Wham, Bam, Don’t Go to Spam: Why ‘Mark as Spam’ Is Worse Than the ‘Delete’ Button

Whether you’re a marketer or an email recipient, you know that spam is synonymous with annoying. No one wants to be bombarded by a massive chunk of emails they did not subscribe to. But today, the way people define spam has evolved. Even your opt-in emails can be marked as spam, and it’s probably the scariest nightmare for marketers, worse than being moved to trash.

spam is worse than delete


Statistics show that 70% of ‘this is spam’ complaints are from marketing emails. For marketers, this high percentage is alarming. It could mean that your next email can trigger another spam complaint, and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree that’s not something you want to see happening.

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Now is the point where you’re probably wondering what you can do to avoid the dreaded spam box. Maybe you’ll be surprised when we’ll say: there are SO MANY things you can do to prevent your marketing emails from being marked as spam!

Follow these tips to ensure that your relationship with your recipients continues with no unwanted labels.

First Things First: Make Unsubscribe Button Obvious

True, your recipients did sign up for your emails, but as you know, they are free to change their minds at any time. If this happens, you don’t want to trick them or make them feel forced to keep receiving your emails. Those kinds of things will not only damage your image severely; it also puts you at a high risk of being marked as a spammer.

To avoid all that, be sure that they will think of unsubscribing first before hitting that spam button. The simplest, effective way to do this is to make your unsubscribe button obvious.

Save Cash: Follow the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

Be a responsible email marketer by understanding and following the CAN-SPAM Act.

TL;DR: It’s a set of rules created for commercial emails, including B2B emails, to protect recipients by affording them the right to stop you from emailing them. Non-compliance with the law means violation and is subject to penalties of up to $40,654. The way we see it – it’s cheaper to waste a few minutes reading to understand the act than accidentally (let alone intentionally) go against it.


The BIGGEST Don’t: Don’t Purchase a List

It may be tempting to grow your list in an instant, but purchasing a list is like paying for the end of your email marketing strategy. Using purchased lists can send a trigger to mailbox providers that you just broke the rules by blasting unsolicited emails.

Be Smart: Get Whitelisted

There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to avail an email marketing service as they ask mailbox providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail to whitelist Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or a domain as part of the job. That’s why you need to check the reputation of your EMS.


Meanwhile, if you do this on your own, you need to ask your recipient to whitelist you by adding you to their contact list. We suggest that you’ll put a reminder in a few strategic places in your emails – so they can see it right away, or right at the end of your email. Remember: the most effective marketing is to recipients who want to hear what you have to say, so this is not only a very effective way of being whitelisted but also a great way to make sure you are sharing your content to those who are really interested in it (i.e. – receiving your emails).

Trick the Tricksters: Be Sure Your Email Authentication is Enabled

Spammers are creative and resourceful, and one of their tricks include spoofing emails from your domain. The problem is, this tactic can blacklist you even if you’re not blasting emails! So to refrain from that happening, make sure your email authentication is enabled.


Last But Not Least: Don’t Play Dirty

Forget those old-school email practices that can do you more harm than good. These include deceptive subject lines, misleading claims, hashbusting or inserting characters in the subject link to deceive spam filters, and hiding text messages in an image tool.

Being marked as spam is far worse than being removed from the inbox. Follow the best email marketing practices and know how not to be a spammer to take care of your reputation.

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By being a responsible email marketer, you do not only achieve your business goals with a clean strategy. You also keep a good relationship with your email recipients. And that’s the entire idea, eh?

Read more:

Email Marketing Metrics 101: What You Should Be Monitoring

Email Marketing Best Practices to Adopt in 2018 and Beyond

5 Incredible Ways to Build a Highly Engaged Email List