How do I stop my emails from being labeled as spam?

You may find yourself often fighting the frustration of having your business emails getting classified as spam in your customer email boxes. The fact is that about 80-90% of All email on the internet is spam. In spite of this, businesses anticipate increasing the number of email campaigns on the web.

To stop the bombardment, people and businesses are creating filters, or buying company services that filter email so that they receive only content that they deem relevant to them. So, whether or not your email is legitimate, if a receiving host or email spam program is aggressive or set a certain way, your emails could very easily get marked as spam. Unfortunately, this is not a server or hosting issue. This is a general issue with email that you will find no matter where you host your business emails. This article discusses what you can do from your end.

Steps to take when your emails are flagged as spam

There are several things that may help, but bear mind these are suggestions and not a guarantee that your email will no longer be filtered as spam:

  1. Make sure that you are not in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Verify that your emails make the grade and you’re not falling into common filtering rules.
  2. Send your customers a personal email message requesting that they white-list your domain, so that your business emails don’t get filtered into Spam. In this, I’m referring to a “personal” email as one that doesn’t include your marketing links or business advertisements or enhancements that may flag the email as something other than a personal email.
  3. Check to make sure that your Email Authentication is enabled. This helps stop spam coming from your email address (even if you’re not sending any that you know of). One of the common tactics by spammers out there is to spoof email coming from your domain. This causes you to get blacklisted even though you’re not sending emails. Here’s an article on these settings: Email Authentication – SPF and DomainKeys.
  4. If all else fails, you might want to consider a paid service or use a large specific email host for sending business emails- like Google mail. There are services for sending out emails for marketing such as Check them out as possible solutions since they can provide business email and newsletter services.
  5. Examine your email bounces. When an email bounces, it will tell you “why” it’s being bounced and give you a source or reason for the bounce. If you’re being listed on a service (that you may not be aware of), then you should investigate. In some cases, you can very easily remove yourself from a list simply contacting the authority who has blacklisted you. This may not always be the same person as the email administrator of that server. However, you can also send an email to an email administrator of the service to find out why your emails are being blocked. Though, I would only do this after examining the reason for the block and ,making sure that you have done your due diligence by reading their bounce messages and confirmed that you’re not sending spam.

Ultimately, you cannot force people to receive your emails or control how they perceive when an email is being labeled as spam or junk email. You can only control those factors that may lead your domain or email as being labeled as a spam by observing the reaction to the emails that you send out. Hopefully, the information that I have provided will help you (and anyone else reading this post) in at least stopping spam being inadvertently being sent as well as providing possible solutions that will lead to successfully marketing your business through email.

Outgoing Email Filtering

Outgoing email on InMotion Hosting servers are also being continuously scanned for emails that are classified as “spam.” This includes emails that may have inappropriate language or topics that are typically classified as spam. These filters are being applied to outgoing emails in an effort to stop email servers from being blacklisted or being rated with poor reputation scores. In many cases, outgoing emails labeled as spam are not intentional, but they have the unfortunate side effect of causing poor reputation scores with blacklist services such as SpamCOP, Spamhaus, Barracuda, or SURBL. If you find your emails being blocked as spam, then please make sure to review your outgoing to content. If you are on a VPS or dedicated server, then exceptions can be made, but you will need to submit a verified support ticket if you do not have root access or you’re not familar with making the necessary changes.

For more information on combating Spam:

Arnel Custodio Content Writer I

As a writer for InMotion Hosting, Arnel has always aimed to share helpful information and provide knowledge that will help solve problems and aid in achieving goals. He's also been active with WordPress local community groups and events since 2004.

More Articles by Arnel

65 thoughts on “How do I stop my emails from being labeled as spam?

