How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: 10 Best Quick Fixes

how to prevent your mailchimp emails from going to spam

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Imagine carefully thought-out email marketing campaigns ending up in a junk folder and never seeing the light of day. Ugh! 

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email service providers out there right now, and there are many ways on how to prevent Mailchimp emails from going to spam. Let’s find out how.

It can get really frustrating when your marketing emails end up in your subscribers’ spam folders. Not only does it mean your message isn’t getting through (goodbye, open rates!), but it also reflects poorly on your brand.

Some quick fixes:

  1. Make sure your email content is high-quality and relevant to your subscribers. Avoid using spammy language, such as excessive use of exclamation points or all caps, and don’t include too many images or links.
  2. Your subject line should accurately reflect the content of your email and provide value to your subscribers. This way, your emails will be opened and engaged with, rather than marked as spam.
  3. Set up your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKey Identified Mail (DKIM) records correctly. These records help email providers verify that your emails are actually coming from you and not from a spammer. Without these records, your emails may be more likely to trigger spam filters. By taking the time to set up these records correctly, you’ll increase the chances that your emails will reach your subscribers’ inboxes.

10 Best Practices On How To Prevent Mailchimp Emails From Going To Spam

Here are 10 methods to help you prevent Mailchimp emails from going to spam:

#1 – Set up custom email domain authentication

How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: setting up your dkim and spf

Image source: Mailchimp

Set up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) records for your custom domain in Mailchimp. This will help authenticate your emails and prevent them from being flagged as spam. To do this, go to your Mailchimp account settings and select “Domains” under the “Settings” dropdown. Then, follow the instructions to set up SPF and DKIM records.

#2 – Ask your recipients to mark your emails as not Spam and give them a reason to reply to you

Encourage your subscribers to mark your emails as “not spam” and add your email address to their address book. Provide them with a clear and compelling reason to reply to your emails, such as exclusive content or promotions.

For example, you can say – I’m doing a limited-time offer where you get 50% off a one to one coaching call with me that’ll give you more clarity and set your goals for the upcoming quarter. Reply to this email with ‘I’m in’ and I’ll send you more details.

This is a widely used method on how to prevent Mailchimp emails from going to spam.

#3 – Make sure you get explicit permission from your contacts

How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: Mailchimp's consent box

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Only send emails to people who have explicitly given you permission to email them. This can include signing up for your newsletter or checking a box to opt-in to your emails. You can use Mailchimp’s signup forms to collect permission from your contacts.

#4 – Make sure email content is compliant with Mailchimp Terms of Use 

Creating your unsubscribe link with Mailchimp

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Ensure that your email content adheres to Mailchimp’s Terms of Use and Anti-Spam. This includes avoiding misleading subject lines, using a clear “from” name, and providing a functioning unsubscribe link. You can review Mailchimp’s guidelines by going to the “Compliance” section under the “Settings” dropdown.

#5 – Use merge tags to personalize the “To” field

How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: merge tags increase deliverability

Image source: Mailchimp

Use merge tags to personalize the “To” field in your emails. This can help increase engagement and reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam. To do this, simply add the merge tag for the contact’s first name or other relevant information to the “To” field in your email content.

more merge tags from Mailchimp

Image source: Mailchimp

#6 – Utilize Mailchimp’s Campaign Builder To Increase Chances of Deliverability 

How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: designing your email with Mailchimp's designer tool

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While trying to come up with unique designs can be deemed as part of the necessary email marketing efforts, sometimes keeping things simple is really the best way.

Mailchimp’s Campaign Builder allows you to design a clean and professional email campaign. Keep emails clean and readable is key to better click-through rates and higher engagement. Also, avoid using too many images or large files.

#7 – Make sure your contact list has none of the prohibited Role-Based Addresses

Mailchimp's prohibited role-based addresses list

Mailchimp prohibits the use of certain email addresses, such as “admin@” or “support@”. Bet you didn’t realize that. Some of these terms supposedly make your email look more professional, but no – these role based addresses have been used by spammers and scammers alike way too many times.

So, make sure your contact list does not include any of these prohibited Role-Based Addresses.

#8 – Maintain a healthy audience 

Deleting unsubscribers and maintaining a healthy list

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Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive subscribers and addresses that bounce back. This can help improve your email deliverability and reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.

What I typically do is clean my list on a weekly basis. I go to Audience, filter the emails that have been either unsubscribed or bounced, and delete those permanently.

#9 – Test email score in Mailchimp campaigns before sending

How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: testing emails

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Use Mailchimp’s email testing tools to check your email score and identify any potential issues that could cause your emails to be marked as spam.

