How to land cold emails in inbox and avoid spam folder

You must have heard many times that the cold calling is dead. We partially agree with that since people don’t like to get bothered constantly by phone calls. When was the last time you got a phone call from a sales person and you were ok with it?

That been said, sales people should be looking for more subtle ways to connect with potential customers. Some of the subtle channels to connect are Email, Online Advertisement & Inbound marketing.

In this article, I would like to cover Email channel to reach out to potential customers & open doors. Specifically, I will cover how to ensure your emails are delivered to the inbox and not in spam folders. My sales team has been doing email campaigns for long with 20-40 % open rates and less than 3% bounce rates.

You could achieve above numbers by following these simple steps:



  • Personalize email for the recipient. There are multiple levels of personalization. You can personalize email by addressing each recipient with their names “Hey *name*”. You can use Meta tags or merge tags in your email campaign tool to achieve it.

Always send your emails to a small group of people, 50-150 recipients, rather than 1000s of people in one go. Choose a targeted group of 50-150 recipients with a certain profile and personalize the messaging for them. This way you can optimize your campaign each time based on open rate & reply rate of the previous campaign. That’s the sweet spot between bulk emails and personalized messaging.

Spam trigger words & phishing emails

Spam Trigger Words

FreeFree "anything"40% Off or Any Number
Flat % OffDealBuy Direct
Buy NowPopularData
MRPEmail/Email Data
PriceCredit/Credit CardLoans/Personal Loans
SavingsInterest Rates
AttentionDon't MissDear Sir/Reader/Email
SavingChance to gainPrize
Offer/Discount Offer
Additional IncomeEarn/Earn $$$Home based
IncomeGet PaidLucrative proposal
Money/Easy Money
Meet SinglesScore with girls/babesShopper Online
HairlossWeight LossWeight Gain
ViagraFat Loss

  • Avoid using too many symbols like @, *** , !!! or $$$
  • Don’t use email fonts in bold
  • Don’t capitalize an entire sentence
  • Another reason for a message to be marked spam is when it is disguised as an email from bank, website or celebrities. Don’t use misleading header information. Don’t use disguised subject lines.

We suggest you have a look at your spam folder and you understand more about emails marked as spam.


HTML Vs. Text Based

  • Try to avoid HTML emails. If you can’t avoid using HTML then make sure you have some text included in your email along with HTML


Validate Email ids before sending campaign

  • If you are buying data, make sure you only send a campaign to validated email ids only. There are many tools to verify email ids before sending a campaign. You can try these tools and remove the list of email ids which are not valid. This ensures the bounce rate is really low. We have an in-house team to prepare a list of valid email ids and gave us good results in terms of reducing bounce rates.



  • Avoid large attachments and certain attachment types like .crx or .exe files. These kinds of attachment make email services suspicious of your email and your email could be marked as spam.


Mail server setup

  • Lastly, you need to setup your mail servers with DKIM, Sender-ID and Domain keys. If you don’t setup these properly or don’t verify them through your domain hosting provider then your email might be classified as spam since the email servers cannot authenticate that you are a real person and not a bot. Please talk to the support team of email tool you are using to send an email campaign to set up all of this properly. It is the responsibility of your service provider to help you set up all these aspects before you send any campaign.



I hope situation never comes to this but ensure that your email server is not blacklisted. If your email server is blacklisted then it becomes really difficult for your emails to avoid spam folders. Here is a link you can use to check: .

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