Bypassing Spam Filters for Better Email Deliverability

Donor Management System

After putting so much effort into the design and messaging of your DMS Mail, it's time to send it to your Contacts! During a major campaign or appeal, it's crucial that your mailing reaches as many of your Contacts as possible.

But, many of your Contacts will have spam filters in place to minimize the risk of receiving a malicious or unsolicited email. And, some inboxes may filter these "bad" emails to a separate folder (usually the "Spam" or "Junk" folder), or may reject the email entirely. Learn more about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

Below are a few tips to help you optimize your Bulk Email's performance and reduce the likelihood of it being rejected by your recipient's inbox.

Tips to Optimize your DMS Mail

Here are few tips to keep in mind to avoid your bulk email being flagged by spam filters:  


  • Don’t overuse exclamation points in your email body, e.g. "Donate today!!!" 

  • Avoid using exclamation points or special characters in your email subject line. 

  • Don't make your email subject line a question.

  • Avoid using clickbait-type email subject lines. Your subject line should accurately reflect the contents of your email. 

  • Avoid using spam trigger words such as “free”, “ bonus' or “claim” in your email subject lines. 

  • Avoid using phishing phrases like “Act now!” or “Call us today!”

  • Avoid sending image-only content in your bulk emails.

That said, it's not to say you shouldn't use any of the above elements under any circumstances. Because spam filters scan the email as a whole and look at various elements, having one of the above in your email may not necessarily result in it being flagged as spam, but it's important to be conscious of your email's overall presentation.

Optimize your Mailing Lists

Another great way to make sure your bulk emails reach the intended recipients is to regularly clean up your mailing lists (i.e., Groups and Smart Groups). You can take advantage of your Bulk Email's Performance Report to see which emails failed, and then take steps to correct any "bad" emails and/or remove them from your mailing list.

---> Learn more about your Bulk Email Reports

In particular, bounces refer to the number of emails that were “returned to the sender” because their delivery failed. This is often as a result of an incorrect or inactive email address.

When viewing your Bulk Email's Performance Report, select Advanced Search next to the 'Bounces' summary to view each Contact that failed to receive an email.

View all emails that bounced during your recent Bulk Email by selecting Advanced Search

Next, select all the Contacts you'd like to remove from this mailing list, and under Actions, select Group - remove contacts.

Remove your selected Bounced Contacts from a GroupSelect the Group to remove

Removing these troublesome emails from your mailing list (i.e., Group or Smart Group) and fixing any incorrect email addresses will help maintain the integrity of your Bulk Emails and reduce the likelihood of your emails being flagged as spam in the future.

What's Next?

You're now ready to send your next DMS Mail! Then, once sent, check out how to track a mailing's performance.