13 Ways To Prevent Your Cold Emails From Going To Spam

Updated June 2024

There are many ways to prevent your cold emails from going to spam.

If you make even a single mistake, then your emails will not hit the primary inbox.

In this article, I cover the 13 most important things that you can do to prevent your cold emails from going to spam:

1. Don’t send the same email too many times
2. Add SPF, DKIM & DMARC records to your domain
3. Avoid email warm-up tools
4. Use plain text
5. Avoid using spam trigger words
6. Limit sending volume to 40 emails per day per account
7. Gradually build up sending volume
8. Auto-match inbox providers
9. Spread out your sending throughout the day
10. Personalize each email
11. Only send emails to verified leads
12. Use specialized cold email software
13. Do not use open tracking

1. Don’t send the same email too many times

The first way that you can prevent your cold emails from going to spam is by changing your email copy.

For example, if you have 1,000 leads, and you send the exact same email to all of them, then your emails will likely end up in spam.

Email service providers (like Gmail and Outlook) consider it spammy behavior when an email account sends the same email over and over again.

Each email that you send needs to be slightly different.

Up until recently, spintax was the industry standard for adding variation to cold emails.

However, spintax is outdated technology and isn’t effective.

Fortunately, Emailchaser has released a new feature that automatically changes the text of each email that you send slightly so that no two leads receive the exact same email.

Emailchaser has integrated OpenAI’s GPT into their product to achieve this functionality. Although it changes each email slightly, it still retains the original email’s message.

image showing how open ai changes text

If you are interested in learning more about why sending the exact same email too many times can hurt your deliverability, then check out my article Does Sending The Same Cold Email Multiple Times Decrease Deliverability?

2. Add SPF, DKIM & DMARC records to your domain

Google recently announced that they will send emails to spam if they are sent from email accounts that are associated with domains that don’t have SPF, DKIM and DMARC set up correctly.

It is very important that you add these records to your sender domains before sending cold emails.

If you don’t know how to set them up, then check out my article What Is DKIM, SPF & DMARC? (And How To Set Them Up).

image showing graphic about spf, dkim and dmarc

3. Avoid email warm-up tools

Many people in the cold email community advocate the use of email warm-up tools.

I recommend that you don’t use them, since there is no evidence showing that they work, and at worst, they could actually be hurting your deliverability.

If you don’t believe me, then check out my article Does Email Warm Up Work & Is It Safe?

image of two men talking on a zoom call

4. Use plain text

The next way that you can prevent your cold emails from going to spam is by sending your emails as plain text (not HTML).

Plain text emails have better deliverability, meaning that they are more likely to land in the primary inbox.

Emailchaser sends your cold emails as plain text by default.

I dive further into this topic in my article Plain Text vs HTML: Which Is Better For Email Deliverability?

image showing plain text vs html email

5. Avoid using spam trigger words

You could do everything right, but if your cold email contains a spam trigger word, then it will still go to spam.

Email service providers will send emails to spam if they contain sales/marketing related words, such as: “buy now”, “click here”, “free” etc.

Emailchaser has a built-in feature that tells you if your email contains a spam trigger word, and it won’t let you launch your campaign until you have removed the spam word from your email.

You can learn more about this in my article 392 Email Spam Trigger Words To Avoid.

screenshot showing spam trigger words being highlights in Emailchaser

6. Limit sending volume to 40 emails per day per account

If you send too many emails from a single email account, then your emails will go to spam.

I recommend that you send 40 cold emails max per day per email account.

Lots of people in the cold email community will say that you can send more than this, but the reality is that they are taking shortcuts and trying to save money by not purchasing more domains. If you follow their advice, then your emails will most likely go to spam.

image of four different email addresses on four different domains

I discuss this topic further in my article How Many Cold Emails Can You Send Per Day Before Going To Spam?