Simple checks:

  • Merge tags and links are working
  • Email content is correct and does not sound spammy or contain too many exclamation marks or question marks
  • Subject line is relevant to content
  • Design is working 
  • Open up your test email on mobile to ensure everything is loading correctly
  • Email sounds like it’s coming from a real person, because one of the main reasons of a high percentage of unsubscribes or marked as spam come from robotic, copy and paste type of emails as well as irrelevant emails

#10 – Do subscriber outreach 

Reach out to your subscribers through social media or other channels to encourage them to whitelist your email address. I’m sure you’ve seen this before. Most email marketers literally tell their email recipients to whitelist or reply to them, so this keeps their emails from going into junk folders. 

This can help ensure that your emails are delivered to their inbox and not marked as spam.

With these best practices, chances of your Mailchimp emails being delivered to your target audience‘s inbox and not marked as spam will be really high.

Understanding Spam and Email Deliverability

Mailchimp audiences section

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We’re not done yet!

You’ve found ways to increase email deliverability into a proper inbox and improve your open rates, sure. 

However, it’s always good to understand the basis behind being marked as spam, and what constitutes as spam (not only in Mailchimp, but with all other email service providers).

Let’s run through quickly on how spam filters work and the factors that affect email deliverability.

What is Spam?

Spam refers to unsolicited, irrelevant email that is sent in bulk to a list of people. Spam can include unsolicited commercial emails or fraudulent messages, such as phishing scams or computer viruses. Spam filters are designed to identify and block these types of messages and suspicious bulk emails. 

How Do Spam Filters Work?

Spam filters use a variety of techniques to determine whether an email is spam or not. These techniques include:

  • Content Filtering: Spam filters analyze the content of an email to determine whether it is spam or not. They look for certain keywords, phrases, and formatting that are commonly used in spam messages.
  • Sender Reputation: Spam filters also look at the reputation of the sender. If the sender has a history of sending spam or has been flagged for sending spam, their emails are more likely to be marked as spam. Sometimes, even the sending domain can raise red flags if it does not contain a proper name, but rather a series of numbers.
  • Authentication: Email authentication is the process of verifying that an email is actually sent by the person or organization claiming to send it. Spam filters use authentication to verify the sender’s identity and reduce the risk of spoofing.

What is Email Deliverability?

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to reach its intended recipient’s inbox. A high deliverability rate means that your emails are reaching your subscribers’ inboxes, while a low deliverability rate means that your emails are being blocked by spam filters or are being sent to spam folders.

Factors That Affect Email Deliverability

Several factors can affect email deliverability, including:

  • Sender Reputation: As mentioned earlier, your sender reputation can have a significant impact on email deliverability. If you have a poor sender reputation, your emails are more likely to be blocked by spam filters. How do you keep your reputation clean? Get your audience to reply to you, whitelist your email address, and mark you as not spam! Stay top of mind by giving them an email confirmation when they opt in to your lead magnet or buy something from you.
  • Email Authentication: Proper email authentication is crucial for ensuring that your emails are delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes. Make sure that you have set up your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) records correctly.
  • Content: The content of your emails can also affect email deliverability. Avoid using spammy words and phrases in your subject lines and email content. Also, make sure that your emails are well-formatted and easy to read.

By understanding how spam filters work and the factors that affect email deliverability, you can take steps to prevent your Mailchimp emails from going to spam.

Moving forward, how do you grow a healthy email list that engages with you, buys from you, and grows consistently? After all, isn’t that what every digital marketer wants?

7 Tips To Building a Healthy Email List

Mailchimp's double opt in feature

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To prevent your Mailchimp emails from going to spam, it is important to build a healthy email list. A healthy email list means that you have a list of email addresses that belong to real people who have given you permission to send them emails. Here are some best practices to follow when building your email list:

  • Use double opt-in: Implementing a double opt-in process can help keep your Mailchimp emails out of spam folders. Double opt-in requires subscribers to confirm their email addresses before they are added to your mailing list.
  • Segment your email list: Segmenting your email list means dividing your list into groups based on specific criteria, such as demographics, interests, or behavior. This allows you to send targeted emails to specific groups of people, increasing the chances of your emails being opened and engaged with, so you don’t send mass emails to everyone, and end up having half of them feel your emails are getting irrelevant!
  • Use a reputable email service provider: Using a reputable email service provider like Mailchimp can help increase the deliverability of your emails and reduce the chances of them being marked as spam.
  • Use a professional email address: Using a professional email address, such as [email protected], can help establish credibility and reduce the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
  • Provide an unsubscribe link: Providing an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in your emails is not only a legal requirement, but it is also a good idea. It gives your subscribers the option to opt-out of receiving your emails, reducing the likelihood of them marking your emails as spam.
  • Avoid purchasing email lists: Very tempting especially when you’re just starting out, but a big no-no. Purchasing email lists or adding email addresses without proper consent can lead to a higher spam score and increase the chances of your emails being marked as spam. Remember, these people do NOT know you. They probably are not interested in what you have to say or offer. Find people who like you and what you do!
  • Authenticate your email: Email authentication is the process of verifying that your emails are coming from a trusted source. This can help increase the deliverability of your emails and reduce the chances of them being marked as spam.

