Why Do Emails Get Marked as Spam

July 31, 2019

Whether it’s the food kind or the email kind, no one likes spam. Here are some of the most common causes of accidental spam emails.

Why Do Emails Get Marked as Spam?

When sending email notices to voters it’s discouraging to receive the undeliverable status meaning the voter never received their notice to vote! Currently ElectionBuddy has a bounce back rate of 1.56% for the last ninety days! This bounce back rate indicates that while it is rare email addresses can receive this undeliverable status. This undeliverable status occurs because of their email servers spam filter settings! Before going into the many nuances of trying to get an email to send without triggering a spam filter it is important to know what spam actually is!

The undeliverable status indicates that your email has bounced as spam

Spam is a term used to define a message that is unwanted or unsolicited. Spam goes back to the days of manual mail sending when people would receive physical chain letters.When an email server receives an email it determines whether the email could be unwanted based on the technical aspects of email sending and the contents of an email. The contents of the email being the one aspect of email sending that we have control over. “What is spam?” you might ask … essentially, spam occurs when the spam filter determines that an email is up to no good and it sends it to the spam folder. There are many aspects that could trigger an email to be marked as spam which the email sender can try and act against!

Do You Have Permission to Send That Email?

It’s important when sending an email to have permission to send that email. It is the job of the administrators of the elections to make sure everyone on their voter list consents to being sent an email notification pertaining to the election. If the administrator does not have permission to use their voter’s email address it can have site-wide impacts for you and other users. This is because if a voter receives an email they did not consent to it makes ElectionBuddy seems like a spam sending address. This leads to ElectionBuddy’s email sending reputation to drop making it harder to send emails to vote in the future for all users.

They Flagged Us as Spam

Sometimes voters make a mistake and do not realize the email they are receiving is actually an invite to vote in their organization’s election, so they mark the email as spam. To avoid this, it is important to let your voters know that there will be a notice to vote to come to them and inform them of what the sending email looks like. This allows voters to be on the lookout for the name ElectionBuddy and to not write off their voting notice as spam. Once we have been marked as spam it makes it harder for us at ElectionBuddy to send emails to people who share a domain! After being marked as spam the domain begins to think that ElectionBuddy is a spam sending email address. This makes the deliverability of our email notices plummet and cause you to reach fewer voters.


The words chosen are important when writing an email to someone; after all, keywords are meant to catch the reader’s attention! But the wrong word choice could send your email straight into someone’s spam folder. It’s estimated that out of all emails sent everyday about 45% of it is spam related. Based on the large number email spam that is sent each day it only makes sense for email addresses server to try and filter through the received emails and try to work their magic to determine which emails include spam related content. Some of the most notorious keywords that trigger spam filters are:

  • Free
  • Apply now
  • Obligation
  • Make $
  • Prices
  • Leave
  • Remove

And the list goes on and on and on … It’s surprising what words can potentially trigger spam filters! But the long variety-filled list makes sense when taking into account that catching spam email is tough! I myself received a spam email just the other day, even with spam filters in affect. Spam filters do their best at trying to catch spam emails but they are not an exact science, which is why emails that are not spam sometimes get caught in spam filters and never make it to the intended voter.

Low Mailbox Usage

An email inbox that has been inactive for awhile can lead to an email becoming marked as spam! The server does marks emails sent to this inbox as spam because the server does not expect to receive any new emails based on the long period of inactivity. This issue highlights the importance of keeping your voter list recent and making sure that the emails on the list are up to date. After all, using current emails leads to a better chance of reaching all your voters and thus a better voter turnout for your election! When everyone receives their email there is a much better chance of everyone having their voices heard!

Keeping the emails on your voter list up to date is important to help negate spam issues


Having the emails sent out in an election bounce back can be frustrating, but receiving emails as a voter that are unwanted isn’t ideal either. It’s important to pay attention to the emails sent to voters and make sure that the size and words of the email don’t accidentally lead to the triggering of a spam filter. It is also always important to make sure the email addresses provided are up to date because that leads to a better chance of reaching all of the intended voters!

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