Finding out your WordPress email never finds its way to your subscriber’s inbox can be frustrating. And it doesn’t stop there.

Every WordPress email you send that lands in the spam folder hurts your sender score. More likely, your future emails will end up in spam. Again.

So, how can you avoid having your WordPress emails go to spam?

The truth is there are a lot of factors that go into successfully sending marketing and transactional WordPress emails. From staying on top of email marketing best practices to managing servers, email sending can get complicated – and fast.

Here are the top reasons your WordPress emails may be landing in the junk folder and solutions you can apply to fix it.

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Why Your WordPress Emails Are Going to the Spam Folder and How to Fix It

IP Is Blacklisted

When an email server is believed to be sending spam, email service providers start blacklisting its domain or IP. Once the domain or IP address is blacklisted, emails sent by it will end up in the spam folder rather than the inbox.

Getting an IP address blacklisted can be highly damaging to any campaign. Even if only a single customer in the hosting site is blacklisted for spamming, all the other customers on the same server may encounter the same problem. The good news is there are ways to steer clear of the blacklist database and restore healthy email deliverability.

How to Fix It

You can use the MXToolbox blacklist checker to know if your IP is blacklisted. If you find that your hosting server’s IP is there, contact your host and request that you be moved to a non-blacklisted server.

Many other blacklists are openly available if you want to check whether your hosting server’s IP is being blocked.

Another way to get unblacklisted is to ask why you’re blacklisted in the first place. It could be that you’re failing DMARC or SPF authentication, which makes your WordPress emails appear suspicious.

Go to the blacklisting platform and ask them to remove your IP. Some require you to go through the removal process.

Issues With Email Settings

Not having a consistent and clear “From” name on your emails may be why your emails are landing in spam often. Studies on open email rates found that trust in the sender is the most critical factor in opening an email.

The reason is that including a company or first name adds a human element to your emails, facilitating a relationship between your potential customers and the company.

WP Mail SMTP Plugin on Your WordPress Website

The wp_mail function can cause another related spam issue. It is the function that WordPress uses in sending emails. This function also uses PHPMailer class, which allows email sending via php script (server-side scripting language).

And as many WordPress users know, the said platform is based on PHP programming. By default, it sends emails through the wp_mail function. So, whenever an email comes from WordPress, expect that it is packaged by PHP Mailer SMTP to be sent to your web host.

However, the PHPMailer is not optimized by default for sending mass emails from a shared server. Exceeding webmail limits may cause deliverability problems, or your web host may be suspended.

How to Fix It

Always be consistent and transparent with your “From” name so your email will land in the inbox. The correct From email address format for any website is yourname@yourdomain.com. If your site’s domain is www.inboxally.com, your admin email address can be johndoe@inboxally.com.

As for the wp_mail function, know first if your wp_mail is working. Go to wp-admin > Tools > Check Email. One of the easiest solutions to the wp_mail problem is to set up a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP mail plugin. But if the function works, then the email deliverability problem lies elsewhere.

Using InboxAlly can be the simplest yet the best solution to your email deliverability problems. Find out more about how this tool can help you land in the inbox (every time).

Risky Keywords in the Content

Many of the phrases and words that ISP mail filters consider spam are obvious. Using keywords like “Multi-Level Marketing,” “Incredible Deal,” “$$$,” and “Earn Extra Cash” in your WordPress emails and subject line are surefire tickets to landing in the spam.

How to Fix It

Luckily, avoiding email spam trigger keywords can prevent your campaigns from getting routed to spam. As much as possible, avoid over-promising, over-sensationalizing, and using strange formatting just to stand out in your target customer’s inbox.

Learn the spam rules and avoid risky words that trigger spam filters. Of course, there are others you can use sparingly, so long as you follow the email marketing best practices.

Large File Attachments or a High Ratio of Images

Large file attachments or images can cause WordPress emails to fail due to the sending limits applied by the recipient’s or your (sender’s) mailbox.

It’s important to note that spammers likewise display information in large file attachments or images instead of plain email text because spam filter programs won’t be able to see or read the content.

An email service provider may be treating emails sent from web hosts with reservation as it is aware that many spam emails are sent inadvertently from web hosts.

How to Fix It

Stick with the 60/40 text-image ratio, especially in HTML emails. That ratio means 60% text and 40% images. Remember to use enough text in the email content, so your readers can immediately get a sense of the message, even if their photos are turned off by default.

You can also use alternative descriptive text (alt text) with photos on emails to help your subscribers understand the message with images off.

Using a professional email delivery service also has perks, such as sending directly from the WordPress site than copying and pasting content from the site to another ESP interface. This solution can help you send significant quantities of emails or large file attachments.

