Why is mail I send to other people treated as spam?

Occasionally customers tell us that email they send to other people ends up in a recipient’s “spam folder”.

If this happens to you, keep in mind that each receiving email company (like Gmail or Yahoo) has their own independent spam filtering, so if you get reports of this happening at one company, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s happening at other companies, too.

Because Gmail is the most popular free email service nowadays, people most commonly report it happening with Gmail. If so, you should look at one of those messages when it’s still in the Gmail spam folder (or ask one of the recipients to do that for you). At the top of the message, Gmail will say why they put it in the spam folder. It might look like this, for example:

Message in Gmail spam folder

Once you know why it’s happening, it’s easier to fix the problem. We’ll be happy to give advice if you can tell us what it says.

If Gmail says that the message is similar to other messages identified as spam, as in the example above, all you can do is try to change the content of your message so it looks less like other messages that people are reporting as “spam” to Google.

Other services often show similar messages, or the recipient can ask their mail provider why the message was classified as spam.

Unfortunately, without knowing the reason a message was treated as spam, it’s difficult to know how to fix it, because large mail companies have literally hundreds of different reasons they might put a message in the spam folder. Finding exactly why it’s happening is the key to knowing how to fix it... but you can only find that from the recipient’s mail service. So if this is happening to you, try to find the exact reason from a recipient as a first step. (The recipient should want to work with you to solve this — their mail provider is making a mistake that’s causing them to miss mail, and the same problem is likely happening with other mail they receive, too.)