How to stop Mailchimp emails going to spam

Tech Optimised > Tech News > Business > How to stop Mailchimp emails going to spam

How to stop Mailchimp emails going to spam

Landing in the spam folder can tank email marketing results. This guide shares insider techniques to optimize Mailchimp deliverability. Learn how to configure authentication protocols, build positive sender reputation over time, create engaging content, monitor subscriber engagement metrics, and resolve any deliverability issues – so your mailing list members enthusiastically open, read, and click on the emails you worked so hard to craft.

Understanding Spam Filter Triggers and Techniques

How Spam Filters Work

Spam filters use a variety of techniques to identify and catch unwanted spam emails. The most common triggers that get messages flagged as spam involve the email content itself, lack of email authentication, and the reputation of the sending domain.

Most modern spam filters rely on Bayesian filtering, a method that calculates the probability an email is spam based on its content and headers. The filter has an initial training set of spam and legitimate emails which it uses to determine the statistical properties of spam. As new emails come in, the filter continues updating and refining its statistical spam profile.

Other advanced techniques like machine learning and rules-based analysis are also used. For example, a rules-based filter might flag any email with certain blacklist keywords while a machine learning model can identify new spam patterns and update itself. Overall, the better a spam filter is trained, the more accurately it will be able to classify incoming emails.

Spam Filter Content Factors

The actual content of an email plays a big role in whether it gets flagged as spam. Spam filters watch out for certain types of content commonly associated with spam campaigns.

Suspicious links are a big red flag. If a message contains multiple hyperlinks, especially to websites unrelated to the email content, many filters will call it spam. Likewise for emails with inappropriate images, attachments, and embedded content which spammers use to hide malicious code.

Excessive marketing copy and “too good to be true” offers are also signals of unwanted spam. A spam filter’s language processing can identify messages with hard sales pitches, urgency cues, legal disclaimers, and excessive use of attention-grabbing text. More marketing-focused language choices send an email directly to the spam folder.

Lack of Reputation and Authentication

Besides the content, lack of reputation and authentication are also major factors that get emails flagged as spam. If a message comes from an unknown or disreputable domain without proper email authentication in place, spam filters assume the worst.

Domains with poor or no sender reputation are far more likely to have their emails blocked as spam. A pristine domain reputation takes consistent deliverability best practices over many positive sending experiences. Unverified new domains lack the track record to avoid detectors. So make sure you get your domain verified – we can do that for you! When it’s verified, it will look like this:

Proper email authentication via SPF, DKIM, and DMARC prevents spoofing and builds sender credibility. Missing or incorrect implementations of these protocols undermine sender validation and allow spammers to falsify message headers. For best results, every domain should authenticate using at least SPF and DKIM.

Key Email Deliverability Factors and Best Practices:

Factor Best Practice/Tips
Content Quality Tailor content to subscriber interests. Avoid excessive marketing language and “too good to be true” offers. Use natural language and provide value beyond promotions.
Authentication Protocols Configure SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols correctly. Ensure all Mailchimp’s assigned servers are added for full sender validation.
Sender Reputation Build a positive reputation through consistent, valuable content. Avoid bulk emails and purchased lists. Monitor open and click-through rates.
Subscriber Engagement Segment your list based on demographics, interests, etc. Personalize content and monitor engagement metrics to adjust strategies.
Complaint Resolution Rapidly address subscriber complaints and blocks. Analyze complaint patterns and refine email strategies accordingly.

Building Your Sender Reputation With Mailchimp

Delivering Valuable Content

The foundation of an excellent sender reputation is consistently delivering relevant, valuable content tailored to subscriber interests. Each email you send represents an opportunity to provide recipients with something useful, whether it be industry news, special promotions, new product updates, or other subscriber-centered content.

Avoid the temptation to blast out bulk emails or purchase email lists. While this may temporarily expand your reach, indiscriminate messaging destroys your domain reputation. Spam filters scrutinize senders closely, and subscribers are quick to disengage and complain if subjected to irrelevant emails.

Instead, focus on nurturing positive engagement and trust by overdelivering value with every send. Please get to know your audience segments and what content resonates with them. Monitor open and click-through rates to identify preferences and engagement hot spots. Align email content closely with subscriber expectations to cement your domain’s reputation as a sender they look forward to hearing from.

