Avoid Getting Your Messages Caught in the Spam Folder

This blog post covers tips and tricks you can use to keep your messages out of spam folders.

16/10/2019 By Handysends Team

How to Avoid Getting Your Messages Caught in the Spam Folder

One of the reasons that people choose SendGrid is that it allows users to reliably deliver content to their customer’s inboxes. However, the ability to get messages to where they need to be also relies on how well our HandySends customers set up and maintain their email lists.

This post will cover some of the ways you can avoid getting your message lost in the abyss of the spam folder. In particular, we’ll look at the following tips:

  • Create your own email list
  • Ask customers to double opt-in to your messages
  • Warm up your IP
  • Send valuable content
  • Monitor results with SendGrid analytics
  • Clean up your email list
  • Avoid blacklists

Create your own email list

It is extremely important that you create your own targeted audiences for sending messages. Here are some things to avoid in order to not only make sure your messages are delivered, but that you aren’t blacklisted from sending as well. You will want to make sure that you avoid:

  • Renting, purchasing, or co-registering an email from a third party
  • Sharing or using a shared list with a partner
  • Scraping emails—if you’re using a robot to collect emails, known as email harvesting, this practice puts you squarely into the spam camp. Don’t ever do it!

For more information on how to build your email list, check out SendGrid’s post on how to organically build your email list.

Confirm that your users want to opt-in to your messages

When people subscribe to your list, it is a good idea to have them follow a double opt-in process where the user confirms that he or she wants to subscribe before receiving messages. The double opt-in is typically handled from your side. If you are a non-programmer and want to add double opt-in functionality, there might be other ways to do this with widgets and other plug-ins. For example, WordPress provides a subscription widget that will integrate into your WordPress site (SendGrid Subscription Widget/).

Having subscribers use double opt-in shows that they have a genuine interest in your emails (which will keep your engagement and deliverability rates high).

Before You Send, Make Sure You Warm Up your IP

Warming up an IP address involves sending low volumes of email on your dedicated IP and then systematically increasing your email volume over a period of time. Doing so provides ISPs the opportunity to recognize, identify, and evaluate your sending practices before giving the green light to your entire email list. This process is included within SendGrid and you can utilize the IP warming feature before making your first send.

For more information on IP warming, visit our Warming Up an IP tutorial.

Make Sure Your Content is Valuable to your Customers

Make sure your content is relevant to your customers. Sending email that is irrelevant or sending too often may decrease the likelihood that your recipient will open or click your next email. And that all means a higher likelihood of landing in the dreaded spam folder.

Here are some helpful tips to ask yourself before sending your next email:

  • Am I sharing new or urgent information with my recipients?
  • When was the last time I sent an email about this topic? Is it too soon to send another update?
  • Do all of my subscribers need to know this information or does only a segment of my list need to be updated?
  • If received this email would I find it valuable?

If you are working on a marketing campaign, you can also use SendGrid’s A/B testing feature to fine tune your email sending and see which email resonates better with your audience.

Monitor your email engagement metrics

SendGrid provides detailed analytics to help you track your campaigns and see how well your email campaigns are working. By reviewing how well your messages are performing, you can better tailor your email strategy to target more customers.

The following metrics are a good place to find information about how well your email campaign is working:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Unsubscribe rates

Don’t panic if you start to notice negative trends, just be to sure to act quickly once you do. For example, if your open rates are starting to dip, review your subject lines and email frequency as those two variables are likely affecting this metric.

For more advanced metrics, check our 4 Important Email Metrics to Monitor blog post.

Regularly clean up your email list

Sometimes people won’t go through the extra step of unsubscribing from your email but they will not open them either. As your engagement rate lowers, your favorability among the ISPs also suffers and your messages then become more likely to end up in the spam folder.

Make sure that you are monitoring your lists and regularly removing unengaged users, bounced emails, and role email addresses. A smaller, engaged list of recipients is better than a larger one that remains disengaged from your messaging.

Avoid blacklists and monitor your reputation

Your email domain has a reputation associated with it and if it slips or you send an email to a spam trap email, you may find yourself on an email blacklist. We’ve covered most of the tasks above but to summarize, you can reduce the risk of ending up blacklisted by:

  • Using confirmed opt-in or double opt-in
  • Implementing a sunset policy to remove unengaged subscribers
  • Using real-time address validation—if somebody enters in a false email (or even a typo) and you send email to that invalid email address, your sender score suffers.

For more information on blacklists, read Avoiding Blacklists: Best Practices For Reducing Your Risk of IP and Domain Blacklisting.


Email marketing is challenging because it’s not always easy to tell which message will resonate with your customers. By following the tips above, you can increase your engagement and keep your messages away from the spam folder.

Read SendGrid’s Top 10 Tips And Tricks to Stay Out Of The Spam Folder Guide for more tips and if you feel like your email deliverability could use some help, check out SendGrid’s email plans to see how we can help!

Make sure you use an email you can access.