You’ve perfected the spacing, the images are just the right size, and now you’re ready to test and run pre-flight (which we always suggest before hitting send). The results are in. The email renderings look fantastic across the various inboxes; however, the Spam Filter check is not passing with flying colors. We’ve all been in this position – there isn’t enough time to send the email back to be rewritten, but we send with the risk of ending up in the dreaded spam folder. Luckily, we have a few MacGyver-style spam hacks that you can try to turn those Xs into okays.


Let’s start with easy one…Spammy Words.
Spam filters read every pixel of your email – starting with the ‘From Name’ and ending with the footer. Subject lines are the first thing users see in their inbox, and many times, they are the deciding factor on if that user chooses to open the email. It’s okay to use creative verbiage to entice users, but avoid words like FREE, NOW, WINNING, CLICK HERE – especially in all caps. (If you must have one of these words in your messaging, try incorporating it into one of your images rather than text).

There are instances where some of these words can be hard to avoid, especially in marketing. For example, if you are hosting an online contest and need votes, try “Help us decide (insert contest here)” rather than “We need your vote now!” for the subject line. You’ll want to carry that tone into the email copy. “The winning entry will be debuted on…” passes, whereas “We will reveal the winner on…” does not. These are minor text adjustments, but it can make a difference.


Typos look spammy to filters and humasn.
Another instant trigger are typos. Most text is copied over from a word-processing program that has spell check, but there is always the chance not everything copies over properly. Reread the email to catch any of those simple fixes.


Many times, emails contain urgent and important information for recipients. As a marketer, you want to get that point across, but resist the urge to overuse exclamation points. If your sentence is exciting, or is a piece of information that the reader needs to remember, try formatting the copy to be bold or another color that aligns with your brand guidelines, like so:

“Join us Friday!!! Don’t Forget!!!” can easily format to “Please be sure to join us on Friday, June 16th


Exclamation points aren’t the only symbol that can look spammy when overused. Try to minimize, or use words to represent, various symbols such as $ # & %.

Tip: If you are using variable data in your email, use a record in the emfluence Marketing Platform to run Pre-Flight so the spam filter isn’t being tripped with the $$. 


Image Alternate Text (Alt Text)
If your email has a lot of imagery and logos, there’s a chance you aren’t getting to the inbox because there isn’t enough text. Using alt text not only balances out your text-to-image ratio, but gives a description of the image to users that have images turned off. To add Alt Text to an image, right click on the image in the email and select Image Properties.

If you want to go an extra step and format the alt text, you can use these steps:

These hacks may be the individual trigger, but it may also be a combination of a few. Don’t be afraid to make multiple adjustments and re-run Pre-Fight to narrow down to the culprit. The more you test these little hacks, the more you will remember and incorporate into your emails from the beginning of the design process.

There is the possibility that these hacks don’t get your email passing through the various spam filters. If that is the case, there are a few bigger items to consider: DKIM, Authentication, Complaint Rate, Sender Reputation, Inbox Placement Testing. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager, or to see how we can help.

And because I am an account manager, it is my job to deliver on my promises…here is a cute puppy:

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