Mass Mailings: Keeping Your Mailings Out of Bulk/Spam Filters


Sending out mass mailings is part of many businesses, probably even yours. It’s an effective way of letting your customer’s know about new products and special deals. But how do you make sure the email ends up in their Inbox and not in the Spam Folder where they may never see it?

What is a mass mailing?
A mass mailing is any email that gets sent out to multiple people.

What is the difference between mass mailings and spam?

Any email can be spam if one recipient complains about it. The more people that mark the email you send as spam, the more likely their email provider will start flagging the rest your emails as spam. You want to provide email of interest to your customers and not annoy them into reporting the email as spam.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 established the first national standards for sending unsolicited emails. The act requires several types of behavior:

  • Bans false or misleading header information: the “From” address must accurately represent the sender
  • Prohibits deceptive subject lines: the subject cannot mislead the recipient about the content of the message
  • Requires an opt-out method: the sender has to provide a method for unsubscribing from the email notices and the unsubscribe request must be honored within 10 days

These standards set forth a basic set of guidelines to follow, but in order to not get blocked by spam filters, you’ll have to go further to ensure that your email doesn’t end up being marked spam.

Some recommendations for making your email as valid as possible:

  • Utilize the double opt-in method: once someone has signed up for your mailings, send them a verification email either asking them to confirm or letting them know they’re signed up and how to opt-out
  • Make it easy to opt-out from mailings. The easier it is for a user to opt-out, the less likely they’ll report the email as spam
  • Honor opt-out requests quickly
  • Remove dead email addresses. Many spam filters will flag your email as spam if too many dead (non-existent) email addresses are included in your mass mailing
  • Only use email addresses that you’ve collected yourself
  • Use a third-party vendor, such as Constant Contact, to both prevent your email from being marked as spam and provide for easy opt-in and opt-out for your mass mailings. If you frequently send out large mailings, third-party mailing vendors can save you a lot of time by not having to manually remove opt-out requests.

By taking a few small steps, you can increase the chance that your emails are reaching your intended audience and not being sent to spam folders. It will also prevent customers or potential customers from being annoyed at your emails (and thus your company).