SPAM – Why Did They Do That?!!


Ever have the feeling that you’re doing everything right with your email marketing, but the “spam demons” are out to get you? Well, we’re here to demystify the issue and to remind us all why certain mundane practices are so important to avoiding the dreaded spam folder.

Let’s review the top 11 reasons (though not always reasonable) why recipients flag emails as spam. Hopefully, this will help you evaluate your subject lines, titles, email frequency, etc. before sending to determine if you’re getting too close to these “danger zones”.

Epsilon International surveyed over 4,000 consume on why they flagged emails as spam. Here are their reasons in descending order:
1.    Try to trick me into opening it (74%)
2.    Offensive subject matter (68%)
3.    Any emails I did not ask for or subscribe to (62%)
4.    Senders who are unknown to me (61%)
5.    Emails automatically filtered into the junk mailbox (43%)
6.    Any email I don’t want, regardless of whether I subscribed (37%)
7.    Email sent from a sender not in my address book or approved sender list (34%)
8.    Email from a company I may have given permission to send me mail at one time, but that I no longer wish to receive (34%)
9.    From companies with an offline relationship, but never gave permission to contact me via email (32%)
10.    From companies I have done business with but send too frequently (27%)
11.    Email that tries to sell me a product or service, even if I know the sender (24%)

Notice that almost HALF are “permission-based”, which can be virtually eliminated by using the confirmed opt-in procedure offered by GetResponse!  Other reasons can be addressed by employing anti-spam best practices and avoiding common spam words. And finally, just taking extra care to ensure that your subject lines and titles clearly communicate your brand and the content of your message – all topics we’ve covered in recent blogs.

Now let’s look at the primary reasons recipients unsubscribe (same survey) to see if there are any common threads.  As you know, we’re all about solutions, so I’ve added some “corrective actions” to provide some takeways:
A.    Irrelevant content – It’s #1 folks! There are lots of suggestions in our blog archives, but we promise to keep researching and offering you more “relevant” tips.
B.    Receive too frequently − #10 on the “spam” list but #2 here…wow! Run a free survey to find out how often your audience (s) wants to hear from you and what content they want to receive.
C.    Suspect email address being shared/sold – Both ”C” and “D” hammer this home. Always publish a concise Privacy Policy and always abide by your statement. Period.
D.    Don’t recall signing up – More common that you think, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to send a “thank you” for being a subscriber/customer every once in a while!
E.    Privacy concerns – Again, always include your Privacy Policy and ask them to read it!

Are you surprised at how easy it is to correct these negative results? And relieved we hope!

If you’d like us to blog further on any of these issues, just shoot us an email and we’d be happy to help!

Source: Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

  • Hello Get Response,

    I think some people click that Spam
    button , just to be mean,or they had
    a bad day and need to take it out on
    someone.I if you have a way for me to
    be Spam Free , Please Let Me Know.

    Great Post,

  • Piotr Krupa

    Dear Gary,
    Thank you for your comment. Clearly, sometimes recipients flag emails as spam if they think the sender is trying to “trick them “ in some way. The majority of the reasons were due to “sender recognition”, relevance, or subscription status issues. These are all easily fixed!

    You can find some useful tips in this blog post, and lots more in posts from the last month or so. To improve deliverability, you should check into using the confirmed opt-in option ( ;; take care on the subject and the “From” line (; and do everything you can to make sure your list is “clean” to decrease complaints and email bounces (

    Let us know what email marketing tips you’d like to hear about and we’ll try to write a post for you!

    GetResponse Team

  • Hi GR
    How can you stop my emails being automatically filtered into the junk mailbox?
    Many of my own emails end up there when I do a test subscribe?

  • Piotr Krupa

    Dear Harley,
    Thank you for asking your question on our blog. We try to respond quickly to each comment but, unfortunately, we need a bit more information in order to give you an accurate and complete answer.

    In short, there can be many reasons why messages are filtered automatically into junk mailboxes. As you probably know, ISPs use advanced anti-spam filters which “check” a wide variety of issues, such as message content, URLs, mailing list spam-traps, if your email address was blacklisted, or got too many complaints. Your message was undoubtedly flagged as SPAM because for some of these reasons − which we know are very general.

    For now, please take a look at the articles below on email marketing best practices. We hope it will help solve your problem. If not, please let us know and, if possible, provide more details about your flagged emails.

    GetResponse Team