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Is everything in our SPAM Folder that bad?

Is everything in our Spam Folder that bad?
Is everything in our Spam Folder that bad?

Absolutely not!! But 90% are.

Last week I had a conversation with a gentleman who wanted to learn Digital Marketing. We discussed a lot, including Email Marketing.

One thing that came up was:

"I don't read anything in my SPAM Folder, I just check all and delete"-He said

I said wow! Don't !. You will be missing a lot.

Why should we check our spam Emails before deleting them?

Because not all messages that go to SPAM Folder are SPAMS

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I have two typical examples in this year. Two life-saving opportunities that I nearly missed.

  1. The Current NEIP Business Support Program (NBSP) National Business Plan Competition, I'm in the race. Hope to be part of the last 2000. All mails I get from NEIP goes to spam folder. Can you imagine if I was just deleting spam without reading?
  2. I've also qualified for the YALI RLC West Africa Emerging Leaders Program-Cohot 5 in Nigeria, and the success message went to SPAM folder.

That aside.
Just last month, I planned to send personal mail to Fatimatu Abubakar, Deputy Communications Director at the presidency. To make sure formatting is fine, I sent the draft mail to myself (You can't mess in your mail to such important personality). Trust me, the test mail went to SPAM folder.

I told my good friend:

So you see, there are genuine mails that go to SPAM folder. So do not just delete them.

What do you do?
Read the headings. Do not open any until you find good one. Such a good mail is called False Positive. That means the Email Span filters got it all wrong. Move such mails to inbox.

Sometimes moving such mails to inbox (or marking it as NOT SPAM) makes subsequent once go to inbox direct. But it's not always the case. And it doesn't matter whether your recipients subscribed to your mail. Your can still end in the "shithole".

Why will legitimate emails go to SPAM Folder

There are many reasons.

  • Maybe the sender has bad reputation.

When people frequently mark your emails as SPAM, you lose reputation and most of your emails will land in SPAM/JUNK automatically. This normally happen to people/companies that send bulk mails.

This makes it clear why the mails from NEIP and YALI landed in my SPAM folder. Actually, the email I wanted to use to Fatimatu Abubakar has also been used for Email Marketing before. So it makes sense it went to spam when I did the test.

  • The email filters also use a simple rule called "Do you listen?”

How does “Do you listen” work?
In normal conversation, you can't be talking for so long and everyone will be quite. Email is supposed to be a conversation. When you send a mail, spam filters expect the recipient to occasionally click the [REPLY] button to reply to it. So when you keep sending mails and no one is replying or the percentage that replied is too low. That means no one is listening. I send over 800 emails and 30 replied. That is very low engagement.

The NEIP & YALI mails are just one way. They are mostly notifications so lot of people will not reply. There is no “call to action” too. Email filters see this one-way communication as violation of “Do you listen?”. rule.

So, you might be sending legitimate emails but might end up in spam folder since is not engaging.

  • Inline images and links

Another reason why your legitimate email can land in spam is when you use too many inline images and links in the mail. The filters think you are hiding some dangerous things in there.

  • Your IP is flagged

Finally, if you are using domain email ( something like [email protected]), it's likely someone else has used that IP of your domain to spam before and you are facing the penalty. You can do blacklist lookup on the IP with tools like or

How do you prevent your emails going into spam?

Encourage recipients to reply. That will make it engaging.

Do not use too many images and links in your email. That is a bad practice, it's good to design your email to look nice but the images used should be proportional to the message. Don't a mail of five images and just one sentence.

Avoid bulk mail with common salutation.
Like what NEIP send to me and other participants. All the mails where addressed as Dear Applicant.

With Gmail and Yet Another Mail Merge plugin, you can send bulk mail but every single person will be addressed using his/her first name. In my case, Dear Applicant would have been Dear Kaunda.

Make sure you are targeting the right people with the right message. There is one Nigerian company that occasionally mail me with Digital Marketing proposals. It always land in spam and I always pull it to Inbox. I always learn a lot from their content.

The last scary way, expecially if your IP is flagged is to keep sending 'Spam'. But only to yourself. You can ask your friend to send you too. Make sure you reply to those mails and that will trick the filters to think your email account is now engaging :)

Don't forget!
You can always join my Telegram Group. It's free. We learn Digital Entrepreneurship. I have some articles on my website too. I think it will be of help if you've really enjoyed this. You can always contact me personally on 0234809010.

Don't forget!
At the comment section of the post, You're input is highly welcomed. And if there is any topic relating to the Internet, that you want me to post on.. The comment section is all yours!!!

Can you try your hands on The difference between Digital Marketing and Internet Marketing? You still have the comment section!! Try your best :)

By the Way, I'm Kaunda. I just love the Internet !!!

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