Many Substack users have experienced the frustration of their emails going to spam instead of their subscribers’ inboxes. This can be a major setback for writers who rely on their newsletters to reach their audience and grow their subscriber base. While there are many reasons why Substack emails might end up in spam, there are several steps writers can take to prevent this from happening.
One of the most common reasons why Substack emails end up in spam is because they are not being delivered from a trusted email address. This means that the email client does not recognize the sender and assumes that the email is spam. To prevent this from happening, writers can add their Substack email address to their contact list and encourage their subscribers to do the same. Additionally, writers can ask their subscribers to mark their emails as “not spam” if they do end up in the spam folder.
Understanding Email Spam Filters
Email spam filters are automated systems that help email clients sort incoming emails into different folders, such as the inbox, spam, or junk. These filters are designed to protect users from unsolicited and potentially harmful emails, and they use a variety of techniques to determine whether an email is legitimate or spam.
How Spam Filters Work
Spam filters use a combination of techniques to evaluate incoming emails. These techniques include analyzing the content of the email, checking the sender’s reputation, and looking for specific triggers that are commonly associated with spam.
One common technique used by spam filters is content analysis. This involves scanning the email for specific words or phrases that are commonly associated with spam, such as “free,” “discount,” or “limited time offer.” Spam filters also look for other indicators of spam, such as excessive use of capital letters, multiple exclamation points, or unusual formatting.
Another technique used by spam filters is sender reputation analysis. This involves checking the reputation of the sender’s email address and domain name. If the sender has a history of sending spam or has been flagged as a spammer in the past, their emails are more likely to be marked as spam.
Common Triggers for Spam Filters
There are several common triggers that can cause an email to be marked as spam. These triggers include:
- Using a generic or misleading subject line
- Including too many links or attachments
- Sending emails to a large number of recipients at once
- Using words or phrases commonly associated with spam
- Using a sender email address that has a poor reputation
To avoid triggering spam filters, it is important to follow best practices when sending emails. This includes using a clear and relevant subject line, avoiding excessive use of links and attachments, and only sending emails to subscribers who have opted-in to receive them.
In conclusion, understanding how spam filters work and what triggers them can help you avoid having your Substack emails marked as spam. By following best practices and avoiding common triggers, you can increase the likelihood that your emails will be delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes.
Reasons Substack Emails End Up in Spam
Substack emails can end up in the spam folder for various reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons why this happens:
One of the main reasons why Substack emails end up in the spam folder is due to content issues. If the content of the email is not relevant to the recipient or contains spammy language, it is more likely to be marked as spam. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the content of the email is engaging, relevant, and free of spammy language.
Technical problems can also cause Substack emails to end up in the spam folder. If the email is not properly formatted or contains broken links or images, it may be flagged as spam. Additionally, if the email is sent from an unverified email address, it can also be marked as spam. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the email is properly formatted, contains no broken links or images, and is sent from a verified email address.
If recipients mark Substack emails as spam, it can have a negative impact on future email deliverability. Therefore, it is important to minimize the number of spam complaints by ensuring that recipients have opted in to receive emails, providing a clear unsubscribe link, and sending emails at an appropriate frequency. It is also important to promptly remove any recipients who have marked emails as spam from the email list.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why Substack emails may end up in the spam folder. By addressing content issues, technical problems, and minimizing spam complaints, email deliverability can be improved.
How Substack Handles Deliverability
Substack takes deliverability seriously and works hard to ensure that emails sent through their platform reach subscribers’ inboxes. They use several tactics to improve deliverability, including:
- Authentication: Substack uses DKIM and SPF authentication to prove that emails are coming from a trusted source. This helps to prevent emails from being marked as spam.
- IP Reputation: Substack monitors the reputation of their IP addresses to ensure that they are not associated with spamming or other malicious activities. They also work with ISPs to maintain a good reputation.
- Content Filtering: Substack scans emails for spammy content and removes anything that could trigger spam filters. They also encourage writers to avoid using certain words or phrases that are commonly associated with spam.
- Subscriber Engagement: Substack tracks subscriber engagement, such as open and click rates, to determine whether emails are being well-received. If engagement is low, they may suggest changes to improve deliverability.