Building a reputation takes patience and consistency. Each high-quality, tailored message demonstrates you respect subscribers’ time and attention. Overdelivering value earns engagement, trust, and loyalty over the long term. Avoid short-term gains like purchased lists which jeopardize hard-earned reputation. Keep subscriber relationships central.

Managing Subscriber Engagement

Carefully manage subscriber engagement at each stage of the email lifecycle. Leverage segmentation and targeting to deliver customized content catering to specific subscriber needs and interests.

Divide your list into granular segments based on attributes like demographics, interests, purchase history, and engagement metrics. This allows personalization at scale. A frequent shopper segment may receive special deals and new product announcements, while a less engaged segment could get educational content and brand stories to build the relationship.

Monitor engagement metrics like open, click-through and unsubscribe rates for each segment regularly. Watch for sudden declines which indicate potential content issues, delivery errors, or relationship breakdowns. Survey subscribers and adjust content strategies promptly to reengage at-risk segments before major problems develop.

Managing engagement in this targeted, data-driven way maximizes deliverability while also nurturing positive subscriber relationships to bolster the sender’s reputation. Segmenting allows addressing issues promptly at the subgroup level rather than jeopardizing your entire list.

Handling Complaints and Blocks

Despite best efforts, subscriber complaints and blocks inevitably occur when managing large lists. Have clear processes in place to rapidly detect and mitigate any delivery issues or negative feedback received.

Configure bounce and complaint messages to feed into separate inboxes. Designate engagement staff to monitor these accounts closely and take action on any identified issues. Analyze complaint patterns to uncover frequent problems causing blocks.

Common sources are content irrelevance, messaging frequency, deliverability errors, or policy violations. Defuse situations promptly by having personalized outreach come from a senior team member addressing the subscriber’s specific concerns.

For complainers, create a separate segment with more cautious send protocols and monitoring while working to optimize their experience. Those generating repeated complaints may need to be removed to limit reputation damage.

Be patient and persistent helping blocked subscribers regain trust in your sending practices before attempting to reengage. Demonstrating responsiveness and care for the subscriber experience goes a long way towards preserving your sender credibility and domain reputation.

Common Email Deliverability Issues and Solutions:

Issue Solution
Emails Landing in Spam Review content for spam triggers. Ensure proper authentication is in place. Improve sender reputation with consistent, quality content.
Low Open Rates Personalize email content. Test different sending times and days for optimal engagement. Refresh content to align with evolving subscriber interests.
High Complaint or Bounce Rates Analyze the source of complaints. Adjust content relevance and frequency. Confirm list quality and consent for sign-ups.
Technical Delivery Errors Ensure email design is compatible across different clients. Regularly update and test link functionality. Use Mailchimp’s tools to monitor and address technical issues.
Blacklist or Reputation Issues Identify the blacklist-causing issues and follow their delisting process. Improve email practices based on feedback. Rebuild reputation with consistent, compliant sending practices.

Authenticating Your Domain Through Mailchimp

Configuring SPF, DKIM and DMARC

Properly configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication is crucial for establishing your domain’s legitimacy and improving email deliverability. These protocols work together to verify your exact sending rights and prevent unauthorized use.

SPF confirms you have permission to send from your domain by cross-checking against a DNS record listing your authorized sending servers. Add all of Mailchimp’s assigned servers to enable full sender validation.

DKIM digitally signs each outbound message with a hashed key to prove authenticity. Mailchimp handles DKIM signing automatically, but you must publish public keys through your DNS for verification checks.

Finally, DMARC aligns SPF and DKIM results to determine a final authentication status. Set p=reject to tell receiving servers to block any unaligned mail claiming to be from you.

Carefully follow Mailchimp’s step-by-step authentication instructions to properly configure each protocol. For best security, use DNS TXT records rather than less secure website META tags. Work with your domain registrar if you need help updating DNS settings.

With SPF, DKIM, and DMARC fully implemented, receiving servers can authenticate your messages and exclude any potentially fraudulent emails. This builds credibility as a legitimate, trusted sender.

