5 reasons your email marketing is going to spam By , January 20 2023

Why are my emails going to spam? It’s a question many of us inevitably end up asking when venturing into the email marketing space. Luckily, there’s some easy troubleshooting you can do to discover why your real estate emails are going to spam and to prevent it in future.

Here are five reasons your emails could end up in the spam inbox [+ download our guide of 101 spam trigger words to avoid]. 

1. You’re using spam trigger words in the subject line or body of your emails

A spam filter is a program used to detect unsolicited, unwanted and virus-infected emails. Content filters, header filters and language filters track predictable target words that are commonly seen in spam emails and remove emails using those words from your inbox. This is great for us as end users… Yay to not being inundated with dodgy emails! 

If you’re sending out your own real estate emails, the existence of spam filters just means extra care needs to be taken with the words you use to avoid being wrongly classified as spam.

Try not to sensationalise your email subject lines and email body content. Overpromising around finances and investments can be particularly problematic.

Avoid over-punctuation and all caps in your subject lines as well.  You may be excited about your new listings but spam filters will not be. Delete those extra exclamation points.

101 spam trigger phrases to avoid in 2023. Grab your copy.

Wondering how you can create a sense of urgency in your subject lines without triggering spam filters? We recently unpacked the best real estate subject lines of 2022. It’s a perfect dose of inspo if all this talk of trigger words is throwing you for a loop. 

2. Your data isn’t “clean”

If you’re using a database that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, you’re likely to find yourself in more spam inboxes. 

What is dirty data? It could look like any of the following:

There are a couple of ways dirty data can trigger spam filters. Let’s break them down in more detail below.

Your emails are being marked as spam (A LOT)

If you’re a trusted source of emails you’re far less likely to be flagged as spam by filters. The easiest way to ruin your reputation as a trusted source is by being manually marked as spam by your database.

You’re more likely to be marked as spam if you’ve bought a list of people who don’t know you, or if you haven’t given people the opportunity to opt-in to your marketing. Think about it… would you trust an email from a source you don’t know or from a source that has dodgily collected your data without proper permission granted? 

Even if you’re not being marked as spam by these contacts, the act of deleting an email without opening it is also a bad signal for spam filters.

Beyond this, this method of collecting data is actually illegal. The Spam Act 2003 and Spam Regulations require you to get permission to subscribe someone to your database. 

Your emails aren’t reaching your contacts

So much of determining whether an email is spam or not is about you, the sender’s, reputation.

Bounce rates are a key factor used to determine an email sender’s reputation. If you’re sending out bulk emails and getting too many hard bounces, this is damaging to your reputation and you’re likely to trigger spam filters. 

If you hit unknown accounts at a rate higher than 5% your emails will very likely be sent directly to the spam folder, or even be blocked altogether.

The iRealty system automatically filters out any email addresses that hard bounce 3 times when sent an email. This cleans your data, with no extra work on your part and makes you less likely to hit this 5%!

3. You’re missing just ONE very important element

All email marketing software providers should automatically include an unsubscribe link in your email templates. If they don’t and you’re not sending an unsubscribe link out with every email, stop what you’re doing and add one in now.

Done it? Good!

To comply with spam regulations you don’t just have to get permission to send emails, you also need to make it easy for your contacts to unsubscribe.

This is the simplest change you can make to build your credibility and stop your emails from going to spam.

4. Your email is poorly designed

Certain email design choices are more common in spam emails, therefore, when used in your email marketing are more likely to trigger spam filters.

Here are 3 common email layout mistakes:

Image-only emails

Before you create a single PNG or JPEG and send that out as your email marketing it’s important that we break some bad news to you. Spammers tend to use image-only emails and so — you guessed it! — your image-only emails are more likely to be classified as spam.

Luckily, the solution to this is simple. Add some text to your newsletters. 

Large email attachments

Attaching huge PDFs of the latest market report or your recent sales results? Consider linking to landing pages instead. 

Large email attachments are often considered malicious and spam filters will block emails that contain them.

Your email is too large

Large email attachments aren’t the only thing that will trigger a spam filter. Large emails will too. How do I know when an email’s too large?

Email on Acid found that emails ranging from 15 to 650 KB successfully passed anti-spam control. When this size was increased, problems began.

What’s the solution? Check the sizes of any images or GIFs you’re using in your emails, these all add up to a larger email size. Consider reducing the number of property modals and large article or image sections you include in your emails to reduce sizes. Push people to landing pages to showcase more information instead of trying to squeeze everything into one email.

5. People aren’t engaging with your email content

We’ve already revealed that low open rates are a red flag for spam filters. This is one key engagement metric sophisticated spam filters use when determining if an email is spam. 

What are some positive engagement metrics tracked by spam filters?

  • Sending a reply
  • Adding your contact information to address books
  • Regularly opening emails
  • Moving your emails to specific folders in their inbox

The best way to get your contacts to engage with your emails is to provide content they want to interact with.

We recommend segmenting your data so that you can send the most relevant information possible to different audience types. This will help you create content that your audience is more likely to actively engage with.

Key Takeaway

Spam filters have a larger impact on the success of your email marketing than you may realise. But, the methods of avoiding triggering spam filters are simpler than you think. 

Download our 101 spam trigger phrases to avoid in 2023 to improve your likelihood of arriving in your contacts’ inbox.

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