It has to be the worst possible outcome for an email marketer to find their emails consistently flagged as spam.

Not only does it drastically throttle your KPIs, but it also stifles your ability to grow in the future.

I took a deep dive into my spam emails folder to see if I could spot any trends.

You won’t believe what I found.

There were some common mistakes you’re probably making too.

So, here are 3 things you should avoid like the plague if you want your emails to stay out of the spam and increase those all-important open rates.


It’s a surefire way to come across as arrogant, sales-ey and belligerent.

Capitals in and of themselves aren’t a bad idea -although, try writing your subject lines in all lowercase for a magic boost to your open rates 🤫.

Here are some of my spam emails from this month so far – look how frequently all-caps are used.

2️⃣ Obvious Sales Language

Email algorithms are even more cynical than humans when it comes to sales-ey language.

The more it sounds like your email is solely designed to hock your wares, the more likely it will land in spam.

Do you see the trend in my spam folder here?

3️⃣ Exclamation Marks!!!!!1

Let’s face it, exclamation marks are often misused (and almost always overused). Almost every time this happens, it looks inherently spammy.

Don’t believe me? We’ll let my spam inbox do the talking again.

Bonus tip:

Take a look at this comparison.

On the top screenshot are sales and marketing emails that made it past my spam filters, on the bottom are the spammy ones.

While I’ve personally had success using emojis in subject lines, there’s clearly a correlation between emojis and perceived spam – be careful with your emojis.

Stay tuned for more email marketing tips…