Using Consistent Branding and Headers

Match message branding and headers across your emails for improved authentication and avoiding spam triggers. Keep design elements, content tone, and the sending IP address consistent.

Sudden changes in messaging style, branding look, email topic, or other headers can appear suspicious to spam filters. For example, sending an unexpected promotional blast from a previously transactional IP would seem questionable.

Maintain subscriber trust and expectations by using consistent templates, imagery, content themes, and sender information across all campaigns. Ensure custom designs match your brand identity and align with previous sends.

Check that the sending IP address matches previous campaigns and has a sufficient reputation to avoid new sender bias. Rotate IPs purposefully over time rather than randomly between messages. Follow all recommended practices for consistent sending.

Enabling Link Wrapping in Mailchimp

Enable Mailchimp’s link-wrapping feature to disguise URLs and improve email authentication. Link wrappers authenticate URLs by redirecting clicks through Mailchimp’s servers.

Wrapped links help avoid spam filters that scrutinize untrusted direct URLs in messages. Enabling link wrapping also implements Mailchimp’s full URL scan detection. Any harmful links are automatically disabled to protect subscribers.

Note that link data such as click rates will not be tracked for the original URL when wrapped. View link analytics through your Mailchimp account instead of the original destination stats.

Beware also of over-wrapping content links which obscures the destination. Use sparingly on key promotional links and avoid wrapping content critical for context. Test thoroughly and educate subscribers to ensure high clickthrough.

With SPF, DKIM, and DMARC configured alongside consistent branding and protected links, subscribers will trust your messages as genuine. Mailchimp’s robust authentication tools verify your sending authority across channels, devices, and providers. Follow all recommended practices to maximize deliverability while maintaining a personalized, engaging approach.

Optimizing Your Email Content


Leverage personalization to make content more relevant for each subscriber. Tailor messaging to match subscriber preferences and interests based on gathered data and behaviours. Personalized content dramatically boosts engagement, improving deliverability.

Segment your audience into subgroups with common attributes like demographics, interests, and engagement levels. Map detailed subscriber profiles to allow hyper-customized messaging at scale.

Craft targeted content that speaks directly to each group’s needs. For example, send special deals to frequent shoppers and valuable educational content to less active subscribers.

Avoid impersonal bulk emails with generic content. Spam filters assume generic content has less value. Studies show personalized subject lines alone can increase open rates by up to 50%.

Work towards “segment of one” level personalization fueled by AI and machine learning. Send each subscriber precisely what resonates based on their unique profile and actions. Hyper-relevant content not only drives revenue but also cements domain reputation.

Providing Value and Utility

Ensure emails consistently deliver value beyond promotions. Provide utility, entertainment, and other non-commercial content subscribers genuinely appreciate. This establishes trust and relevance that keeps your emails out of the spam folder.

Send educational content like how-tos, thought leadership articles, and data-rich reports tailored to each segment’s interests. Entertain with humour, engaging stories, and creativity. Foster community with newsletters, social updates, and behind-the-scenes looks.

Avoid over-promoting or always pushing conversions. While offers and CTAs have a place, balance them with useful, non-promotional value. Think helpful first, selling second. This thoughtful mix earns attention and trust.

Surveys, polls, quizzes and other interactive content also provide utility while gaining valuable subscriber insights. Just ensure a balance of value before commercial messaging. Establish genuine usefulness first.

Using Natural Language

Write email copy conversationally in simple, informal language subscribers would use naturally. Avoid excessive industry jargon, buzzwords, and heavy marketing speak. These overly salesy tones raise spam suspicions.

Speak simply and conversationally like you’re reaching out to a friend. Use natural grammar and vocabulary suited to the audience. Avoid overselling – it damages trust and engagement.

Allow subscribers’ language preferences and trends gleaned from surveys and social media to guide your friendlier, more natural tone. Test different informal styles with segments to continually optimize voice.

Also, conveys warmth and personality in design. Include real headshots, handwritten fonts, and other humanizing touches to complement the natural language. This winning combination earns readership while avoiding spam red flags.

Truly optimize content by making it hyper-relevant, full of value and written conversationally. Personalize ruthlessly, provide utility, and speak naturally. Subscribers will reward you by moving your emails out of the spam folder and into the inbox where they belong.

