How to Stop Emails from Going to Spam in Gmail

Dariia Leshchenko
Oct 31, 2022
Reading duration

There are many consequences of getting emails into spam. Email spam damages your business reputation and drastically affects your email marketing campaigns. Only one spam trap is enough to cause email deliverability problems. When your users mark your email as spam, it means all your future emails will be filtered as spam, including your follow-up emails. Let's first explore how the spam filters work when you are wondering how to stop emails from going to spam in Gmail.

How does the spam filter work in Gmail? Spam filtering solutions work by applying thousands of predetermined rules and algorithms to messages. Each rule gives a message's likelihood of being spam a numerical score. Depending on this score, the filter will accept an email or not, and if the score exceeds a predetermined level, the email is marked as spam. The passing percentages vary based on the type of server. The spam filter in Gmail combines machine learning and artificial intelligence to accomplish this task. Learning what a spam folder is and how it functions is the first step to making your mass email as effective as possible.

How Gmail spam filter works

Gmail's advanced security and filtering abilities help billions of businesses stay safe and prevent dangerous messages from reaching the primary inboxes. The program works by checking the following;

1. Your Domains Reputation

First, it compares the sender's email to Gmail's database of domains that have been blacklisted. The malicious domain names that Gmail has blacklisted for sending spam emails are kept on this database. There's a high likelihood that the Gmail spam filter will automatically label all emails from your email address as spam if it utilizes a domain name in this list. After checking if your domain is not blacklisted, the Gmail spam filter will look at how the users you send emails to interact with the email.

2. Users Action

Gmail’s spam filter makes an effort to identify spam in many different ways. Gmail checks how users interact with your emails because user engagement is crucial in spam filtering. In case your emails have irrelevant subject lines, most of your users will not be opening the emails. Gmail spam filter will check out for this in case your emails are being deleted before they are opened.

3. Email Content

Have you ever opened a spam email just out of curiosity? If so, you are well aware of their tendency for grammatical and spelling issues. Gmail scans your email for harmful links and the use of promotional or spammy language. Gmail artificial intelligence is a game changer in today's email marketing campaigns. It flags spam emails and only maintains legitimate ones.

To ensure you prevent your emails from being flagged by Gmail, normalize proofreading your emails before sending them to your users. No matter your business's authenticity, you will lose many potential clients when they find your emails in their spam folders. Also, avoid using spam trigger words in your email marketing campaigns, such as passwords, credit, cash, etc.

4. Email Attachments and Headers

Spammers commonly use email attachments to distribute malware because it is easy to target many users using this technique. Nowadays, all email spam filters analyze attachments hence detecting cybercriminals is easier. Email headers usually contain authentication details and some hidden code snippets. The snippets contain the sender's information and that of the recipient. Spammers hide their identity by editing email headers. They also pretend to be someone else by just editing the headers. Gmail spam filters also analyze the email headers to ensure no spam issues or spammers are hiding behind them.

Types of spam filters

No spam filtering program can guarantee 100% effectiveness. However, a commercial email system without spam screening is very insecure because you will be exposed to viruses and phishing attacks. The spam filtering solutions can be hosted on servers, in the cloud, or email programs like Microsoft Outlook. Additionally, spam filters shield your servers from being swamped with emails that aren't necessary. They are categorized using different criteria, and The following are some of the most popular filters:

  1. Rule-Based filters. Users can create customized rules and apply them to all incoming emails using rule-based filters. With this filter, emails are automatically forwarded to spam folders provided they match the specified rules, including specific phrases in the message.
  2. Blocklist filters. These spam filters work using a spammers list. If senders are listed here, their emails are automatically sent to spam folders. The filter also checks the IP address reputation. The only way spammers can survive this blocklist filter is by changing their email domain. 
  3. Content filters. Content filters examine emails to obtain information that will determine whether the email contains spam. The spam filter works by parsing content messages and scanning for common words that are listed as spam.
  4. Language spam filters. When a spammer uses a different language from the recipients, this spam filter flags the emails and sends them to the spam folder.
  5. Header filters. These spam filters analyze email headers to see the authenticity of the emails using their IP addresses.