  1. All email from one of my domains is marked and blocked by Yahoo and Hotmail 90% of the time, but no other email hosts. The message I get from them says the originating IP is blacklisted. However the IP is never the same and even if I use a VPN I get the same message with a similar IP, plus the IP they say I’m using is always different than my actual IP. The two addresses I use from my domain are never used to send any more than 10 emails/week to these domains. Always to the same 3 addresses. The recipients are close friends or colleagues. I never send spam. I never use marketing practices.

    1. Hello DT – Sorry for the issues with your email being blacklisted. Unfortunately, this can be a rather tricky issue. If you are using a hosting service’s email server, then the issue is that the IP address used by the email server is probably being used by more than one domain name (for email) and someone has caused that IP to be blacklisted. Check with your host’s support team to ensure the mail server IP has not been blacklisted. And if so, to have it changed or removed from the blacklist. If you are using a public service (e.g. Gmail), then you need to message the mail admin (from Yahoo/Hotmail) and ask for information about why they’re blocking your email since you can’t control what IP is being used. Are you hosting your own email server? If so, then you may want to go to a static IP address – especially since your email volume is so low. Also, set up a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS records. How to set up a DMARC record: You should also contact your email recipients and request that they whitelist your email address. Hopefully, one of those efforts will result in freeing your email from being blacklisted. I also researched this in several forums, and there are many “opinions” about what you should be doing. For now, my recommendation is to check what we’ve recommended. If you continue to have trouble, then you should be working with your host’s technical support team to help determine the best way to get your emails off the blacklist.

  2. Our email has been labeled as spam. (Bounce code 5.1.8) We use Outreach to send emails to contacts and we mistakenly sent emails to invalid mailboxes which led to our future emails bouncing. Is there any way for us to remove the spam tag like warming up our email again?

    1. Hello Ron – sorry for the issues with your email. If you follow the instructions in the article, you can send a request to our support team via a verified ticket. You should also make sure that your outgoing emails are not being mistaken as spam. If your domain is listed on a blacklist (for spam), then our support team can request to have you removed from the list as long your emails are not regularly marked as spam.

    1. Hello Michael,

      Thank you for your comment. Depending on what email provider you are using, it is likely that the mailing IP address being used by your email server has a poor reputation. If you share a mailing IP address with other users, it is possible that spam activity may have resulted in this. I recommend contacting your email hosting provider to determine the cause of this issue. You will likely want to provide them with any bounceback messages or errors being displayed.

      Best Regards,
      Alyssa K.

  3. I have a personal Gmail account that I send out personal and sometimes community news and announcements on.  There is no commercial use for this account as I am not running a business, simply News and Announcement for community activities.  My email recipients count to less than 260.

    For the past 3 or 4 days, any email I send gets rejected with messages like:

    Message blocked

    Your message to XXXX@[email protected] has been blocked. See technical details below for more information.

    1. I’m sorry to see that’s happening. What method are you using to send the emails from that Gmail account?

    1. I’m sorry to see that. Is there a particular process or step in the article above that you are experiencing issues with?

  4. This is very frustrating for me as I have several website with order and contact forms and they all go to spam folder because obviously these are people who are not on my e mail contacts. 

    Therefore would it not be better if G Mail or Outlook or whoever changed their policies so that all e mails went to inbox and then the owner of the inbox would then decide whether to mark it as spam. I think this way would be much easier and less time spent going through your spam folder and adding a e mail to your contacts list.. Maybe I am missing something….

    1. There are multiple layers to spam filters.

      One is our outgoing spam filtering via SpamAssassin. If its marked as spam this way, it doesn’t leave our servers. If you ever have questions regarding how this affects your email accounts with us, please contact our live support.

      Another layer is the group of blacklists that many email providers follow – DNSBL or RBL (DNS Blacklist or Realtime Blacklist respectively) – e.g. Barracuda. You can read more about these and check your domains at

      The recipient and recipient’s email provider choose how to handle email that’s been marked by spam. To better handle these issues, it’s best to have DKIM, SPF, and DMARC enabled for all domains.

