist Spintax Tool allows you to generate massive content that is unique for each prospect on your list making it extremely efficient in avoiding spam. This video will help you understand how spintax works.

  • Make you content highly personalized : Personalization demonstrates to your potential customers that you are aware of who they are. It lets them know that you had them in mind when writing your message. This enhances the likelihood of your prospects connecting with your emails, improving your engagement stats, which is good for your mailing reputation. However, using thesame mundane text personalization time and time again can be daunting and tedious. Murlist has taken personalization in cold emailing to a completely new dimension, setting it apart from it's competitors. In addition to text personalization, Murlist Cold Email Outreach Tool goes an extra mile by allowing you add hyper-personalized video and images customized for each individual recipient to drive conversion.

  • Keep an eye on your IP reputation : It is extremely important to maintain a good IP reputation. An IP address is a number associated with your domain that is authorized to send emails and messages on the domain's behalf. Send emails using secure and trusted IP addresses.. Every IP address has a rating, and if yours is low, your emails will most likely be classified as spam, making them undeliverable.

  • Build and maintain good Domain/Sender Reputation : Appearing as a legitimate sender is the first and most important step in avoiding spam filtes. Spam filters use domain reputation to determine whether or not an email is trustworthy enough and where it should be sent (inbox or spam bin). Therefore it's critical to keep your domain reputation on high gear. The following elements are used to assess domain reputation:

Spam Rate: This is the percentage of emails sent from a specific domain that are filtered out and forwarded straight to the spam bin.

Bounce rate: This is the percentage of emails sent from a domain that are returned to the sender after being rejected by Prospect's email server.

Spam Report: This is when a potential lead marks you as spam on purpose after receiving your email. As an email sender, the last thing you need is spam reports as immediately trigger spam filters, affecting email deliverability significantly.

The easiest strategy to build a good domain reputation is to track these metrics on a regular basis and keep them to a minimum. Additionally, having a means to safeguard your emails against spoofing is essential.

MurList Email Warmup Tool improves sender reputation on autopilot. With a network of about 3000 mailboxes, we simulate positive mailing behaviour for your account, giving you a great sender reputation vital for improving deliverability on your outbound sales efforts, with unique features such as :

✔ Gradually ramping up sending volume with time.

✔ Auto-reply to emails.

✔ Pulling out emails from spam and marking as 'not spam' (into inbox).

✔ Detailed daily report and analytics.

✔ Integration with any mail provider through SMTP.

✔ Human review and more.


In summary, even the best email strategies are useless if you don't target the right people. Spend time researching and crafting the perfect pitch, and then focus on getting through to the right people. Prospects should only be contacted if they have a genuine need for your product and are likely to benefit from your services. This increases the likelihood that they will respond to your emails, which in turn increases your engagement rate, both of which are positive metrics for improving your reputation. The more you practice, the better you'll get. And it's important to remember that no one is perfect — there are always going to be people who ignore your emails, or worse, send them to spam. But if you keep trying, it will pay off.

Murlist Lead Engine is one of the most innovative AI powered lead generation tools in the industry to help you get the right prospects for your outbound sales campaigns on autopilot. With over 100million B2B records and further enriched by 3P APIs, Lead Engine provides you with the data you need to find your next paying customer. This article will help you understand Lead Engine better. Additionally, feel free to reach out to murlist customer support at There is always a team readily available to assist you and answer all your questions.