1 in 5 commercial emails sent never reaches the inbox.
- 6% end up in the spam folder
- 14% are blocked by ISPs entirely.
For cold emails, inbox placement becomes even more challenging.
- You don’t have a relationship with your recipient yet.
- You’re sending unsolicited messages.
But this doesn’t mean cold emails are spam.
That’s why they belong to the inbox, not the junk folder.
Follow these steps to make sure things stay that way…
Step 1: Scrub your list thoroughly
Your cold outreach’s success depends on the quality of your list.
- Use list cleaning tools and services to remove bad addresses
- Run a double opt-in campaign, especially when using a third-party list
Related: Declare Your Independence from Bad Data: A 5-Step Plan
Step 2: Check your copy for spam triggers
Your email’s content and design can set off spam alerts in dozens of ways.
- Limit your use of known spam words
- Maintain a 60-40 text-to-image ratio
- Link exclusively to reputable domains
Step 3: Segment and personalize your campaign
In the eyes of ISPs, there’s a fine line between non-personalized bulk emails and spam.
- Add some prospect-specific snippets to your email templates
- Segment your list and customize the message for each group
Related: Say no to Spam! Ways to Avoid Putting your Email Marketing Campaign to the Dumpsite
Step 4: Let ISPs know you’re someone they can trust
Sender authentication tools and services can help you improve deliverability.
- Setup SPF, DKIM, and DMARC anti-spoofing
- Sign up for sender and email certification audits
Step 5: Watch how you use your sending IP
Once your sending IP and domain get blacklisted, your emails no longer reach recipients.
- Send emails in small batches each day and gradually increase the volume
- Use a dedicated IP for your sending server
- Keep hard bounces below 5% and spam reports below 0.1%
Remember, cold emails are not spam unless you make them that way.