      DMARC ensures that legitimate email is properly authenticating against DKIM and SPF standards, and that any fraudulent activity appearing to come from the domains are blocked. It is a way to make it easier for email senders and receivers to determine whether or not a given message is legitimately from the sender, and what to do if it isn’t. This makes it easier to identify spam and phishing messages, and keep them out of peoples’ inboxes. I prefer the stricter option.

      I also recommend VPS customers set up a PTR and enable SPF and DKIM by default in WHM Tweak Settings.

      I hope you find this information helpful.

  5. Hello,

    I am using gmail services but all email going to spam folder in all client

    Can you plese help me for that 




    1. We would need more about the settings you are using. I advise contacting our Live Support team. They can check the mail logs and provide you with more information.

  6. All mail I sent ot aol accounts go directly to spam.  Any way to over ride that?

    Only AOL seems to be a problem.


  7. Our emails are not going through to our clients! We are not sending spam, simply replying to emails or sending through options for them to book. They are not new clients and are trying to book in work through us on a aily basis. We need this fixed or we will have to change companies ASAP, we have had way too many clients saying they are not receiving replies from us in our first week of using inmotion.

    1. If you have taken the steps suggested above and are still having issues, I recommend reviewing your mail logs for additional errors and record of the transactions. If you are on a shared server, Live Support can help you review logs.

      Thank you,

  8. My emails are now coming as listed from [email protected] instead of my actual email address.  I am still able to send MOST  messages although just had trouble and did not ask if it was in their spam..who do I contact..what do Ido..tried settings and it lists my emaio correctly there

    1. Sorry for the issues with your email. If the address of origin for the email is not correct then it may simply be a setting with how you configured your domain or email service. We would need more information in order to investigate the issue. However, as answers on the Support Center are public domain, I would recommend that you contact our live technical support team for private and secure assistance. If you are not a customer then I recommend you contact your host’s support team. Our support team’s contact information can be found at the bottom of this page.

  9. Hello, we have a problem whereby when we send emails to recipients it goes into their spam and they do not realize that we do indeed send them an email, and, in addition, if some poeple send emails from gmail, for example, it also goes into our spam folder. What should we do in this case? 

    1. Ensure you have SPF and Domain Keys setup, as well as DMARC records. Since the DMARC standard is used by many email providers (such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Outlook), it can increase your chances of email being delivered successfully. SPF and DKIM are tools used by many mail servers in an effort to combat spam, so if you’re having an issue with your email being bounced back or arriving in the junk/spam folders of your recipients, it is suggested to enable these settings.

      If you are using Spam Assassin, you can whitelist an email address. You can also adjust your SpamAssassin settings to be less aggressive, which will flag less emails as spam.

      Also check any spam filters/rules you may have in your email client.

      Thank you,

  10. Thank you for such a detailed post. Really helped me control my email campaigns a lot better, and improve open rates. I have also been using this tool from Retainly to automatically check my email content for spam words 


    Hope it will help your other readers too. You may also consider including this tool in your post.

  11. I agree with Jordan, we have the same problem. With hundreds, and even thousands, of members being emailed. Members who have signed up to the domain that is, they are still not receiving emails or they are going into spam. One client who emailed us first didn’t even receive our reply because it went into spam. The only links in the email are the contact links (website and social media) – you would think that would make it less likely to be spam with actual contact information in there, but no.

    1. Hi Michelle

      If you want a complete list for what consists of SPAM (at least in the US), then see this post from the FTC on the Can SPAM Act requirements. If you include ALL of that information then your email would be less likely to be classified as spam.

      If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

  12. We are having a similar problem to the one stated above. 

    We are a small business, and most of our emails are to 1 client at a time and still they are going to spam. Even emails to eachother with our same domain are going to each other’s spam. This is after we’ve whitelisted them. 

    Example 1:

    [email protected] emails her colleague at [email protected] and it goes to spam. Even though they’ve emailed  back and forth many, many times. Sometimes it spams, other times it doesn’t. 

