How to Avoid Sending Spam Email: The Dos and Don’ts

How to Avoid Sending Spam Email: The Dos and Don'ts


Email Deliverability is the rate at which your email actually makes it into recipient inboxes. This rate can be lower when an email bounces or gets automatically filtered into a spam folder. As a business, there’s nothing worse than spending time writing an email that never even reaches an inbox.

Our friends at Hubspot have put together a list of tips to improve your email deliverability and avoid sending spam email. Here are the Dos and Don’ts to remember when writing work emails:

What You Should Do: The Dos

  • Keep your email lists current and clean.
  • Try to re-engage inactive or infrequent active subscribers.
  • Utilize double opt-in (when someone subscribes to your email list, send them a follow-up email with a link to confirm their subscription).
  • Ask your subscribers to add you to their address book.
  • Include a clear unsubscribe link and a physical mailing address in your email footer.
  • Honor your unsubscribes and remove them from your mailing list.
  • Use a familiar sender name.
  • Include your recipient’s name in the “To:” field.
  • Offer recipients both an HTML and a plain text version of your emails.
  • Allow people to view your email in a web browser.
  • Include alt text in your email images.
  • Keep your emails short and sweet.
  • Test your emails before sending them.
  • Get an email sender accreditation from a third-party.
  • Monitor the reputation of your sender’s IP address.
  • Always stay up-to-date on changes in email sending laws, ISP behavior, and spam filter technology.

What You Should Never Do: The Don’ts

  • Don’t buy or rent email lists.
  • Don’t scrape websites for email addresses.
  • Don’t use all caps anywhere in your email or its subject line.
  • Don’t use excessive exclamation points.
  • Don’t use video, Flash, or JavaScript within your email.
  • Don’t embed forms in your email.
  • Don’t include attachments in your email.
  • Don’t forget to use spell check.
  • Don’t over-optimize (don’t use too many keywords).
  • Don’t use huge images or a lot of images.
  • Don’t email people who have bounced repeatedly.
  • Don’t use spam trigger words (like “free,” “guarantee,” “no obligation,” etc.)
  • Don’t use irregular fonts, font sizes, or font colors.

Spam Check: Test the Spammyness of Your Emails

In addition to following these tips, you should run a test to see if you are encountering any issues with your email deliverability. There are multiple free tools available, but we recommend Mail-Tester.com. Before your next send, hit this site and send a test email. It’ll give you a spammy score and some insights for better deliverability.

We challenge you to reference this list the next time you draft an email to avoid sending spam!

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