Email Spoofing

Email spoofing is a favorite among scammers. Cybercriminals do this by imitating the look of a brand and forging names. Their purpose is to trick users into thinking an email comes from a legitimate company or sender. It has malicious intent, gathering sensitive personal information and installing malware.

When email clients notice that senders are masking their actual email address from the recipient, spam filters are triggered.

WordPress doesn’t have a built-in contact form by default. So, many use plug-in forms for lead generation and inquiries, like the WordPress Contact form 7. Such a plug-in form, however, uses default configuration when sending emails and emails from these forms trigger the spam filters.

How to Fix It

The most effective way to protect your email marketing campaign and your

Using a full SMTP mail service can solve your deliverability problem. It will also help increase your overall email deliverability.

Installing WP Mail SMTP for WordPress is a good idea. Use the latest version of the WP Mail SMTP plug-in file as much as possible. Go to your site, log in to your WP dashboard, and navigate to the plug-ins page.

From there, upload the zip file you’ve just downloaded and install it. Activate it so that the Setup Wizard will launch it in your browser.

Security Breach

WordPress emails going to spam is a common problem among WordPress users. And one of the common reasons is because of a security breach. If your account has been compromised, the hacker could send spam emails, acting as if you sent them. This situation can seriously harm your relationship with clients.

To detect if your WP is hacked and sending spam emails, check if there’s malware on your site. Another symptom of a hacked account is when spam filters have blacklisted your website IP and when customers complain.

If you receive a failed delivery notification in your inbox about emails you didn’t send, this is also a good indication that spam emails are going out from your site.

How to Fix It

Your first solution is to log in to your account and change the password to a stronger one. The second step is to scan your site for malware. A resonant scanner checks every folder, file, and your website’s database to find malware.

Invalid Addresses in the List

Your spam score may increase, which affects your domain reputation and causes your email to land in spam if you have invalid or outdated email addresses in the list.

The email addresses in your list may no longer be active. Some people may no longer want to receive newsletters from you.

How to Fix It

Build a qualified lead and always send emails to people interested in your content. Doing this will prevent your emails from being marked as spam or deleted. Even having a low spam complaint rate is already too much. So, make sure to source your list correctly. Segment your leads and customize your email content.

Keeping your email list clean is another way to solve the issue. Removing inactive subscribers can help maintain a high domain reputation and improve your email deliverability.

Another solution is to use double opt-in, also called a sign-up confirmation. This email marketing practice ensures subscribers want to receive your email and prevents mistyped email addresses from being added to your list.

Alternative Ways to Fixing WordPress Email Issues

1. Warm Up Your Email Account

Warming up your IP or domain boosts the sender’s reputation of a new IP address. It is essential to begin your email-sending activity with an email warm-up phase. This practice involves gradually increasing your sending volume.

If you do this process manually, we advise you to stop after eight to 12 weeks. If you prefer the automated process of warming up your email account, stop the process once your account is fully warmed up.

2. Link Only to Reputable, Authentic Sites

Before deploying your email marketing campaign, check all links to ensure they go where the content describes. Avoid link stuffing. Adding one or two links is enough if you have a short, well-written email.

If you want to include multiple call-to-actions and still get the best results from them, make your button legible, easy to use, and large. Add white space and create urgency.

3. Write in a Friendly Tone

When creating your email content, writing in an approachable tone of voice can help form a bond with your subscribers. Write like a human to avoid the spam folder. You can tell stories, ask questions, write how people speak, answer questions, and more.

Another factor to consider is the right tone for your email; we suggest you understand your target audience and consider their perspective. Make it conversational and inject your personality and brand image into the email.

4. Design Your Email in a Balanced Way

Design your emails strategically to resonate with your target audience. It should not just be aesthetically pleasing but balanced too. You can include a CTA, images, and a copy. The email design should also be on-brand, desktop compatible, and mobile-friendly.

And even if you forget the rest of the solutions, just remember this fundamental rule:

Make your email account act normal.

By acting normal, it means you should make your emails look like it’s not a mass mailing machine but one handled by yourself. Remember that spam filters are robots, machines, technical systems, and algorithms. There’s no emotion or feeling involved that may come from an “Email-Spam Officer.”

If your WordPress emails land in the junk mail folder, it’s by your mistake for not playing the email game right. So, observe the spam rules. Understand the spam filter behavior and find ways to bypass them.

Before You Go

The tips above will help you overcome the email deliverability problem. Using a professional email-sending service or email deliverability tool will put you closer to avoiding the spam folder and always landing in the inbox.

Cheers, and we wish you the best in your email campaigns!

InboxAlly has been helping email senders get their transactional and marketing emails to the inbox with our email deliverability tool for years. Try us out for free and see the difference for yourself.