    Example 2:

    [email protected] replies to a customer’s email and they ‘never get it’ because it went to spam. Even though it was clearly a reply and they’ve been in correspondence. 

    Example 3:

    I find an email in my Gmail spam folder and mark it ‘not spam’, however emails from that person still randomly get sent there. 


    Please help, we are losing  business from this as we’ve had many upset clients say we are not responding to them, even though we are!



    1. Things are sent to a spam folder for specific reasons. If they get there, that means they have accumulated a specific number of points or set off a specific number of flags. If you can get the recipient to give a report based on your email, then you can find out what specifically is causing it.

      If you can send, say an email with nothing but ‘hello world’ in it successfully, but another email from the same address gets caught, then you know it is the specific content that pushed it over the limits.

      Once whitelisted, there should not be an issue. If emails still go to spam, then there is likely a configuration issue with the spam filter software that needs to be looked at.

  13. We have a different problem.  AFTER we have been emailing customers, our final contracts – sent from [email protected] get sent to spam.  People keep telling us they never receive our contracts – and then we direct them to look in their spam filters and there they are. 

    We can TRY to get them to whitelist us.  But they never read their emails in the first place.  How can we expect them to actually take action like that?  (seriously, no one reads their emails!)

  14. Hi,


    While am sending simple text emails from my application all emails are going to spam but am not getting any spam response, once i removed from spam the next emails will present in Inbox please suggest.




    1. It is always best to err on the side of caution. If you are sending out any kind of email campaign, offer the recipients a chance to opt out and provide your name and contact information regarding your business and be sure to provide some information about why you are contacting them.

  15. I’ve read that business email addresses (b2b) solicitations/emails were allowed as long as our address was stated in the email address.  Is this true or am I missing something?

  16. why our mail are going to recipient spam folder?

    we need a urgent solution for this because our work is not going properly with this problem.why it so happen like to update this.please need a solution ASAP


    1. Hello Sujith,

      Sorry for the problems with your email being labeled as spam. I checked your domain to see if it was being blacklisted publicly and it is not. This does NOT mean that your emails are not blacklisted as it can be blacklisted by a private spamlist the recipient’s company is using. They may also be using rules that looks at your email content or your email address and automatically classifies it as spam. We cannot control this from our and you would need to contact the recipient to have you whitelisted. If they are blacklisting you privately, then you should be getting bouncebacks. We can use the bouncebacks to attempt to delist if you send them to our live technical support team via verified support ticket. Remember that your email content can also lead your email to being classified as spam. Check out this tutorial for more information regarding email contents and format.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  17. I am receiving many more e-mails into my spam and many more that I send from my gmail account are not getting through.  These can be 1-to-1 or 1-to-3 and this very large increase occurred sometime this summer.  What’s worse is even when people have whitelisted my email address, my e-mails still go into spam.  I am now trying to respond to people’s emails to me that seems to be a little more sure, but this is ridiculous.  I will try mailchimp but any more solutions would be very welcome.

  18. My bad! sorry I wasn’t clear. The question was focused on the outgoing email sent through the shared hosting, if there is an statistic or data to know how many times have those shared email outgoing servers been marked as spam. 


    1. Hello Leonardo,

      Thanks for the clarification. Outgoing email is also subjected to filtering. In this past year, the outbound spam filter has become more restrictive, so there has been an increased rate. We do not have a statistic on that issue that I can share. The statistic again would subjective to the accounts that are being affected by the filter due to the content that they send out. The filtering was made more restrictive in order to counter a trend in email servers being blacklisted due to the outbound content. If someone is inadvertently sending spam, the filters help to determine where it is happening. In some cases, we have people submitting examples of their outbounds where false positives have occurred. In these cases, we are able to make exceptions. We do not advertise our success rates for this practice as it would become a red flag for possible spammers. You are welcome to become an InMotion customer and try our services – they do have a money back guarantee so that you can see the email service for yourself at no risk.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C..