If you are wondering how to scale your cold email outreach, then check out my article How To Safely Scale Up Your Cold Email Outreach. In this article, I show you how you can send an unlimited number of cold emails and bypass the 40 emails per day limit.

7. Gradually build up sending volume

The next way that you can prevent your cold emails from going to spam is by gradually building up your sending volume.

I mentioned above that you should only send 40 emails per day per email account, but if your email account is brand new, then you should slowly build up to this.

You should only send around 5 emails per day per email account in the first week, then 10 per day in the second week, and so on, until you eventually reach 40 emails per day.

image showing a graph that shows gradual build up of sending volume

If you send your cold emails with Emailchaser, then your email sending volume will be gradually built up by default, meaning that you don’t even have to worry about this, as it’s done for you in the background automatically.

You can learn more about this topic in my article Should You Gradually Increase Sending Volume When Sending Cold Emails?

8. Auto-match inbox providers

Your cold emails are more likely to land in the primary inbox if your recipients have the same email service provider as your sender email accounts.

For example, emails sent from a Gmail account are more likely to land in the primary inbox if they are being sent to another Gmail account.

The same applies for Outlook (Microsoft).

image showing outlook and gmail logos

Email service providers trust emails that are being sent from their own email servers more than emails being sent from external servers. As a result, they are more likely to place your emails in the primary inbox if they know that they are being sent from their own servers.

Emailchaser has a feature that automatically matches inbox providers. If you have multiple sender email accounts connected to your campaign, then Emailchaser will make sure that any lead that has a Google (Gmail) email account will be emailed by your Google sender email account(s). And the same applies to Microsoft (Outlook) email accounts as well.

9. Spread out your sending throughout the day

I mentioned above that you should send 40 cold emails max per day per email account.

However, these 40 emails shouldn’t be sent at the exact same time.

They should be spread out naturally throughout the day.

If you send your cold emails through Emailchaser, then they will be spread out throughout the day, so that it looks natural. This increases the likelihood of landing in the primary inbox.

screenshot showing Emailchaser

10. Personalize each email

You can prevent your cold emails from going to spam by personalizing them.

Each email should be personalized for each lead.

If you aren’t personalizing your emails, then email service providers will send your emails to spam.

One of the best ways to personalize your cold emails at scale is by using custom variables.

I teach you how to do this in my article How To Personalize Your Cold Emails At Scale.

screenshot showing custom variable

11. Only send emails to verified leads

If you send emails to email addresses that aren’t valid, then you will have a high bounce rate, which will negatively affect your sender reputation score, leading to all of your emails going to spam.

If you buy lead lists, then the data (emails) that you receive will be outdated and invalid.

The best way to find leads that are verified with active email addresses is by using Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder.

This allows you to export leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is the most accurate and up to date source of B2B leads.

screenshot showing Emailchaser's LinkedIn Email Finder extension

Emailchaser also has an Email Verifier tool that you can use to verify if email addresses are valid or not.

12. Use specialized cold email software

Your cold emails are more likely to go to the primary inbox if you use a specialized cold email software (like Emailchaser).

I wrote an article that explains how Emailchaser helps prevent your cold emails from going to spam.

Once you start sending a high volume of cold emails, utilizing specialized software becomes a requirement.

screenshot showing Emailchaser's dashboard

13. Do not use open tracking

The final way that you can prevent your cold emails from going to spam is by not using open tracking.

Open tracking isn’t accurate and also negatively affects your deliverability.

I discuss this topic in depth in my article Does Email Open Tracking Negatively Affect Deliverability?

cartoon image of an email icon


Final thoughts

If you follow all of the advice in this article, then your cold emails will land in the primary inbox (not spam).

On a related note, I recommend that you check out my article How To Know If Your Cold Emails Are Going To Spam.

You may also enjoy my article How To Improve Your Cold Email Deliverability.

picture of George Wauchope

Article by

George Wauchope

Founder of Emailchaser.

I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.

When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.

About the author