How to stop emails going to spam in Gmail

Regardless of how you use Gmail, you've probably seen spam. These harmful emails are sought after by Gmail's filtering feature, which works to separate them from your primary inbox. To have a successful marketing campaign, you are supposed to familiarize yourself with ways to stop emails from going to spam. Here are some of the essential ways you can stop your emails from going to spam in Gmail;

Avoid using spam-triggering keywords

As we discussed earlier, spam filters use your content to scan specific keywords to determine if the email is spam or legitimate. Spam rates are significantly increased by triggering words and phrases in the email content. Marketers frequently utilize attention-grabbing language to improve the effectiveness of their efforts. These phrases result in content filters on Gmail being activated.

Spam detection tools employ advanced algorithms that keep track of every aspect of you as the sender and the content of your email, including the domain and links in your emails. Some common words to avoid, considered spam trigger words by the spam filters, include; sale, offers, best prices, clearance, get paid, no credit card, and expect to earn. If you must use these words, it is advised that you only do so once per email to decrease the chances of being added to spam. You can use synonyms instead of the "spammy" words as an alternative.

Use a professional email address

This is one of the tricks big brands use nowadays to maintain a respectable reputation. People spend their money on products and services that they trust. Building customer trust begins with using a business-related email account. Spammers frequently use free email accounts, making them unreliable individuals. That's why spam filtering programs are far harsher than professional email addresses for free accounts. A business email account considerably lowers the likelihood of this occurring because of a better reputation.

Apart from brand reputation, a professional email address will increase customers' trust in your products and services. When using a professional email address, ensure you send all emails to your users using the same email, including follow-up emails. Today, most B2B sales transactions require a professional email address. "First impression is the last impression" is true and holds in the business world. Your clientele perceives you the same way you initially appear to them. A professional email message will show a good impression on your clients.

Using a professional email address also has some added advantages. You will get a backup under Service Level Agreement (SLA); hence you will have peace of mind that your data is well protected and accessible to you no matter what happens. Customers will also easily recall a business email that uses your domain name.

Test your emails 

Before sending your marketing emails or follow-ups to your users, ensure you proofread and test the emails first. You can do this by sending the emails to your colleagues or personal email to check the formatting and if the emails are landing in the primary Gmail inbox folder. When you share spam-triggering words and phrases in your emails, it is easy to identify them with colleagues. You will also quickly establish why your emails land in the spam folder and correct it before destroying your brand's reputation.

When you test emails before sending them to your clients, you will avoid spam filters from sending your emails to spam folders. Some free email testing tools, for example, Mail-tester, can help test your emails before sending them. The tool will check if your cold email is spammy to other servers and the main reason why you have email deliverability issues. You can check up to three messages daily for free, and it's pretty simple. All you have to do is visit their website and copy the email address automatically created for you. After doing so, you will receive a report through email sent to this address showing your email spam score. 

How to avoid emails going to spam in Gmail using the double opt-in strategy

Confirmed opt-in, commonly referred to as the double opt-in strategy, is a strategy marketers use to limit the possibility of spamming their recipient's inboxes. Ensuring that your users are interested in the emails you send is the best strategy for protecting spam strikes from hitting your business. You may track subscribers' consent via the "double opt-in" method, which also tells their Email Service Providers (ESPs) not to flag your emails. Alongside growing user interest in your content and brand, the method shields you against spam complaints because your campaigns will not land in Gmail’s spam folder.

If you only include working emails from subscribers who are interested in your company enough to double opt-in, the likelihood that they will interact with your newsletter rises if you only include working emails. You will have higher click-through rates, which means people are interacting and taking relevant action that affects them positively. Double opt-in segments your email audience because you will understand the people you are writing to and know their location. You will also have loyal customers willing to use your products or services. When using this strategy, ensure you send a welcome email requesting action when someone enters their information on your website.