Managing Your Subscriber List With Mailchimp

List Segmentation Strategies

Divide your subscriber list into granular segments to optimize targeting and personalization—group subscribers with common attributes like demographics, interests, and engagement levels. Create lifestyle segments for geographic regions, usage frequency, or business type. The more precisely you can define your audience, the better.

Avoid treating all subscribers equally – not all groups have the same needs or expectations. Leverage segmentation to align content closely with each group’s preferences for maximum impact.

For example, create one segment for subscribers from social media campaigns and nurture them differently than long-time customers sourced from tradeshows. Email newer subscribers educational materials to build trust while existing buyers may receive product updates and special offers.

Regularly analyze groups to spot trends and refine targeting. Monitor engagement metrics by segment to see what resonates. Adjust segments frequently based on new subscriber behaviours and changing attributes to keep alignment tight.

Monitoring List Changes

Closely track subscriber adds, drops, complaints, and engagement metrics over time to optimize list management. Look for opportunities in subscriber data to improve the experience.

Route subscriber change notifications to automated workflow rules that trigger re-engagement, removal, or other actions. For example, automatically send a win-back offer to recent unsubscribes open to continued communication.

Generate subscriber activity reports to analyze complaint rates, non-delivery errors, and spam complaints. Identify frequently blocked or bounced segments for remediation. Continually refine contact processes to minimize opt-outs.

Review the delivery and open rates at least monthly to catch dips that indicate potential targeting issues. Survey subscribers and adjust content or segmentation strategies to re-engage. Nip problems in the bud before they escalate.

Limiting List Exposure

Limit group exposure and implement tight send monitoring to contain any sudden deliverability issues that arise. Closely track new segment performance in case quick suppression is required.

Temporarily suppress any new or high-risk segment showing abnormal behaviour until you can identify the problem. Limited first sends allow assessing performance before letting issues propagate.

Route segment complaints to separate inboxes for rapid response. Complaint increases may signal relevance issues with a group’s interests or disengagement. Re-confirm consent where needed.

By proactively limiting exposure and addressing feedback, isolated subscriber or segmentation problems won’t spread. Careful audience management ensures successful delivery while building trusted relationships.

Robust list management through segmentation, monitoring, and exposure control is key for delivering personalized, relevant content subscribers love. Align groups tightly, continually optimize based on data, and act swiftly on issues. Your attention to detail keeps messages out of the spam trap.

Analyzing Reports and Metrics Via Mailchimp

Reviewing Complaint Rates

Make reviewing complaint rates, spam reports, and negative feedback a cornerstone of your email deliverability strategy. Monitoring volumes closely identifies issues requiring intervention before they spiral out of control. 

Configure real-time notifications and alerts for any uptick in bounces, blocks, opt-outs or abuse complaints. When you see complaint metrics spike, investigate the source immediately – which subscriber segments or campaigns are generating the issues?

Higher abuse complaint rates indicate overly sales-focused content not aligned with audience expectations. Increased spam flags mean messages are failing to reach the inbox. A sudden jump in soft bounces may signal technical problems needing swift correction. 

Segment your list to isolate specific groups experiencing disproportionate complaints. Common sources are low-quality purchased lists, misaligned subscriber interests, or failure to properly onboard new leads. Refine contact strategy for high complaint segments through careful list management and by aligning content tightly to each group’s demonstrated preferences.

Plot complaint rates over time to detect trends and seasonal variations. Compare metrics across campaigns, subscriber cohorts, and sending domains to surface the specific trouble spots needing attention based on the data. Understanding when and why complaints arise allows you to optimize your approach to smooth out spikes as they occur.

Checking Placement and Engagement

Frequently analyze inbox placement reports side-by-side with engagement metrics to inform optimization efforts. Low placement means spam filters are intercepting a significant portion of your messages before subscribers ever see them. 

Monitor placement rates by subscriber segment and sending domain to identify where issues exist. New subscriber groups often take time to establish a reputation and move from junk folders, so expect a break-in period. Overall, work to improve long-term authentication and engagement practices for steady gains in inbox placement over time.