  19. Hi guys, I need to know some statistics about Inmotion shared hosting marked as spam (How often does it happen). It is well known as an issue on other hosting services. I would love to get to know how do you prevent it in Inmotion too.



    1. Hello Leonardo,

      Spam statistics are associated to the domain that spam hits. It varies based on the practices of the account. For example, someone who advertises their email address and then does something that brings in spam will have different levels of spam hitting their account than someone who practices stringent rules in avoiding spam. So, we can’t really give you shared hosting spam statistics. We use SpamAssassin (it’s part of cPanel) to mark incoming spam. We also several other services that help to filter spam that hits our servers. You reference our articles for fighting spam for more details.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  20. I want to go with the Mailchimp route – but when signing up with Mailchimp, I’m not able to receive a verification email from Mailchimp to my domain webmail.


    Please help.

    1. Hello Pat,

      If your domain is valid and the email is setup correctly, then it should be working. If your domain is not registered, then the email will not work. If it continues to be a problem then you may need to contact MailChimp support for further assitance.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  21. Hello, after trying everything to avoid that my domains emails go to spam on Microsoft emails (outlook, hotmail, msn, etc…) what is the best solution ? Do you think that using GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK can resolve the problem ? Thank you so much for your help, I am so desperate !

  22. we have a different situation for any new user added to our domain, that user’s external mails are marked spam while any old user on the doamin can successfully send an email from the same exchange server to the same recepeint, that all happened after upgrading to exchange 2010 , any ideas?


    Thanks alot

    1. Hello Mohammed Turky,

      Sorry for the problem with your new user mail on your Exchange server. Unfortunately, we don’t use Exchange server in particular. I would recommend double-checking the configuration for spam to make sure that new users aren’t somehow being blacklisted. Check out allowing email from a particular sender for Exchange server, or you may consider the Microsoft Technical support form for more specific assistance.

      I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Arnel C.

  23. Hi John-Paul thanks for your swift response. Something l can’t get my head around: the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 that you linked to in your article appears to refer to marketing mailouts specifically:


    “”any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose).” It exempts “transactional or relationship messages.””


    I was only asking suppliers what they could sell to me. I was marketing nothing. Please could you explain how this is any different to you eMailing a clothnig manufacturer and asking them if they can supply to you in bulk and what discount there is for buying 1000 coats?


    It’s a really rude awakening for me to be seen as a spammer, it was most definitely not my intention, and l just can’t see how an unsubcribe button can sit in an eMail that is a direct once-off query with me as a potential customer?


    Also, how do l get rid of this blight upon my domain name? It is not the IP, but the domain that is spam listed. Not blacklisted as such, but spam listed.


    1. Hello Reason,

      Thank you for contacting us. I definitely understand your frustration, as these rules cause a lot of headaches for us as well.

      Email hosts use different blacklists for spam filtering. We have a helpful blacklist checker, that can help identify where/if your domain is blacklisted.

      Unfortunately, you will have to contact them to get unlisted.

      Thank you,

  24. POSTSCRIPT: I did not include an unsubscribe option in my outgoing eMails because nobody was on a subscription to receive my eMails to begin with, they were a once-off speculative query not regular mailouts. More over, l was asking the recipients to sell me something, not trying to sell them something. So l didn’t see any logic in having an unsubscribe option.

    1. Hello Reason,

      Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, by definition, emails sent unsolicited, without an unsubscribe option is spam.

      Thank you,

  25. I was sending out bulk eMails harvested via Google searches and individual webpages gotten via those search results, containing lists of eMail addresses and so on and so forth.

    I was eMailing people on those lists asking them to sell me things that they deal in. Some were charities, some were retailers / wholesalers.


    I quickly found myself spam listed. My eMails still get through, but they go straight to spam.


