Are Your Emails Being Captured by Spam Filters?

In your B2B marketing, you face a lot of competition to get your emails read. You definitely don’t want them to end up in a spam folder and not be read by a prospect or customer.

The best way to avoid this is by understanding what spam filters are and why they’re needed. The key is to create valuable content tailored to your prospect and customer needs and interests. This increases the odds of having your emails read and acted on.

How spam filters work

Your clients may have rigorous spam filters such as Gmail or Outlook. Or, they could use software and firewalls like Cloudmark, Proofpoint and Barracuda. These filters typically analyze each email against specific criteria unique to each program and customizable by the recipient.

Common filters include engagement, reputation, authentication, formatting and content and word triggers. Each filter assigns points to factors considered spammy, then weighs them toward the email’s spam score. If the email exceeds the threshold, it gets sent to the junk folder or gets blocked.

Impact of email filters on deliverability


Internet service providers monitor how engaged a subscriber is with an email and its sender, along with the nature of the engagement. Positive engagement shows the email likely is not spam. This includes opening a message, adding an address to a contact list, clicking through links, enabling images to display or scrolling through the message.


The majority of a sender’s score is based on their reputation. Spam filters are constantly collecting data on the emails they receive and the sender they receive them from. The filters then share their aggregate data within the spam filter community. The filters need to know whether a sender is on global white lists, whether their domain or IP address is blacklisted, and whether they have a large number of spam complaints from recipients.


Your customers need to know what the email they received truly is from you and that their information and identities are secure. This is why a spam filter looks for email authentication to protect users from phishing and spoofing scams. The standard is the domain keys identified mail (DKIM), which verifies that the person is authorized to send on behalf of the domain through their system. Otherwise, the email may end up in the spam folder or be blocked.


Your email design and formatting may impact your message’s spam score. For instance, filters want to see that a text and HTML version of your email are available and match each other. Also, because code pulled from Microsoft Word is incompatible with most filters, avoid using it. Additionally, avoid using overly large font sizes, text in bright colors, an unbalanced ratio of text to images, or one large image with no text.

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