Review clickthrough rates, opens, shares, and conversion metrics through engagement tracking as well. Declines in clickthroughs or opens frequently indicate content growing misaligned from evolving subscriber interests. Directly survey subscribers to identify ways to refresh your approach and realign messaging with groups demonstrating reduced response. 

Watch also for unusual spikes in unsubscribes or complaints that may signal technical issues like a platform bug inadvertently signing users up without proper consent. Address such problems promptly to limit damage.

Identifying Deliverability Problems

Leverage the wealth of data within Mailchimp reports to quickly diagnose specific deliverability problems as they arise, then take targeted corrective action informed by the metrics. High spam complaint rates from a particular subscriber segment likely mean you need to refine personalization to improve content relevance to that group. 

Ensure you always overdeliver value – their interests have shifted away from what you’ve sent recently. Low inbox placement across a sending domain points to potential reputation limitations that require focusing on improving SPF/DKIM authentication and consistent best practices over time to address.

Sudden drops in open or click-through rates may indicate technical errors like broken image links or text rendering issues across different email clients. In this case, carefully confirm message integrity before your next send to resolve the underlying glitches. 

By constantly analyzing the metrics and feedback at your disposal, you gain actionable insights for staying ahead of deliverability issues and keeping your messaging out of the spam trap where it can’t be seen. 

Don’t let problems hide in the data – leverage reports to bring them to the surface quickly for prompt resolution.

Resolving Blacklist and Reputation Issues

Getting Off Backlist Services

If your sending IP addresses or domain names become blacklisted, act quickly to get removed. Confirm which specific blocklist is affecting you through online lookup tools like MX Toolkit. Then submit a delisting request.

Review blacklist requirements to ensure your request includes all required information like abuse contact details and affected infrastructure. Provide compliant content and a thorough explanation of remediation steps taken.

Note any technical issues that may have triggered a false positive. If subscribers were signed up without proper consent, detailed consent verification processes were added. Transparency builds trust.

Once submitted, monitor closely for a response. Larger lists like Spamhaus can take weeks, so promptly escalate if needed. Continued issues demonstrate further action is required.

Upon delisting, immediately review block reasons to prevent recurrence. Refine email authentication, volumes, content relevancy, and complaint processes based on the blacklist feedback. Consistent deliverability best practices keep you off lists.

Remediating Reputation Problems

If Mailchimp identifies your account as high risk or ISPs flag your domain reputation, take steps to resolve the root causes driving issues. Improving content, authentication, and volumes will steadily rebuild credibility over time.

Analyze ISP and Mailchimp complaint feedback to pinpoint weaknesses. Common flags are poor authentication controls, bought lists, excessive complaints, or irrelevant content. Develop an improvement plan addressing each identified gap.

Confirm SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are fully implemented for sender validation. Tighten subscriber targeting and personalization to align with audience interests. Limit purchased lists to avoid questionable sources. Send more conservatively until reputation stabilizes.

Continued issues escalated by ISPs may require temporarily throttling send volume by domain until you reestablish trust through demonstrated deliverability gains. Reputation rebuilding takes time, but consistency pays off.

Retesting Deliverability

After addressing identified issues, carefully retest deliverability to confirm your fixes hit the mark before increasing volumes. Prematurely ramping up sending before metrics validate success risks reputational damage.

Use seed lists, small volume test sends, and placement monitoring to validate changes improved inboxing and engagement without negative feedback. Ensure complaint rates, bounce rates, and blocks remain within acceptable ranges.

Analyze test send metrics like opens, clicks, and unsubscribes. Lackluster engagement indicates further optimization is needed before scaling back up. Remember reputation building is a marathon, not a sprint.

Only resume normal volumes after tests conclusively prove issues are resolved and subscribers respond positively. Trust takes time to earn back once damaged. So confirm deliverability first, then accelerate gradually as metrics justify.

Optimizing Your Sending Cadence

Starting with Low Volumes

When first building deliverability, begin by sending only small email volumes to minimize spam risks. Gradually increase quantities over time as you establish a positive sender reputation and prove inbox placement.

Initially limit both message quantity and list size to identify any potential issues on a small scale before impacting larger audiences. As volumes grow, closely monitor complaint rates, spam reports, and placement metrics.