    My domain is a new extension, ending in “.works”, which l’m told might be problematic because these new extensions are used by spammers? But the first few eMails seemed fine enough if l recall.

    Also, some of the error messages l got were timeouts / max defers and full mailboxes, because l think some of the eMail addresses were just dead – could this tarnish the reputation of my eMail address?


    I’m told by my hosting company that their mailserver isn’t the problem. So what is the problem? It’s purely about all of the eMails from my domain.


    How do l find out who to even contact to get off the spam list?


    Here is an incriminating error message that l got bounced back to me from one of my bulk mailings:


    "host [72.###.###.###]
        SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
        550 High probability of spam"

    Please note that l was mailing approx. 40 addresses at a time, in 2 attempts with over an hour between each.

    Also, please note that my eMails are going to spam when l send them to Hotmail too.

    So, who do l contact? I surely can't contact every eMail service provider that l might ever one day send an eMail to.

    So, l don't know what else to do. Can you help?
  26. Hi My Name Is ayaan and I started An healtyfoods website i have more then 50k customer i used to send mails to my customers i have two mail ids of my oen for testing my newsletters in it though i tested its inbox i tested with newly created mail id’s i found inbox but for my customers its reaching spam can you please anyone help me to get away from his problem


    1. Hello Ayaan,

      Thank you for your question. SPF and Domain Keys, can help verify your emails are being sent unmodified from a valid server. This may get you through some spam filters.

      If it still goes to their spam box, you may have to request that they Whitelist your sending email.

      Thank you,

  27. To avoid sending spam emails from your website, Pleae login to your Cpanel.In your Cpanel home select Email AuthenticationFind SPF option and enable it.

  28. I appreciate your post, still applies today. Good comments from everyone as well.

    My situation is a little different in that we’ve already had our customers add our domain to their white lists yet we still get flagged as spam on their systems. The strange part is that it only started happening when we switched to a different domain for our email (we were @example1.COM and we’re now @example.COM) Prior to using example.COM, there were no issues with being labled spam.

    Could it be that some filters are set to label message spam that have a domain with a sexual undertone. Like in example it could be interpreted as DO TIT or DOT IT. Could that be the issue? I’ve perused the Internet a bit on the CAN-SPAN act of 2003 and I really didn’t get anywhere regarding this. I’d really like your opinion.

    Other than that, I really don’t know what else it could be. The scariest part about this whole thing is that it’s probably happening a lot more than we’re even aware of. Because we definitely fully embrace email in our company in that the majority of our communication with our customers, vendors and other contacts happen through email. So if just 1% of them are getting thrown into spam, that’s still WAY too many.

    I look forward to hearing from you and everyone’s view on this.

    Keep it real,


    1. Hello Jamie,

      You are correct the domain could be interpreted as DO TIT which can trigger some filters. However doing all of the steps above is about as much as one can do without changing your domain name.

      Best Regards,
      TJ Edens

    1. Mine issue deals with my personal mail–my business mail gets through. It is a wonderful article and will pass on to other folks. Thank you.

  29. What of in a case you can get to tell your clients to mark you as not spammed, what is the best technique to use to solve the issue. because im getting the same issue constantly. Thanks

    1. Your clients marking your emails as not being spam can sometimes help a bit, but will be marked as spam again if the recipients’ mail provider detects them as spam again. The best solution would be to follow the instructions outlined in this article to avoid being marked as spam.

  30. Thanks for tell us these simple and easy steps to stop emails form being labeled as spam because Professional mail accounts provide for you a lot of features and profits than a free email services.

  31. What happened to me is that people I send messages to all the time, are suddenly getting messages labeled JUNK.  It is happening to a friend also.

    Thanks for any help.

    1. Hello Chris,

      Following the methods above will certainly help other servers from labeling you as junk or spam. Ultimately, however, it is up to the receiving server how it labels you. The best bet is to have the people whom you email all the time set you as ‘not spam’ on their side.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

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