10 layout mistakes that can cause an email to end up in spam


Getting a mailing into the spam folder is a problem that many senders face. This is due to various reasons, for example, the letters lack alt tags or redirects are used.

In this article, we will talk about all the layout errors that affect the email distribution to spam.

How to understand that a mailing is going to spam

Before proceeding to the analysis of the main errors, let’s determine whether the emails are really going to the spam folder. And so there are several ways.

Verification with major providers

The first way is to register mail with popular providers, such as Gmail.com, Mail.ru or Yandex.ru. Add them to the list of recipients and make sure that all emails arrive. If messages do not reach all addresses and end up in spam, it means that they will not reach other recipients registered with these providers.

Reputation check using Postmaster

Postmeister is a service provided by a postal provider that allows you to view mailing statistics. With its help, you can track the reputation of a domain and an IP address. In Gmail, both parameters are displayed, and in Mail.ru, only information on the domain name, but at the same time it shows how many letters are in the inbox and spam.

Monitoring of mailing statistics

Many services for email newsletters allow you to track statistics, which show the number of sent, delivered and opened letters. Monitor this data and you will see the problem in time. In our service Cheapsender you can view the statistics from the mailings in the “My mailings” section.

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10 reasons why your emails end up in spam

So, we found out that the emails are going to spam, what to do now? Look for problem areas and correct them in mailings. Let’s break down the most popular reasons.

Cause 1: The email contains Flash, JavaScript, or ActiveX

Flash, JavaScript and ActiveX allow spammers to add viruses to their mailings, so postal services do not perceive these technologies, and if they see them, they immediately send the letter to the spam folder.

Where can these tools in the newsletter even come from? For example, when copying the code from the site to the letter. Also, mail services can abuse VBScript, Java applets, Frames and IFrames connected from external CSS sites.

To solve this problem, just get rid of the specified objects, and if you use Flash animation, then replace it with GIF.

Reason 2: The balance of text and pictures is disturbed

Antispam analyzes how much text and pictures are in the email. It is recommended to stick to the ratio of 60% pictures and 40% text. If there are more than 60% pictures in the letter, it may end up in spam.

It is more difficult to analyze the text in the picture, so spammers use them to place stop words that the algorithms did not miss in the body of the letter. It is also not uncommon for a letter to consist entirely of a picture – this is a method of spammers that should always be avoided.

Reason 3: Redirects, shorteners and links

Another reason why your emails end up in spam is links. It is recommended to add no more than ten links to the letter, and the fewer the better.

You should also not hide links from users: add redirects to them and use shorteners. Such methods are often used by fraudsters to send a virus or ask to go to a malicious site using a normal link.

The same goes for using the full URL – email clients don’t like it, so they send all such emails to spam. This is determined by redirect tracking: if a URL mismatch with the final address is seen, it will be equated to a redirect.

Take a look at the example below:

Why are my mailings going to spam?

In the letter, we are asked to follow a clear link – to the bank’s website. In fact, we end up on a completely different page that clearly leads to something suspicious. To avoid such problems, use hyperlinks and do not redirect.

Also, try to create all links so that they open in a new tab – this is the right approach when you need to take the user from one site to another. To do this, use the “target” attribute with the value “_blank”. If you use a service for newsletters, then in the settings it is most often marked as “Purpose” -> “New tab”.

Reason 4: Custom filters

It often happens that letters reach many, but some clients cannot receive them in their inbox. This is most likely due to the fact that the user has added similar emails to spam, and now your messages are also going there.

To make sure of the problem, create your mailbox with the same provider and see where the mailing goes. If the letters arrive in the inbox, it means that your recipient has individual filters installed. Ask him to mark the letter as “not spam” or add your contact to the address book.

Reason 5: The size of the letter is too large

Statistics emailonacid says that letters up to 100 Kb most often successfully reach the recipient, bypassing any spam. If the weight of the letter is greater, then there may be problems.

Here’s what they came up with during the analysis:

The optimal size of the letter statistics

If you want to attach an attachment to the letter, it is better to place it in the link format, having previously added the desired file to a third-party service (for example, Google Drive). In the Cheapsender designer, you can insert a link by simply highlighting a word and clicking the “Insert/edit link” button.

Reason 6: The newsletter was created without Plain-text

Plain-text literally means “simple text”. In e-mails, he means that the letter looks like text and links – without pictures and other elements. Even if the email uses a lot of animation, it will still be displayed in text format.

This is necessary for mail clients that cannot display HTML. Also, the text version will be shown if the HTML letter has not been loaded for some reason: for example, the subscriber specified in the settings that the letters are displayed only in text form, or he views mail through a smart watch.

Here is one example of what it might look like: the original on the left, and the plain-text letter on the right:

Examples of letters with and without Plain-text

As a rule, if you use the service for email distributions, then there should be no problems with the text format. In the case of writing a letter using the Plain-text code, you must create it yourself.

Reason 7: Sheet width

The width of the letter can contribute to the fact that your entire mailing will end up in spam. Try not to set the container width above 600px in the desktop version, and stick to 320px in the mobile version.

How to choose the width of the letter for mailing

Reason 8: There is no unsubscribe button from the newsletter

One of the most important parts of any newsletter is the ability to unsubscribe. Yes, it is always unpleasant that subscribers leave, but there is no way without it. In the absence of an unsubscribe button, users will simply start adding emails to spam.

An example of what the unsubscribe button looks like:

How to design an unsubscribe button in a newsletter

Sometimes it happens that there is an unsubscribe button, but the mail client still complains about it. This may be due to the fact that the list-unsubscribe header, formatted according to the RFC standard, is not used in the letter or a non-working link is used for unsubscribing.

Reason 9: Colors and images

What can go wrong with color in a mailing – are there any standards? And yes and no: you can use any color, but only if it is properly designed in the code. Some mail clients do not accept abbreviations like #fff – for them you need to use the 6-character format.

Also, try not to make your mailing “poor-eyed” – this is a popular technique of spammers, which is immediately visible. 2-3 colors evenly distributed throughout the sheet will be enough.

Here’s an example of how not to do it:

An example of a bad mailing that will end up in spam

Image – not everything is smooth with him either. In order for the mail client not to abuse them, it is necessary to always register alt tags. They are needed for cases when the browser does not display images, but only shows text that illustrates the essence of the image.

Here’s what it looks like:

An example of a letter in a mailing list without displaying pictures

If you don’t put alt tags, you can quickly fly away to spam. In that case, if you refuse them outright, use the empty alt=” ” format.

Reason 10: Letter encoding error

Standard UTF-8 Unicode encoding is used in mailings – it is necessary for most HTML pages. If you change the encoding, the letter will be sent to spam with a huge probability.

If you send a message through the service, then you do not need to worry, because everything is automated there. But everything is different with the code – there may be problems. To use UTF-8, in Sec you need to add a meta tag:

<meta http-equiv=»Content-Type» content=»text/html; charset=UTF-8″>

To check, open the letter in Notepad and find the charset attribute there, which should have the value UTF-8 – if the encoding is set correctly.



Mail clients are the ones who will check your layout. It is important that it is completed without any flaws – only in this case you can avoid getting into spam.

Make your letters so that they can be viewed both with and without pictures, and it would be convenient for every user to read messages, and spam filters will bypass your e-mails.

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