Despite these efforts, there are still factors outside of Substack’s control that can affect deliverability. For example, if a subscriber marks an email as spam, it can hurt the sender’s reputation and make it more likely that future emails will be marked as spam. Additionally, some email clients may have their own filtering systems that can affect deliverability.
To improve the chances of emails reaching subscribers’ inboxes, writers can take several steps:
- Encourage Engagement: Encourage subscribers to open and interact with emails by including engaging subject lines, clear calls to action, and valuable content.
- Avoid Spam Triggers: Avoid using words or phrases that are commonly associated with spam, such as “free,” “act now,” or “limited time offer.”
- Clean Up Lists: Regularly remove inactive or unengaged subscribers from email lists to improve engagement rates and reduce the risk of spam complaints.
- Test Emails: Send test emails to different email clients to ensure that they are rendering correctly and not triggering spam filters.
By following these best practices and working with Substack’s deliverability tools, writers can improve the chances of their emails reaching subscribers’ inboxes.
Preventing Substack Emails From Going to Spam
Substack newsletters can end up in the spam folder for a variety of reasons, including the content of the email, the sender’s email reputation, and the recipient’s email client. To increase the chances of your Substack emails being delivered to subscribers’ inboxes, it’s important to follow best practices for email content and use technical solutions for deliverability.
Best Practices for Substack Content
To prevent Substack emails from being marked as spam, it’s important to follow best practices for email content. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use a recognizable “from” name: Subscribers are more likely to open emails from senders they recognize. Use a name that subscribers will recognize, such as the name of your publication or your own name.
- Avoid spam trigger words: Certain words and phrases can trigger spam filters and cause your emails to be marked as spam. Avoid using words like “free,” “buy now,” and “limited time offer” in your email subject lines and content.
- Provide valuable content: Subscribers are more likely to engage with your emails if they contain valuable content. Make sure your emails provide value to your subscribers, whether it’s through exclusive content, insights, or offers.
- Send emails on a consistent schedule: Consistency is key when it comes to email marketing. Send emails on a regular schedule so subscribers know when to expect them.
Technical Solutions for Deliverability
In addition to following best practices for email content, there are technical solutions you can use to improve email deliverability. Here are some options to consider:
- Authenticate your domain: Authenticating your domain can help improve email deliverability by verifying that your emails are coming from a trusted source. Substack provides instructions for authenticating your domain in their help center.
- Monitor your email reputation: Your email reputation can impact deliverability. Use a tool like SenderScore to monitor your email reputation and identify any issues that could be affecting deliverability.
- Use a dedicated IP address: Using a dedicated IP address can help improve email deliverability by ensuring that your emails are not being impacted by other senders using the same IP address.
- Clean your email list: Removing inactive or invalid email addresses from your list can help improve email deliverability by reducing the number of bounced emails and spam complaints.
By following best practices for email content and using technical solutions for deliverability, you can increase the chances of your Substack emails being delivered to subscribers’ inboxes.
Case Studies of Substack Spam Issues
Substack is a popular platform for writers to publish their newsletters and reach their subscribers. However, some users have reported their emails going to the spam folder. Here are some case studies of Substack spam issues:
Case Study 1: The Duplicate Email Bug
In April 2022, Substack accidentally sent duplicate emails to some subscribers due to a one-off bug. While it only affected a subset of newsletter email lists, it caused confusion and frustration among those who received multiple copies of the same email. Substack acknowledged the issue and apologized for the inconvenience.
Case Study 2: The Unintentional Spam Mark
Sometimes, Substack emails may unintentionally be marked as spam by email clients. This can happen if the recipient’s email provider has strict spam filters or if the email content triggers spam flags. In such cases, the recipient needs to mark the email as “not spam” and add the publication’s Substack email address to their contact list to prevent future emails from going to spam.
Case Study 3: The Inactive Subscriber
Inactive subscribers who rarely interact with emails can also cause spam filters to start penalizing future emails. Substack recommends cleaning up the contact list regularly and removing inactive subscribers to prevent this from happening.
Overall, Substack is aware of the spam issues and is working to improve the platform’s deliverability. However, users can also take proactive measures to ensure their emails reach their subscribers’ inboxes.