Now that you have a semi-healthy email list (or a healthy one), let’s get you that revenue

First step – getting people to open those emails! But how?

5 Top Tips To Improving Open Rates

How to Prevent Mailchimp Emails from Going to Spam: Mailchimp's open rates and analytics dashboard

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Open rates are a critical metric to track. Higher open rates lead to increased engagement, conversions, and revenue. I’m sure it’s happened to you before. You look forward to getting emails from people you like, and are always tempted to buy what they have to offer.

Here are five top tips to improve your Mailchimp email open rates:

  1. Personalize Your Emails: Personalization is a great way to make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox. Use the recipient’s name, location, or other relevant information to make your emails more relevant and engaging. According to Mailchimp, personalized emails have significantly higher open and click-through rates.
  2. Optimize Your Subject Line: Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers see in their inbox. Like, literally. Make sure it’s compelling and relevant to your content. You can create clickbait subject lines, but make sure your content lives up to the suspense! This means avoiding using spammy language or misleading information in your subject line. Use A/B Testing to test different subject lines and see which one performs the best.
  3. Segment Your List: Segmenting your email list allows you to send more targeted and relevant emails to your subscribers. This can lead to higher open rates and engagement. Use subscriber engagement data to segment your list based on interests, behavior, or other relevant criteria.
  4. Avoid Spam Filters or Triggers: Spam filters can prevent your emails from reaching your subscribers’ inboxes. Avoid using spam trigger words, such as “free,” “act now,” or “limited time offer.” Use email clients that are less likely to flag your emails as spam.
  5. Monitor Your Metrics: This is hugely important. Monitoring your email metrics allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. Keep an eye on your open rates, click-through rates, and other key metrics. Use this data to make informed decisions about your email marketing strategy. If an email has more unsubscribes than others, refine your strategy and refrain from sending emails with a similar vein.

How Do You Consistently Avoid Spam Triggers?

Spam triggers are certain words, phrases, or practices that can trigger spam filters and increase your spam score, which is a measure of how likely your email is to be marked as spam. Examples include ‘financial freedom, financial independence, bitcoin, make fast cash’, and the like.

Here are some tips to help you avoid spam triggers:

  • Use a clear subject line: A clear and concise subject line is important in keeping your Mailchimp emails out of the spam box. Avoid using vague or misleading subject lines, as these can trigger spam filters. Instead, use a subject line that accurately reflects the content of your email and provides value to your subscribers.
  • Avoid spammy words and phrases: Certain words and phrases can trigger spam filters and increase your spam score. Some examples include “act now”, “amazing”, “buy now”, “click here”, “earn money”, “guaranteed”, “limited time offer”, “make money”, “miracle”, “money back”, “opportunity”, “promise”, “risk-free”, “sale”, “special promotion”, “trial offer”, and “urgent”. Be mindful of these words and phrases and try to avoid using them in your emails.
  • Provide an unsubscribe link: I’ve said this twice, but I’ll say it again. Always provide an unsubscribe link in your emails. Why force them to stay subscribed?

What’s more, make sure the unsubscribe link works! The unsubscribe link must work for at least 30 days after sending. This is required by spam laws, such as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which carries penalties of $1-10M per violation. Imagine unsubscribing from someone and continuing to receive emails from them regularly. That always leads me to block them and mark them as spam – not because I’m mean, but I’m frustrated after several failed unsubscribe attempts.

  • Include your physical mailing address: You must include your physical mailing address in your emails. This is also required by spam laws, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States.
  • Avoid using all caps and excessive punctuation: Using all caps and excessive punctuation can make your emails look spammy and increase your spam score. Use proper capitalization and punctuation to make your emails look professional.
  • Avoid using too many images and links: Using too many images and links in your emails can make them look spammy and increase your spam score. Use images and links sparingly and only when necessary.
Keeping the unsubscribe process easy

We’re nearly at the end!

If you’re planning on growing your email list for years to come, this is something you should know.

Legal Requirements and Regulations

To avoid your Mailchimp emails from going to spam, you must comply with legal requirements and regulations. Failure to do so can result in your emails being marked as spam, which can damage your reputation and cause your emails to be blocked by email providers.

CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email. It outlines the requirements for sending commercial emails and gives recipients the right to opt-out of receiving them. To comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, you must:

  • Include a clear and conspicuous unsubscribe link in every email
  • Include your physical mailing address in every email
  • Use a clear and accurate subject line
  • Identify the email as an advertisement if it is one

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are sending emails to subscribers in the European Union, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR requires you to obtain explicit consent from subscribers before sending them emails and to provide them with the option to opt-out at any time. To comply with the GDPR, you must:

  • Obtain explicit consent from subscribers before sending them emails
  • Provide subscribers with the option to opt-out of receiving emails at any time
  • Protect subscriber data and ensure that it is not shared with third parties without their consent

DKIM Records

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is an email authentication method that verifies that an email message was sent by the domain that it claims to have been sent from. To improve your email deliverability and prevent your emails from being marked as spam, you should set up DKIM records for your domain.

Small Business Owners

To ensure that your emails are not marked as spam, you should:

  • Obtain explicit consent from subscribers before sending them emails
  • Use a clear and accurate subject line
  • Include a clear and conspicuous unsubscribe link in every email
  • Include your physical mailing address in every email

Mobile Devices

Many people check their email on mobile devices, which means that your emails must be optimized for mobile. To ensure your emails don’t end up annoying your mobile readers, do these:

  • Use a responsive email design that adapts to different screen sizes
  • Use a clear and concise subject line that is easy to read on a mobile device
  • Keep your email content short and to the point
  • Use a clear and conspicuous unsubscribe link that is easy to click on a mobile device

Pro Tip: Testing Your Emails

Testing your emails is an essential step to ensure that they are delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes and not to their spam boxes – another highly recommended method on how to prevent Mailchimp emails from going to spam. Mailchimp provides a test email feature that allows you to send a test email to yourself or other recipients before sending out your campaign to your subscribers.

When testing your emails, make sure to check the following:

  • The email subject line: Ensure that it accurately reflects the content of your email and is not misleading or vague. Avoid using spam trigger words such as “free,” “buy now,” or “limited time offer.”
  • The email content: Make sure that your email content is relevant and valuable to your subscribers. Avoid sending irrelevant or unsolicited emails, as they can be marked as spam.
  • The email design: Check that your email design is visually appealing and professional. Avoid using too many images or large files, as they can trigger spam filters.
  • The email sender information: Ensure that your email sender information is accurate and consistent with your brand. Use a recognizable sender name and email address, and include your company logo, such as the Apple logo, in your email header.

By testing your emails, you can identify and fix any issues before sending out your campaign to your subscribers. This can help improve your email deliverability and ensure that your future emails are not marked as spam by email clients such as Microsoft Outlook.

In summary, testing your Mailchimp email campaigns is a pro tip that can help you avoid having your emails go to spam. By checking your email subject line, content, design, and sender information, you can ensure that your emails are delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes and not to their spam boxes.

How To Prevent Mailchimp Emails From Going To Spam: Conclusion And Additional Tips

Here is a quick summary of the tips and tricks to help prevent your Mailchimp emails from going to spam:

  • It’s always a good idea to use a registered trademark symbol (®) next to the Rocket Science Group logo in your emails. This not only adds a professional touch, but it also helps your emails stand out and appear more legitimate.
  • Consider using a digital signature in your transactional emails. This provides an extra layer of security and helps to establish trust with your subscribers.
  • If you’re sending an email campaign for the first time, it’s a great way to test the waters and see how your subscribers respond. Be sure to monitor your spam rate and adjust your approach as needed.
  • One of the most common reasons why emails end up in the spam folder is because the recipient clicked the “Report Spam” button. To avoid this, make sure your content is relevant and engaging, and always provide an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe.
  • Including the Google Play logo or the Microsoft Word logo in your emails can help to establish credibility and add a professional touch.
  • The first thing you should always do before sending out an email campaign is to test it. Use Mailchimp’s built-in software programs to send a test email to yourself and check for any issues.
  • Subscriber engagement is key when it comes to avoiding spam. Make sure your content is relevant and engaging, and always provide an easy way for subscribers to get in touch with you.
  • Be sure to comply with all spam laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means including your physical address and obtaining express permission from your subscribers before sending them emails.
  • Excessive punctuation (e.g. using multiple exclamation points) can trigger spam filters. Use punctuation sparingly and only when necessary.
  • Consider adding your email address and contact information to the footer of your emails. This provides an additional layer of transparency and helps to establish trust with your subscribers.
  • Finally, encourage your subscribers to add you to their safe sender list. This can help to improve your domain reputation and ensure that your emails are delivered to their inbox.

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