Why are my emails landing in spam folders?

I've never marked any of my emails as spam, but I've noticed that my email blasts land in my spam folder! This is a huge issue for my organization because I need to make sure that ALL of our recipients receive my mailings. 

What's going on here?

Official response from

Unfortunately there are no silver bullets or quick fixes to email deliverability. ISPs and email clients determine where to send your messages based on several factors, and your reputation is built from these overtime. Here are a few ways you can start to get your email reputation back on track:

1. Make sure your email lists are clean. 

Start with clean lists:

  • Was this list recently active (emailed within the past month) through another email service?
    • Make sure that you map "email_opt_in" with Y or N, and that all invalid emails have been excluded from your list. There is not a way to map bad emails in a NationBuilder import, so these ought to be excluded entirely.
    • If invalid need to be imported for any reason, make sure they are appropriately tagged as such so that you can batch unsubscribe them once they've been imported. Note that your import may fail if it includes too many invalid email addresses. Contact help@nationbuilder.com if you need to work around this failure. 
  • Has it been two or more months since you contacted these emails? Were they recorded through a hand-written source? Are you unsure of when they were last contacted?
    • Get your lists cleaned by a reputable list cleaning vendor prior to import. This one additional step and cost can save you and your email reputation down the road!
  • Was your list purchased? Was it sourced from a voter file?
    • SCRAP IT. These lists will hurt your email deliverability, and are likely to result in your email blasting capabilities getting paused. 

Clean up your existing lists:

  • Employ these strategies to ensure that you maintain a healthy, engaged mailing list. If your emails recently started landing in spam folders and weren't previously, these tips likely hold the key to restoring your email reputation. 

Importing questionable lists or failing to maintain them can result in your blasts hitting spam trap email addresses. These email addresses can be hard to spot and can be exceptionally detrimental to your email deliverability. If you are concerned that you may have spam trap email addresses on your list, please email help@nationbuilder.com. Note that we will not be able to identify unique addresses, but we can tell how many you hit. 

 

2. Has your sending domain been authenticated?

Make sure that ISPs can easily identify that you own the domain you're emailing from. Because you purchased your custom domain from somewhere other than NationBuilder, you'll need to take a few steps to authenticate your email.  

 

3. Content is key - don't send emails that look like spam. 

Don't send emails that look like spam! Advanced spam filters will consider your subject lines and email content when determining whether your email is "spammy". Avoid gimmicks like all caps and "Click HERE today!" or "URGENT ACTION NEEDED!" and limit the number of images in your email blasts as much as possible.

If you wouldn't click on the email if you received it, don't send it.

 

Complete and current information on how to use NationBuilder is available in the documentation section.

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