Ramp up slowly in phases based on data, not calendars. Only increase quantities when current volumes maintain strong positive engagement and low complaints. If metrics deteriorate, pause expansion until any problems are addressed.

Patience pays off long-term. Sending too much too fast when starting triggers spam filters sensitive to new domains. Build trust with conservative volumes for the first 3-6 months before accelerating.

Testing Days and Times

When beginning, test sending emails on different days of the week and times of day to determine optimal timing. Analyze comparative engagement and complaint rates to identify when subscribers are most receptive.

For example, early morning or late afternoon messages on weekdays may see higher open rates for business audiences. Whereas consumers often prefer mid-morning or evenings on weekends. Send several matching test campaigns with different dispatch times to compare.

Refine the cadence and send windows over time based on performance data, not guesses. Recipient preferences can vary significantly by audience segment and locale. So experiment to determine the ideal schedule customized to your list.

Consistent cycled timing also helps with authentication and reputation. Sporadic blasts appear riskier to spam filters than predictable rhythms. Establish a reliable cadence subscriber come to expect.

Pausing Inactive Subscribers

When starting with email, temporarily removing inactive subscribers from your list avoids triggering spam filters sensitive to dormant accounts. Only engage truly active members initially.

Import subscribers into a paused state or automatically pause those with no openings after 2-3 months. Set engagement-based automation to continually purge stale leads over time.

This focus of sending on currently engaged recipients establishes your service relevancy with a core audience first. As you gain reputation, begin small-scale testing of win-back and re-engagement campaigns to inactive groups.

Building a reputation requires demonstrating value to real subscribers. Initially pause inert accounts until you refine targeting and engagement for those groups. Prioritize connecting with current brand enthusiasts who actively open and click. Deliver to segments that deliver results.

Strategically optimizing your sending volumes, timing, and audience focus builds trust and maximizes deliverability as you establish your sending reputation. Scale conservatively, move nimbly based on data, and align with subscriber lifecycles. These practices earn the inbox.

Leveraging Tech Optimised’s Expertise

Configuring Email Authentication

Properly configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication is crucial for establishing domain legitimacy and improving email deliverability. Tech Optimised can fully configure and optimize these protocols to verify your sending rights.

Their team stays up-to-date on all authentication best practices and has extensive experience implementing authentication across client domains. They will carefully walk through configuring the TXT or CNAME records within your DNS to enable SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for your domain.

Tech Optimised will also continually monitor authentication status across your email activities, watching for any issues with alignment or policy rejections. They act swiftly to optimize configurations when needed to ensure air-tight sender verification.

Leveraging Tech Optimised‘s expertise in configuring and managing email authentication gives you a powerful deliverability advantage, as receiving servers can definitively confirm the validity of your messages.

Establishing Mailchimp Reputation

Achieving excellent deliverability with Mailchimp requires building a strong positive reputation over time. Tech Optimised can guide optimization across content, volumes, and authentication to improve reputation.

Their team excels at aligning email content with subscriber expectations for increased engagement and reduced complaints. They also advise proper volume ramping based on driving metrics to avoid sudden spikes that raise spam suspicions.

For new Mailchimp users, Tech Optimised focuses on core best practices like consistent branding, personalization, sender authentication, and conservative send quantities to establish solid reputation foundations first.

As volumes increase, they continually refine based on placement reports, engagement metrics, and feedback. With Tech Optimised’s expertise, Mailchimp’s reputation stays high across customer lifecycles.

Resolving Deliverability Issues

Even with robust practices, deliverability issues sometimes arise needing rapid response. Tech Optimised has extensive experience troubleshooting and resolving complicated email deliverability problems.

Their team is well-versed in submitting and monitoring blocklist delisting requests across major databases. For reputation damage with specific ISPs, they work to identify root causes and create improvement plans addressing any identified weaknesses.

Tech Optimised also monitors engagement metrics to catch deliverability problems early before impacting customers. If engagement declines or complaint rates spike, they jump into action conducting tests to pinpoint issues and implement fixes.

With in-depth Mailchimp expertise and a proven methodology, Tech Optimised helps restore interrupted email flows by identifying and fixing whatever obstacles stand in the inbox’s way.

Leave A Comment

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required