As digital marketers, we all spend a lot of time setting up our email marketing campaigns. And we count on them to communicate with our target audience, so the worst thing that could happen is that they end up in the recipient’s junk folder — YIKES.

Here are some reasons why this is happening.


If you’re sending email from your own domain, whether that is hosted on site or a third-party, it is important that the email server is set up to properly authenticate your email. Without this, receiving email servers may not see your email as being legitimate.

There are three methods for doing this:

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)


DKIM verifies that your email’s content hasn’t been tampered with before it reaches the recipient. It does so by generating a code, called a hash which is then encrypted using a private key, and added to the email’s header. When the inbound mail server receives the email, it checks the email’s header to see if DKIM is present.

Without DKIM authentication some email clients will flag your emails as coming from a different server. This can potentially cause them to be blocked, or lead subscribers to believe they’re receiving spam.


SPF authorizes specific outbound mail server IPs to send on a domain’s behalf. This is especially important if you are sending email with your domain using a third-party service.


DMARC is intended to prevent phishers, spammers, and other illegitimate sources from forging a sending domain and posing as someone else. This is known as spoofing.

So long as an inbound email server supports it, DMARC gives the owner of a sending domain some control over what happens when that server receives a spoofed email — either do nothing, block it (reject), or send it to spam/junk (quarantine).

All these authentication methods will require support from your IT team. We suggest that you reach out to them to see if these methods are configured, and if not, have them set up.

Spam Filters

Even if your email is set up to authenticate correctly, your email may be moved into the junk folder because the content is too “spammy”. From time-to-time, you should be checking to see whether your subject lines, pre-headers and content are being flagged as spam.

Here are some useful resources to check your email content for spam:

Email Reputation

Another reason your email may go into the junk folder is that your email sending IP has a poor reputation. To help maintain a good reputation, you should be using an up-to-date email list and always offer unsubscribe options on your email (and respect the recipient’s wishes).

Here are some useful resources to check your reputation:

For more information on avoiding the junk folder, contact us at:

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