Sendgrid is a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) provider that allows users to send email without maintaining email servers.
With a mission to help their customers make a meaningful impact with their email campaigns, their platform has been designed to manage technical details, such as real-time analytics, whitelist services, domain reputation/ sending IP reputation monitoring, and ISP outreach.
But as useful as it is, some users may notice in their SendGrid control panel that some emails were not sent through or were rejected as spam by the recipient.
It can be frustrating, we know.
That is why in today’s post, we’ll share with you the common reason why your SendGrid emails are going to spam and what changes you can do to make your emails get through to users.
Reasons Why Your SendGrid Emails Are Rejected as Spam
Your Emails Don’t Have a Suppression Mechanism/ Unsubscribe Link
You need an unsubscribe link to your SendGrid email because you want to remain on good terms with your customers even after they’ve left, be polite to your customers, keep your list clean, comply with the CAN-SPAM act if you’re in the US, and avoid the spam folder.
The list could go on, but the simple fact there is that you need an unsubscribe link. It would be best if you can include a simple textbox near your unsubscribe link so the user can share his or her reason why they want to leave.
You Didn’t Follow the Authentication Steps
Domain authentication, formerly called the domain Whitelabel, shows email providers that you are permitted by SendGrid to send emails on your behalf.
And to give SendGrid permission, you need to point DNS entries from the DNS provider (like Cloudflare, Rackspace, or GoDaddy) to SendGrid.
DNS entries/ records are instructions in DNS servers. They provide information about the domain, such as what IP is linked with that domain as well as how to handle requests coming for that domain.
This simple change can create a positive impact on your sender’s reputation and even your email deliverability. It’s because email service providers distrust emails that don’t have sender authentication set up because they are not sure that the message indeed comes from you.
You’re Using an IP Pool
IP pools are dedicated IP addresses utilized to manage the sending reputation of individual mail streams. Using IP pools helps protect the sending reputation of your important emails.
However, if anyone in the list of the IP pool reports spam, it’s possible that other users within the pool may also be affected.
Your Click-Tracking Domains Have Low Reputation
Similar to the domain and IP reputation, click-tracking domains is another factor that can get your emails to the spam folder.
What do we mean by this? It’s the reputation of the domains you use in URLs or links within your email. Let’s say you used the link “http://yourdomain.com/contactus.html” in your email.
But if you use SendGrid’s click-tracking feature, you will see how the platform masks the links to something like: http://ct.sndgrid.net/wf/click?upn=sdfsdfsfsd.
To know if this is the reason why your SendGrid emails are landing in the spam folder, you can simply open any email you received from SendGrid when you conducted an email test via mail tester and look for URLs. Check the reputation of such links on platforms, like MultiRBL or GradeMyEmail.
You’re Using Non-HTTPS Links That Trigger Spam Filters
Some Internet Service Providers have already started giving preference to HTTPS links within the emails rather than HTTP. It’s because it comes with encryption and is more secure.
In case of a URL redirect – sending the user from one URL to another – we encourage you to ensure that the source and landing URLs are on HTTPS. Redirecting from an HTTP URL to an HTTPS URL could likely get your emails flagged as spam or suspicious, most especially in Gmail.
Web-users may be redirected to another URL for various reasons, including a change of business name, to direct traffic to a recently updated content, landing page split testing, to direct content to an updated domain name, or merger of two websites.
How to Combat SendGrid Emails Going to the Spam Folder
Have a Healthy Image-to-Text Ratio
Although there’s no exact formula as to what is the right image-to-text ratio, remember that using image-heavy emails increases your chance of triggering the mail servers’ spam filters. So, try to achieve a 2:1 ratio of words to images.
It would also be best to have an alt attribute in your image tags. Since images don’t always show by default in emails (some recipients have to authorize it first before the images appear), putting an alternative text will be a good idea.
This will also help you avoid the spam folder as most spammers don’t take the time to use an alt attribute. Thus, it will increase your chance of landing it in your recipients’ inboxes.
Spam Filters are looking for similarities in your emails. If you want to avoid triggering the spam filters, increase the uniqueness of your emails by adding a personalized element.
Separate Transactional Content from Marketing Content
It is strongly recommended that you separate transactional content from marketing content to avoid the possibility that your receivers will mistake the nature of your messages and mark them as spam.
Relating to your question “why are my SendGrid emails going to spam?” is that your content re
Your IP Should Be Clean
As you probably know, a huge part of successful email deliverability is your sending reputation. This indicates how your subscribers are responding to your messages, such as how often they send or delete your messages.
Your sending domain reputation is also dependent on a few metrics, such as block rates, open rates, engagement rates, and spam reports. It is also best that your IP is properly warmed up, clean, and with reverse DNS set up.
Whitelabel Your Email Links and Domain
If you are a SendGrid customer and your emails are landing spam instead of the inbox, it’s likely that you’re sending a message with a “Reset your password” link from a non-white-labeled email address or the link you’re using is from a different URL.
To rectify this, set up domain authentication. Go to your SendGrid account and submit the DNS records to your hosting provider or DNS.
Here’s a complete list from SendGrid on how you can get started with domain authentication.
Try Turning Off Your “Click Tracking” Setting in Dashboard
Another reason why your SendGrid emails are marked as spam is that your anchor label is not the same as the href being called. And this can be solved by checking your click-tracking setting in the SendGrid dashboard.
If you have something like this: <a href=”http://yourdomain.com“>yourdomain.com</a>, it may be replaced by SendGrid and you’ll end up with:
So, try turning off your click-tracking setting and see if it redirects the link to the URL you have originally set.
This means you have to test your deliverability after turning off the click-tracking setting. Some spam checkers will even provide you a preview rating based on how frequently your emails trigger the spam filters.
Measure Your Email Marketing Success Using Metrics
Email performance and metrics are the tried and tested ways to know how well your email marketing campaigns are improving and progressing. Before you use these KPIs, though, it is necessary to understand your baseline metrics.
Start with these basic metrics: spam complaints, click-through rates, open rates, and delivery rates. As you start tracking these email metrics and you notice negative trends, don’t panic.
The important thing you can do is act calmly and quickly to remedy the problem. Let’s say your open rates are dropping, then review your email frequency and subject lines first. Often, these two variables have the most significance on your metric.
Maintain a Healthy Email List
When you are sending your emails, it is best to send them to a targeted email list and the email addresses therein must be healthy. What do we mean by that?
This simply means that the emails there are valid, there are no spam traps, try to achieve an almost 0% complaint rate, and determine the active users. For example, when you send an email, how many uses click the links or how many users open it?
A good practice is to delete all inactive email addresses every 2 to 3 months because sending emails to these inactive users will only hurt your overall email deliverability, not just your email list.
You Can Land Your SendGrid Emails in Inbox!
Okay, friends. Now that you know the rules of the game, you can surely avoid the spam folder and land your SendGrid emails in the inbox!
But if you think all these sending practices are a terrible amount of work, you can always hire someone else to do it for you or change the platform and redo all your email workflows. Honestly, there are other platforms that are better when it comes to deliverability, though others come with a price.