According to a phishing report done in Q4 2020, Microsoft Outlook accounts were the target of almost 43% of phishing attempts. These attacks tried to steal users’ account passwords, LinkedIn, and Amazon credentials by using a website similar to the original ones.
Due to reasons like these, Outlook has advanced spam filters to separate spam emails from genuine ones.
In this guide, we will learn about the Outlook spam filter and how to make your genuine emails pass through it.
Table of contents
How does the Outlook spam filter work?
Outlook spam filter (also known as junk email filter) evaluates each incoming email to identify potential spam. It looks at things like sent time, trigger words, body content, safe senders list, etc. If it finds enough spam signals from your email, it’ll send the email to the Outlook spam folder.
So if you design your email campaign by keeping these things in mind, you’ll see higher email deliverability.
How to pass through the Outlook spam filter
You can implement many generic and a few Outlook-specific practices in your email campaign to safeguard your emails from landing in the junk folder. Let’s learn about them.
● Don’t use spam trigger words
“Lottery,” “Jackpot,” “Gamble” are some of the words which will most likely put you in the Outlook spam folder. I’ve run a test where I sent an email with the subject line “You won a lottery in your gambling” to an Outlook email.
Guess where did it land? In the spam folder.
So you should avoid using trigger words whenever possible. Here you can see a list of spam trigger words you need to know.
● Ask users to add you to their contact list, safe sender list
Many email clients, including Outlook, will treat your emails as “less spammy” if your users add your email to their contact list. When your users care enough to add you to their contacts, it means you’re important to them.
This is a clear sign that your users are interested in receiving your emails, and Outlook's junk mail filter will put your emails in the inbox instead of the spam.
Another thing you can do is ask your users to add your email address to their safe sender list. According to Microsoft, emails or domains in the safe senders' list are never treated as spam, regardless of the content of the email. So if you get added to this list, you can be assured that most of your emails will be delivered to your users’ inboxes.
● Ask users to mark your email as Not junk if it lands in their spam folder
Your emails might end up in the Outlook junk email folder even after the user has added you to their contact list. To resolve this issue, you can ask your users to check their junk email folder occasionally and if they find your emails there, ask them to mark you as “Not Junk.”
This will signal Outlook that their filters have mistakenly put your emails in the junk folder. As a result, Outlook is less likely to put your emails in the spam folder moving forward.
● Send relevant content to your users
There is nothing more frustrating than receiving tons of irrelevant emails in an already cluttered inbox. People rarely open irrelevant emails instead of important, relevant emails. If you keep sending irrelevant content and clutter their inbox, they’ll mark you as spam.
So make sure that you are targeting the right audience and sending them the content they are interested in and want to receive. You can even ask your users about what type of content they want to receive using preference centers, conducting surveys, etc. Doing so will ensure that you’re sending relevant content, making you less likely to be marked as spam.
You can use many different strategies like asking your users to spam-proof your emails, sending good content, maintaining a good domain reputation, etc. But ultimately, what matters is your intention.
Do you actually want to help your users by giving them what they want? Or just spam their inbox in the hopes of getting a few sales? If you choose the former option, you’re already on the right path. So applying these strategies and keeping your users’ needs in mind will pave a solid foundation for your email marketing campaign.
What you should do next
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