Email Deliverability

The 12 Most Common Reasons Your Cold Emails Are Going to Spam

Post by
Lara Bingel
The 12 Most Common Reasons Your Cold Emails Are Going to Spam

Get more responses from your prospects. Make more sales.
Get Started for Free Today

The 12 Most Common Reasons Your Cold Emails Are Going to Spam

Want your cold emails to land in the inbox instead of the spam folder?

It’s frustrating when your carefully crafted cold outreach misses the mark entirely by ending up in spam.

Not only does this prevent your messages from being seen, but too much spamming also hurts your domain reputation with major email providers.

In this post, we’ll cover the top 12 reasons cold emails get tagged as spam and technology-blocked—plus proven strategies to fix them.

1. Using an Unverified Sending Domain

The domain you send cold emails from matters. Sending from a new, unverified domain signals high risk to spam filters.

Use an established, verified domain with existing reputation to avoid automatic filtering of your cold outreach.

2. No Sender Authentication

Failing to authenticate with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC makes your cold emails scream risky. Authentication verifies you as a legitimate sender.

Properly authenticate your domain so cold emails reliably pass authentication checks and reach the inbox.

3. Aggressive Calls-to-Action and Claims

Using hype-filled language like “Act Now!” and making bold claims will put cold emails straight into the spam folder.

Keep language focused on value for the recipient. Avoid aggressive CTAs and exaggerated promises no matter how compelling.

4. Irrelevant Recipients and Spraying

Mass cold emailing random, irrelevant people destroys deliverability. Only target those likely to be interested based on role, company, etc.

Personalized, thoughtful outreach to a shortlist of potential customers avoids spam blocking.

5. large Volume Sending

Sudden, massive volumes of cold emails or blasting large lists triggers spam alarms. Slowly scale up testing small batch sends.

Consistent, moderate daily volumes aligned with recipient tolerance levels keeps cold emails inbox-bound.

6. Copying Generic Emails

Sending identical, untailored emails en masse is a surefire way to be spam filtered and blacklisted.

Personalize each cold email with relevant details and custom messaging aligned with the prospect's needs.

7. Deceptive Subject Lines

Misleading or exaggerated subject lines train recipients to instantly spam cold emails. Keep subjects clear, accurate representations of content.

Avoid manipulative wordsmithing or formulas aimed at tricking readers to open.

8. Recipient Complaints and Spam Reporting

Excess complaints or spam reports from cold outreach barrages can blacklist your sending domain entirely.

Make unsubscribing easy and focus on personalized value over spray-and-pray blasting to prevent complaints.

9. Purchasing Bad Email Lists

Buying low-quality, outdated lists almost guarantees the spam folder. Very few engage or convert.

Build your own highly targeted lists aligned with ideal customer profiles. Quality over quantity prevents spamming.

10. Sending Without Warming Up Your Email Account

Blasting cold emails without properly warming up IP addresses and domains triggers spam filters trying to catch spammers in action.

Use an intelligent email warmup service to gradually ramp up volumes safely over time. This avoids sudden spikes that appear suspicious and risky.

11. HTML-Heavy Emails

Excessive design elements, embedded links, rich media, and complex code are red flags. Keep templates simple.

Too much HTML can appear suspicious. Let value-driven copy take the spotlight over flashy design.

12. Aggressive Formatting

Overusing !!! and ALL CAPS subjects as well as multiple emoticons screams spam. Avoid obnoxious formatting.

Rely on compelling copy rather than distracting gimmicks. Excessive exclamation points and capital letters only hurt delivery.

The Fix: Legitimate Cold Email Practices

Gaining inbox placement comes down to:

  • Established, authenticated sending domain
  • Quality over quantity outreach
  • Personalized messaging for each recipient
  • Slow, moderate volume scaling
  • Constant list scrubbing and optimization
  • Warming up IP addresses before large sends

Combine these practices with an automated warmup platform like Mailivery to meticulously heat up new accounts, avoid risky spikes in volume, and keep cold emails out of the spam trap.

Don't Land In Spam.
Make more sales.
Get Started Today For Free.