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Your Emails Are Going to Spam

As sales reps, it’s impossible to deny the value in cold email. Nearly every B2B sales organization use cold email to prospect for opportunities, set meetings and hit quota. With the steep decline in cold-call answer rates and the introduction of “Scam Likely” filtering of unrecognized phone calls on cell phones, writing quality cold email can make the difference between an SDR breaking quota or losing their job.

Here’s the catch: More of your emails are going to spam now than you’d ever imagine and it’s because of specific words in your copy.

In Spring 2018, Google made a massive adjustment to their Spam filter algorithm. Almost immediately sales teams across the country saw significant drops in their email open/reply rates.

If you look at your open rates and see numbers under 20%, you’re definitely in spam. Even 20-35% open rates can indicate that your emails aren’t getting through to all of your prospects.

Through extensive testing here at Pipestry, we’ve identified that having SPAM keywords in your copy is by far the biggest factor as to why emails are getting lower deliverability and open rates. Emails containing words like “call” and “offer” can be enough to take a well thought out email and reduce the number of people who received it by half.

How do you identify what words are causing you to go to SPAM?

First, set up multiple email domains to use for email testing and add at least one of them to every campaign you send. These emails absolutely should not be on the same domain you are sending from. If you’re an SDR, have your manager buy 2-3 random domains that you can add to every campaign to see if your messages are coming through or landing directly in SPAM.

Next, comb through lists of identified SPAM keywords and start to understand what words and phrases are getting picked up. Here are two great lists to start with:


Once you’ve identified what words you shouldn’t be using, scan through your copy and start looking for synonyms to replace the words because it’s likely you have at least 2-3 in your emails currently. Replace “offer” with words like “give” or “suggest”. Replace “free” with “complimentary” or “on the house.”

Finally, and the most important part, is TEST TEST TEST. Send yourself every email you send out in a campaign and switch up which domain you are using to make sure you aren’t relying on one domain. If you identify the email is going to spam, you should be pausing your campaign and running tests on new copy variants until you can identify it’s not longer in SPAM.

It’s not a rocket science concept, but making small tweaks to your copy can be the difference between 30 people reading your email and 100 people reading your email.

sam feldotto

Sam Feldotto

Sales Hacker, Pipestry