email marketing articles > Filters are your frenemy

Filters are your frenemy

A foe, but one that can help your email marketing

The first and fundamental step toward email campaign success is actually reaching the inbox. There is a subtle, but important, difference between delivery rate and inbox placement rate. Just because your email is delivered, it doesn’t mean the recipient saw it in their inbox.

Structural aspects

These are the structural foundations that every email you send must be built on:

  • Authentication through SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance).
  • Sender reputation management, both domain and IP, to minimise damage from factors such as spam complaints, bounce rate.
  • Regular list hygiene to prune any outdated contacts.
  • GDPR technical compliance – keep data secure and easy to manage
  • Well-formed HTML with a plain-text fallback boosts credibility
  • A List-Unsubscribe email header and clearly visible unsubscribe link
  • Cross-platform coding so that emails look good no matter the device they’re viewed on.
  • Active deliverability management to proactively and reactively deal with issues before they have a negative impact.

Technical and time-consuming, sendee takes care of all this for you.

Content considerations

With the structural aspects taken care of, the content of your email has a major effect on its inbox placement. Low quality content will trigger spam filters:

  • Avoid jargon and spammy words or phrases
  • Fix poor spelling and grammar (including excessive exclamation marks!)
  • Don’t overload your email with a tangle of links
  • Keep your link urls clear and simple (e.g. not ‘’)
  • Avoid phrases and links with nefarious-sounding intent (e.g. “Claim your free gift” or ‘’)
  • Don’t just send images without any text that spam filters could analyse

Basically avoid low-quality, poorly written content that makes exaggerated claims, or seems overly pressuring, unnatural-sounding or shady.

Getting your message through

Spam filters are AI-trained algorithms trying to intercept what human recipients don’t want without blocking what they do. It’s much more than just avoiding certain words, it’s about delivering high quality content.

If you could get low quality content through, would you really want to? What do you think the reaction of the recipient would be?

Report as spam? Probably. Unsubscribe and delete? No doubt.

You’re definitely not going to engage anyone or build the credibility it takes to get a positive response.

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