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How to avoid being marked as spam by your subscribers
How to avoid being marked as spam by your subscribers

Best practices to ensure your subscribers don’t mark your emails as spam

Petra Molnar avatar
Written by Petra Molnar
Updated over a week ago

Your goal with email marketing is to send the right email to the right person at the right time. By doing this, you can get more email engagement and deepen your subscriber's connection with your brand. The last thing you want is for a subscriber to mark your email as spam.

Getting marked as spam by many people is a sign that they don't find value in your content. It’s also really harmful to your sender reputation and can even result in getting blacklisted. That means your emails may land in the spam folder even for highly engaged subscribers looking for your emails.

By following the below best practices, you can ensure that your subscribers are less likely to mark your emails as spam.

Always ask for permission to email

Only send emails to subscribers who have given you permission. The best way to do that is to ask them to opt in to join your list on your website or landing page. They're less likely to report you as spam if they gave their express permission to get marketing emails from you.

It also goes without saying: Never buy an email list. Not only does this violate our acceptable use policy, but it also results in getting marked as spam at a higher than normal rate.

Use a recognizable sending email address

When people sign up to your email list from your website, they expect an email coming from you or your business. Be sure to set your sending email address and From Name for your emails to something your subscribers will easily recognize as you.

Have a clear unsubscribe link

Having an unsubscribe link in your marketing emails is not only a legal requirement. It can also help you when you ensure it's clearly visible and easy to find.


First, some people may lose interest in your messages over time. It doesn't serve you or them to keep them on your list (and can impact your email engagement metrics). Let them unsubscribe quickly and easily.

Second, too often, when subscribers can't find the unsubscribe link easily in your email—whether it’s written in a tiny font or it’s in a very soft color that's hard to read—they'll click the 'mark as spam' or 'report as spam' button instead.

This not only hurts your deliverability but also increases your account's reported spam complaints, which should always be kept to a minimum. At Flodesk, your bounce and spam complaints should always be under the 3% threshold.

Segment your subscriber list

While there are various ways to segment your subscribers based on your email marketing and business needs, it's worth creating a segment for your less engaged subscribers. You can use the filters on Flodesk to find them and add them in bulk to a 'less engaged' segment or something similar.

If you exclude subscribers from your email campaigns who don't seem to be interested in your content, you minimize the chances of them marking you as spam.

You can also create a special re-engagement email campaign later for this segment to win them back—or let them go permanently.

Remind them how they got on your list

You may have been less consistent in emailing your list in the past, but now find that creating emails in Flodesk is actually fun.

Consider reminding your subscribers who you are and how they got on your list, like naming the freebie or lead magnet they signed up for, or sharing about the last time you emailed them.

If you can jog their memory about when they joined your list, they'll be less likely to see your emails as spam.

Mind your email design

In terms of email content, avoid spammy language and spam trigger words. It not only results in your emails landing in the spam folder, but might make your subscribers report you as spam if they feel your content is spammy.

The same goes for your general email design. Email clients like Gmail can display and read text content seamlessly. But if your email only consists of images, and your subscriber has a bad internet connection, your subscriber may only see a lot of tiny image placeholders without real content. And if the email looks fishy, they may mark it as spam.

Strive for a healthy text-to-image ratio, and always have more text content in your emails than images.


If many people mark your email as spam, it’s really harmful to your sender reputation, and it can even result in getting blacklisted.

By following email marketing best practices as listed above, you can minimize the chances that your subscribers report your email as spam.

More to learn:

If you need technical assistance, please submit a support ticket via email at support[@] mentioning your Flodesk account login email with a detailed description of your problem.

Do you have an idea for a feature that will help improve Flodesk for you and other members? Our Product team would love to hear from you.

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