Over the years spam filters have gotten increasingly better at their job. Keeping unwanted and dangerous guys who spam, out.
But for us, the good guys who have no ill intentions towards our recipients, we sometimes get caught in the hell that is the spam folder.

First off, it is not an email marketer vs spam filters fight but rather a guide to prove we aren't spamming in the first place. This is because to succeed at email outreach your prospects also need to see your emails as not spam.

Remember, prospects only see it as spam if they don't find any value or use for it, not just because it is a cold email.

So this post should be called "how to avoid being a spammer".

Since the public launch of our email warmup service, we have gotten numerous questions on how to further avoid the spam folder. Hence this will serve as a guide to help your email effort.

What you shouldn't do to avoid relegation to the spam folder or getting blacklisted:

  1. Do not send email blasts.
  2. Do not send an abnormally higher volume.
  3. Avoid spam words, making unnecessary bogus claims, or saying something sketchy.
  4. Don't ignore your domain reputation.

What you should instead do:

  1. Send emails at intervals.
  2. Slowly increase your send volume with increase in email engagement.
  3. Personalize your email content.
  4. Warmup your inbox.
  5. Make sure your mailbox's DNS is configured correctly.
  6. Use an older domain.

Do not send blast emails:

Blast emails are the type you hit send and off a thousand or more emails go to a thousand different recipients. Major mail providers like Google detects this easily and will simply filter them out to the newsletter or promotion tab if you are lucky, the spam folder if they deem it necessary.
Instead, send at intervals - say you are sending to a list of a hundred prospects, it is advised to use a tool that sends the emails at intervals.
For example, send to just one recipient per 5 minutes. Ultimately, we advise starting with a longer duration between the send intervals and with a shorter list.

Do not send abnormally high volume:

Cold outreach is not entirely a game of number of mails sent, so don't treat it so. Sending to more prospects doesn't guarantee more sales or even replies.
Instead, start with a small list and increase the number of emails sent daily or weekly.

It is advisable to start at a maximum of 100 emails per day and increase the volume by 100 weekly for newer domains.

In a month, you are already doing 400 contacted prospects per day. Of course, this is what we have seen work for us. A daily increase might work too but we don't have enough experience to recommend it.

Don't send spam or sketchy contents:

Here is a list of spam keywords to avoid and we recommend running your email copy against the list to make sure all checks out.
We found that unfortunately, the evidence suggests the list isn't enough to keep you out of spam nor exhaustive. Therefore, personalize your content, people respond more to personalized contents.

We found that emails that made bogus claims or promises, or has sketchy content are likely to get marked as spam.

Write like you would if you are emailing your younger brother in the next room to get your glasses or look up the time. Not like an annoying salesman.

Don't ignore domain reputation:

This one is easy to leave off for later. Some marketers might be tempted to start sending emails right away and worry about the reputation after they have successfully burned up the domain and gotten relegated to the spam folder, or worst blacklisted.

The trick is to constantly warm your mailbox even if everything is good including when you aren't actively sending emails.

We have a complete guide on how to maintain a good sender reputation here.

That is it, we have seen these greatly improve the effectiveness of our campaigns and as a consequence, the ROI too.
Everyone will agree there is no need to send emails no one will read. Hence, if you are going to do cold outreach or already sending cold outreach, you should follow this guide to help get the most out of our effort.