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Why do emails go to Spam folder?

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This is a question I addressed extensively in my new book titled: “Digital First: The step by step employment guide for Digital Citizens.

Anything that the email providers determine as spam will get moved into your spam folder. You can see your spam folder on the left side of your Gmail or Yahoo screen, with a number listing how many messages are in the spam folder. calls that folder Junk.

Below are some of the reasons why email providers classify an email as spam

  • Your email does not have a Physical Address or a P.O.BOX in it.

Email filters are able to scan for a physical address or a post office box in your email content. So make sure you have it there. You can add it to your Email signature so you don’t have to write it always.

  • People receiving your emails are marking it as Spam.

The email filters take into consideration what others are saying about you. This is something I will call “Crow Verification“. When many people mark your email as spam, the email filters will automatically see you as such.

How do you get around this? Try getting permission before sending emails to the person. Also, make sure the content is really relevant to the person. Once the content is tailored to the person’s interest, the person will not mark it as spam.

That aside, in the USA for example, you can get into trouble if you send emails without permission. There is an act to that effect. You can read more about it here:

  • Low Engagement

Email is considered a two-way communication. You can’t be sending emails to people and no one is replying. That is a red flag. This mostly happens in Email marketing where we send bulk emails.

How do you go around this? Find a way to get the recipient to take action (reply). Alternatively, you can create about 50 or 100 emails and add that to your bulk emails. Anytime you send emails out, send some to yourself, and reply to yourself. That will create engagement enough to fool the filters (algorithms). Emailing yourself in order to trick the providers is something I will not recommend.

  • Your domain is blacklisted

Before registering, I used domains such are,,, etc. I’ve abandoned them all. Only God knows what I did with those domains. Imagine if I used to send 1000s of spam emails. Anyone owning that domain now will suffer from my bad behavior.

How do you go around this? Create engagement around your email. Send emails to your friends and ask (plead) with them to reply. Better still, check the status of your domain (whether blacklisted or not) before buying it. You can check that here:

  • There is no “Source” in your Subject.

The email should have been enough to indicate where the content is coming from, but unfortunately, filters expect to see something like “Kaunda from Datatype Technology ………” in the email subject.

  • In proper fraction

The ratio of your text to the image should be proper. You should not have small text and large images. At most, the image should cover 40% of your email and 60% of the text. Anything else is a characteristic of spam email.

  • Sending Attachment in bulk email.

We normally do this a lot. We send the company profile in our bulk emailing. Sometime back I used to send proposals that way too. It is a horrible practice. In email marketing, do not add an attachment. You can later send the attachment to individuals who show business prospects.

  • Using amazing words and phrases.

Words and phrases like Freeeeee Offer, Absolutely free, Amazing, Rush to register, Apply now, wow, hurry, cancel anytime, etc. Any word that can make someone rush to take any action is a red flag. You can get a long list of words and phrases that raise the red flag from here

  • Misleading Title/Subject

For example, if your email subject claims to come “From Online President” or “From Donald J Trump” you can have a problem with filters. Do not pretend to be someone else.

  • Too many links or too much coloring

 Do not add too many links or colors in your email. One or two is OK.

  • Grammar “glammar, glammer”

The email filters associate wrong spelling to scammers. So make sure you construct your English well. If yours is as horrible as mine, then install the application called Grammarly. It has a chrome extension that helps to form the right tenses and spelling. The free version is enough to do your job.

  • No “Unsubscribe” option in your email

This is for those who send bulk emails. Do not think you are smart by denying the recipient the option to opt-out. It will go against your future campaign.

A simple way to make sure your email satisfies all the above conditions is to first send your email to a Mail Tester and check the score. Note: This is purely for those who are into Email Marketing.

I sent a test email to an email tester, pretending to be Donald Trump. Below is the analysis.

From the above diagram, it is clear that my email content has one broken link and there is a sign that I can also improve the content of the email.

To test your email, visit and follow the steps there


Author: KAUNDA, Ibn Ahmed (CEO, Datatype Technology)

For comments, contact Kaunda, OnlinePresident via email; Mobile +233 234 80 90 10; Website: