Best Practices To Prevent Your Emails from Ending up in Spam

Modified on Tue, 06 Dec 2022 at 12:31 AM

In this article, we will review some best practices for email deliverability. There are several factors that can affect how mailbox providers (such as Google, Yahoo, etc.) make decisions to either flag your email as spam, or allow them to arrive at inboxes.

Check out the terms and tips below for best practices for your emails:

Sending Internal Mail

If you are sending a message to the same domain that the message is coming from (i.e. sending from to, it may go to spam. That is because a mailbox provider can see that it appears to be receiving a message from itself. This could mean the mailbox provider thinks it is being spoofed, and thus the message will be sent to spam.

Solution: If you must send internal mail to test your messages, you may want to use a free service, like gmail. If you’re sending internal mail outside of testing purpose, the manager of the domain will need to whitelist the IP address of your SMTP provider.


Does the domain you use for sending mail have a DMARC policy? (DMARC stands “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance”. It is an email authentication, policy, and reporting protocol used to improve protection of a domain from fraudulent emails. You can learn more about DMARC here:

If your domain uses a DMARC policy but you haven’t verified the domain with your SMTP provider, your messages could be marked as spam.

Solution: Check with your SMTP provider for instructions on how to ensure your messages passes DMARC.

Sending From a Public Domain

If you’re sending messages from a free domain such as,, or, your messages may end up in spam.

Solution: Send email from a domain that you 0wn which matches your branding. E.g. instead of sending from, send from


Best Practices for Subscriber List Health & List Collection

This is important, but we highly recommend making sure you’re all set with the aspects above before spending time here. Here are a few key factors to check:

  • Ensure everyone on your list has subscribed to your communications. (Make sure they have given you permission to send email marketing to them.) You can add subscription information to forms on your website and more to explicitly ask for permission to send email communication to contacts.
  • Make sure your contacts have multiple options to opt out/unsubscribe if they are no longer interested in receiving your emails (check out our Unsubscribe Link tutorial for the how-to.)
  • Clean/scrub your cold subscribers from your communication lists to improve your deliverability.
    • This means removing contacts who are unengaged from your mass communications. Within the system, consider creating a smart list to tag contacts based on “last activity” and select a time frame, such as >90 days or > 3 months, to filter out the cold leads. Choose the timeframe that is right for you!
  • Secure your forms with reCaptcha or double opt-in. 
    • The easiest way to do this is to set up a double opt-in system. When a user signs up for your email marketing, you need to send a follow-up email to confirm their subscription. This helps ensure contacts have opted in if they actually want to be opted in to receive your communications.
    • This can be done in the system using a trigger or a workflow. When a subscription form is filled out, a confirmation of subscription email is sent. When the link in the email is clicked, then the contact will be added to the marketing list.

Best Practices for Words to Consider Before Using

Below are some words and phrases that spam filters often view as red flags. The context will also assist; if you utilize only one or two of the words or phrases below, have a low bounce rate, and take other actions to ensure your emails comply with non-spam policies, you’ll be all set. 

Words that make promises too good to be true:

  • #1
  • 100% more
  • 100% free
  • 100% satisfied
  • Additional income
  • Be your own boss
  • Best price
  • Big bucks
  • Billion
  • Cash bonus
  • Cents on the dollar
  • Consolidate debt
  • Double your cash
  • Double your income
  • Earn extra cash
  • Earn money
  • Eliminate bad credit
  • Extra cash
  • Extra income
  • Expect to earn
  • Fast cash
  • Financial freedom
  • Free access
  • Free consultation
  • Free gift
  • Free hosting
  • Free info
  • Free investment
  • Free membership
  • Free money
  • Free preview
  • Free quote
  • Free trial
  • Full refund
  • Get out of debt
  • Get paid
  • Giveaway
  • Guaranteed
  • Increase sales
  • Increase traffic
  • Incredible deal
  • Lower rates
  • Lowest price
  • Make money
  • Million dollars
  • Miracle
  • Money back
  • Once in a lifetime
  • One time
  • Pennies a day
  • Potential earnings
  • Prize
  • Promise
  • Pure profit
  • Risk-free
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Save big money
  • Save up to
  • Special promotion

Words that may pressure or create urgency for your leads:

  • Act now
  • Apply now
  • Become a member
  • Call now
  • Click below
  • Click here
  • Get it now
  • Do it today
  • Don’t delete
  • Exclusive deal
  • Get started now
  • Important information regarding
  • Information you requested
  • Instant
  • Limited time
  • New customers only
  • Order now
  • Please read
  • See for yourself
  • Sign up free
  • Take action
  • This won’t last
  • Urgent
  • What are you waiting for?
  • While supplies last
  • Will not believe your eyes
  • Winner
  • Winning
  • You are a winner
  • You have been selected

Words that may seem shady or lead to unethical behavior:

  • Bulk email
  • Buy direct
  • Cancel at any time
  • Check or money order
  • Congratulations
  • Confidentiality
  • Cures
  • Dear friend
  • Direct email
  • Direct marketing
  • Hidden charges
  • Human growth hormone
  • Internet marketing
  • Lose weight
  • Mass email
  • Meet singles
  • Multi-level marketing
  • No catch
  • No cost
  • No credit check
  • No fees
  • No gimmick
  • No hidden costs
  • No hidden fees
  • No interest
  • No investment
  • No obligation
  • No purchase necessary
  • No questions asked
  • No strings attached
  • Not junk
  • Not spam
  • Obligation
  • Passwords
  • Requires initial investment
  • Social security number
  • This isn’t a scam
  • This isn’t junk
  • This isn’t spam
  • Undisclosed
  • Unsecured credit
  • Unsecured debt
  • Unsolicited
  • Valium
  • Viagra
  • Vicodin
  • We hate spam
  • Weight loss
  • Xanax

Words that are often seen as jargon or legalese:

  • Accept credit cards
  • Ad
  • All new
  • As seen on
  • Bargain
  • Beneficiary
  • Billing
  • Bonus
  • Cards accepted
  • Cash
  • Certified
  • Cheap
  • Claims
  • Clearance
  • Compare rates
  • Credit card offers
  • Deal
  • Debt
  • Discount
  • Fantastic
  • In accordance with laws
  • Income
  • Investment
  • Join millions
  • Lifetime
  • Loans
  • Luxury
  • Marketing solution
  • Message contains
  • Mortgage rates
  • Name brand
  • Offer
  • Online marketing
  • Opt in
  • Pre-approved
  • Quote
  • Rates
  • Refinance
  • Removal
  • Reserves the right
  • Score
  • Search engine
  • Sent in compliance
  • Subject to…
  • Terms and conditions
  • Trial
  • Unlimited
  • Warranty
  • Web traffic
  • Work from home

Check out our “Email Deliverability 101” article for more tips and best practices on email deliverability.

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