Before reaching out, establish warm relationships

Unsolicited emailing is the leading cause of spam reporting and low response rates. Most sales emails are least opened because most people don't open, leave alone interact with emails from unknown senders. The best strategy to employ as a marketer is interacting with these prospects before sending them an email. Connect with them outside email. You can interact with them and start conversations on their social media pages like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Unlike email, someone can easily see your messages pop up and respond, thus networking more with them. Continuing your engagement with prospects over email will be easier because there is a high chance they will open your email out of curiosity. You will get open responses that streamline your email deliverability because your emails will not land in spam folders.

Clean up your mailing lists

With a clean, current mailing list, engagement stays high, and unsubscribe rates are kept at a minimum. Fewer soft bounces and spam complaints from uninterested recipients will be received by your email campaigns, protecting your domain's reputation. You can easily clean your mailing list without using email providers. To clean, start by removing duplicates, invalid emails, and spam catchers, which are email addresses that contain the term "spam. To ensure everyone interacts with your email, focus on the quality of your emails rather than the quantity.

Cleaning mailing lists will eliminate spam complaints, improve email delivery, and decrease email marketing costs. Many ESPs base their pricing on how many emails they send each month. Removing subscribers not opening your emails from your mailing lists means you will cut these costs.

Use the right email client

When screening your email, your email-sending IP address is considered, and the email client you use determines your sending IP address. Email clients are web-based applications that let you manage email accounts from various email providers. Using the right email client means you will have successful campaigns and know why emails go to spam. You will also get spam reports with this desktop application.

Blacklists also store promotional IP addresses apart from spammy ones. When you use email clients whose IP addresses were once blacklisted, you will never have successful campaigns because your emails will land in the spam folders without your knowledge. When sending an email, your email provider will ensure you never send it to spam to avoid malicious attacks. 

How to create a Gmail spam filter

A secure email account is one of the most critical components of managing a prosperous business. You should ensure that your email and the information about your clients are secure and private. Most inbox providers include a built-in spam detector that will identify incoming spam emails and prevent them from entering your inbox. The spam detector is usually not 100 % accurate; hence, you should look out for any spam and malicious emails and filter them one by one to protect your information. Creating a Gmail spam filter yourself is easy. Here is how you can create one for incoming emails and prevent spam deliveries to Gmail.

    1. The initial step in creating the Gmail spam filter is to log into your Gmail account and Find the Settings button by selecting the gear symbol in the top right corner of the Gmail screen. Press that.
    2. Click on See all settings now.
    3. In the top ribbon, select Under filters and blocked addresses location
  • Select create a new filter and click the option from and type the sender's email address that you want to go into your spam filter.
  • Choose the option to create a filter.
  1. Select Never send it to spam. Click the option Also apply to matching messages so that Gmail applies the setting to all emails you have received from the sender.
  2. Finally, click Create Filter, and you are done creating a Gmail spam filter.

For instance, when your Gmail spam filter is not working, it means you have a compromised account, which is usually rare.


Spam filtering plays a significant role in email deliverability. Every business aims at achieving successful email marketing campaigns and avoiding spam filters from flagging their emails. Our detailed tips will help you get the best email service providers for your business to prevent these filters from turning away prospective clients. When you use the correct email service provider, your team will have fewer tasks to accomplish because your marketing needs are catered for. You will also have a deeper understanding of how to stop emails from going to spam in Gmail. You will be getting spam reports on time and correcting them before it does a lot of damage to your brand's reputation. You will also know the emails being filtered into spam on your recipient's side.

Dariia Leshchenko
Dariia Leshchenko
Customer Success Manager
Dariia's decades in Email Deliverability and Sales have allowed her to successfully manage diverse business clients. For years now, she proves that there are no issues not to be fixed. Dariia speaks for the synergy of new-level email analysis technology and a human approach to improving email performance.