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How to Write Genuine Cold Emails That Won’t Get Marked as Spam

January 25, 2023

Are you struggling to increase your email open rates? You’re not alone. 



Many businesses invest heavily in cold email campaigns, only to be met with a sea of hostile spam filters and disinterested users who aren’t even clicking on their messages. 



About 122 billion spam messages (85% of all emails) are sent daily. And who checks spam? Messages in the spam box are 0.01% likely to be seen. So almost no one.



But here’s the thing: With the right techniques, you can write genuine and effective cold emails that don’t get marked as spam by mail servers or deemed unimportant by recipients’ busy inboxes.



This article will discuss why cold emails get sent to spam and how you can improve your tactics to increase your email deliverability and open rates.



Why Cold Emails Are Often Considered Spam


The main problem with cold email campaigns is that recipients often don’t know who you are or why you’re contacting them.



When cold emails come from unknown sources, recipients do one of two things: mark spam or ignore. And if enough people mark your emails as spam (or behave in such a way that the server automatically knows that they don’t consider the email important), mail servers will learn to recognize the messages as spam and filter them out before they even reach their intended destinations.



That’s the reality of cold email campaigns.



How to Avoid Sending Emails That Trigger Spam Filters


So, the key to writing cold emails that won’t get marked as spam is to ensure your messages are personalized to the recipient so they actually open them and respond. 



Here are a few cold email best practices to hit the personalization high key:



1. Avoid the Deadliest Spam Words


If your emails end up in spam, suspect hot spam words as the culprits.



Email service providers have extensive knowledge of the common words used in spam emails. Use these common spam filters in your subject line or body to increase your chances of triggering the filter.



Filter your email subject line and body text for words often used by scammers, such as:


Spam Words

Double your income Extra income Financial freedom
Click here Click Click below
Full refund Earn $ Make money



Plus, refrain from using excessive  exclamation marks and symbols (e.g. !!!!! or …) in your subject, body, and CTA. These can set off spam filters just like common spammy words do.



2. Hyper-Personalize Your Messages


People don’t react positively to cold, generic emails. That’s why it’s crucial to use personalization tactics to help make the recipient feel like they’re getting a genuine message. Doing so allows you to connect with potential clients and build relationships that turn into loyal customers.



Here are 3 simple ways to hyper-personalize your messages:


  • Find a unique common ground: You want your readers to feel connected with you from your first email. You can do this by scanning your candidate’s LinkedIn or Twitter account for accomplishments to shout out or tidbits to connect over in your email.
  • Send emails at the right time: Don’t waste all your efforts personalizing your cold email templates and sending them during hours when customers are away on middle-of-the-weekend canoe trips. Study up on your target audience and determine whether they’re most likely to open their emails during breakfast or mid-afternoon.
  • Mention their name more than once: By now, readers can easily spot messages using a generic cold email template with their names at the top. So, to make your outreach sound more genuine, mention your reader’s name multiple times in the email (just don’t be a broken record).


If you’re sending cold emails at a scale, here’s how you can personalize your messages.



3. Use a Permission-Based Email List


When a door-to-door salesperson shows up, you often pretend you’re not home. If an unknown number calls, you don’t answer. The same reaction goes for unsolicited email messages from email marketers.



How do you counter that? By using a permission-based email list.



Research shows that 77% of people prefer receiving emails they have consented to. This means that when businesses show interest in your services, there’s a higher chance that they’ll click on your emails—which results in a higher conversion rate.



So, ensure that the email list you’re using for your cold outreach is permission-based and not harvested or purchased from third parties. Having users opt-in to your cold emails will ensure they know who you are and why they’re getting messages from you.



In the end, you’ll sell your products and services to potential clients.



4. Avoid P.S. (Post Scriptum)


Post scriptum is a common cold emailing trick used to attract the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. Using P.S. as a tactic has been widely abused, making recipients wary of cold emails in general.



An example of a P.S. is “Thanks for your help.” It suggests indirect manipulation, as you’re already thanking the reader for something they haven’t done yet—forcing them into thinking they owe you the favor.



Just be honest about your intentions; you’ll see better insights with your cold outreach.



5. Use a Dedicated Domain for Your Cold Outreach


When cold emailing, ensuring your domain looks legitimate is essential. Many cold outreaches are already associated with “spammy” emails due to the many scams that have misused cold emails.



A dedicated domain for your cold outreach helps you establish trust and credibility–never use your personal email address. Why? Because personal email addresses like [email protected] that fall under Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Gmail and Yahoo! are designed for personal use only—not for email blasts or bulk sending.



Providers will likely flag the emails sent from personal emails and possibly disable your account for suspicious activity. 



In contrast, a dedicated domain is separate from your primary domain. A primary domain usually looks like this: [email protected]. By using a dedicated domain address, you’ll communicate legitimacy and trust  while maintaining your main brand’s integrity.



Get Your Messages Straight to the Primary Inbox


Cold emails are a great way to reach out to potential customers and build relationships. But cold emailing isn’t as simple as copy-pasting the same message over and over. 



Instead, you need to do your research, personalize each cold email, and use the right tactics to make sure it gets delivered to the primary inbox and read by your recipients.



By following these 5 cold emailing tips, you’ll have better cold outreach results and increase your chances of getting a higher response rate from your target audience.



Ensuring that your cold emails are genuine can be time-consuming. The good news is that at ScaleUpSales, we do the heavy lifting for your cold email campaigns. Avoid sending “spammy” emails and reach primary inboxes for maximum return on investment. Contact us today!