Vladislav Podolyako
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Those who say that getting thousands of negative responses to your B2B emails is the worst thing ever have never faced the horror that is receiving no responses at all.

You send email after email, watching them disappear into the void without being opened — and have no clue what’s happening or what to do. You try changing your content, your subject lines, your value proposition to no avail — the chunk of your prospects remains silent, so at some point, you find yourself at a loss.

The responses from your B2B recipients are the main shaping force behind your B2B email strategy.

When you know your positive/negative response ratio, you fully understand if the current content strategy works for you or if it needs some adjustments. Therefore, whenever you get no responses, you’re logically restless. There are billions of reasons for your prospects not responding: from bad timing to technical issues to spam. Personally checking each and every suspect takes time which you could have spent on supporting your business, training your in-house teams, or brainstorming.

Therefore, we decided to make the job easier for you. Having worked through thousands of mailboxes and stared into a no-response abyss for five long years, we can tell you with the utmost certainty that there is a #1 suspect to your sending issues.

No, it’s not your templates or your value proposition.

In most cases, your recipients don’t open your emails because your emails never reach them.

In some sense, your emails do end up in the void  — the void of spam folders. They’re stranded there, remaining unseen, unknown, and unopened.

The worst part about this situation is that senders are not alerted by email service providers, so they remain in the dark about the state of their emails until their entire domain is blacklisted.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to find out if your emails get marked as spam  — and how to fix it.

How to tell if your emails are going to spam?

Since you’re never warned about your emails being blocked by spam folders, you have to check everything yourself. If you start having sending issues and suspect spam triggers at play, there are several ways for you to check your blacklist status.

  • Register a mailbox on the email service you’re using and add it to your email sequence list. If your emails end up in your test mailbox’s spam folder instead of its inbox then you obviously have spam problems. This is the fastest and easiest method to check your emails.
  • Use special tools that view and show stats for your emails to keep track of your spam situation. The main problem with that method is that the majority of these tools take time to fine-tune and figure out  — they also have to be managed manually. It can be a setback for business owners with a tight schedule
  • Monitor your domain stats. If your email service provider allows reviewing domain statistics, make sure to take a look at it every once in a while. If any of your domains show low performance, time to take a look at your sender score.

What to do when emails go to spam?

So, let’s say your test mailbox shows that more than 1% of your B2B sales emails end up in a spam folder.

This issue won’t fix itself, it can only get worse. Since behavior patterns are now relevant to emails as well such actions as opening emails, deleting emails without reading, using filters, and emails being sent to the spam folder directly influence your reputation.

Therefore, if you don’t do anything about your emails going to spam folders, more and more email service providers will start labeling your messages as spam by default. Therefore, the percentage of your emails sent to spam will only increase, dragging your Sender Score down and dooming your outreach efforts to failure.

Why do your emails go to spam?

Spam triggers aside, your emails can get trapped by the spam folder because of the following things:

Purchased email database

As we said before, buying emails can ruin your outreach. Buying 300,000 email contacts and sending emails may seem like a good idea, but it’s important to separate fantasy from reality and remember about organic growth.

Your email providers are neither blind nor incompetent (at least we hope they aren’t), so the growth spurt of your recipient base will not go unnoticed. Since such an increase cannot be natural, they instantly label your emails as spam.

In addition, when you buy email contacts, you have no way of knowing how they were acquired or if they were validated — as a result, you get no growth, no new customers and hours of precious working time wasted on the outreach.

Therefore, if you started experiencing sending issues soon after purchasing an email database, it makes sense to manually validate each and every contact, removing all invalid and non-existent email addresses  — as well as restore your email database to its adequate size.

No domain and IP address fine-tuning

  1. Don’t send over 1000 emails when you get started. Our suggested size of your first batch: 700 emails per day. Also, don’t send all those emails instantly. Keep sending emails throughout the day.
  2. Send emails and Increase your email volume by 20% every day.
  3. When studying your statistics, you must pay attention to the following data:
  • Number of sent emails
  • Number of clicks on “Send to spam”
  • Number of opened emails
  • Number of deleted emails
  • Number of delivered emails
  • The average number of “send to spam” clicks per month

Wrong SPF settings

If that’s the case, you need to tweak your SPF settings back to normal. The way you do it depends on the email service you use. For instance, MailChimp provides you with its SPF record. However, if you send from an IP of your own, you should make an SPF record yourself by following these guidelines:

  1. Make a list of all IP addresses you use to send emails from your domain: from web servers to in-office mail services.
  2. Gather all your sending domains  — even those you’re not using for emails. Non-sending domains that are not protected with Sender Policy Framework become an easy target for cybercriminals.
  3. Create a TXT document. Type v=spf1 tag, then enter all the IP addresses from your list. In case you use any third-party email servers to send emails, type “”. We recommend using either 1 or no more than 3 of them.
  4. Make sure that your SPF record doesn’t exceed 255 characters.
  5. Correct syntax of the SPF record
  6. Publish your SPF record to DNS. To do so, you need to contact your DNS server provider or IT department if you're unsure where to start


Your Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) signature is placed in the email header, certifying that the email was sent with the domain’s owner approval. If you send emails without using email services that usually cover DKIM setting for you, you must generate your DKIM key on your own. There are several services that allow you to check your DKIM online, but leaving this task to a competent team usually brings the most accurate and relevant results.

Generating the DKIM signature is also a very complicated process, so you need to make sure that your email sending issues are caused by a poorly generated DKIM key, not anything else. 

Therefore, in case you have any doubts about your DKIM, we suggest contacting mailbox experts instantly. They will be able to carry out every step of checking, fixing, and generating without compromising your sending process. 

Email content

Writing B2B outside sales emails differs greatly from writing B2C emails, so no wonder many businesses usually leave this task to professionals. However, it always makes sense to check your approach to emails as well.

  1. Think about your sending frequency. See that you send your emails at the right cadence and on the right days. As we wrote before, timing is very important in B2B email marketing, so if you follow up on your prospects every day, cease and desist.
  2. Segment your email database. If you mix your Spanish-speaking and English-speaking prospects together, you’re doing yourself a disfavor. It’s also recommended to segment your database by the email services used by your providers. It will let you adjust your emails to meet the specific requirements of each email service.
  3. Review your content. Check it for any outdated information, generalizations, or cliches as well as spam triggers.

If you checked all your records and found no problem, while your email content didn’t yield any issues or spam triggers — try writing to your email service provider’s support teams. Sometimes the cause of your problems may be outside your reach.

Now, as we outlined the main causes behind sending issues, it’s time to talk about the safeguards. Aside from choosing the right sending sequence and number of emails per day, it also makes sense to raise your credibility with extra features that can be implemented for your emails and website.


Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is responsible for checking your SPF record and DKIM signature. This is a defense system that protects your recipients from phishing through your company domain. It’s not uncommon for cybercriminals to use emails seemingly sent from a familiar domain to fool users into downloading a program for stealing personal data.

However, you usually receive a notification whenever your emails fail DMARC check. This makes your watch easier: if your emails are not approved by DMARC, it means you must check your DKIM and SPF.

How to improve email credibility

Double opt-in

As an extra measure to secure your reputation, you can add the double opt-in to your subscription process. It’s a simple step that lets users verify their email and confirm that they want to receive messages from your company.

Even though the benefits of double opt-in are still discussed by marketers, this feature is a must for companies that have to deal with hard bounces and are interested in the long-term leads. Implementing double opt-in helps your emails build credibility and reduce the risk of your email sequences disappearing in the prospect’s spam folder.

  1. Form submission
  2. Confirmation
  3. Registration approval
  4. Unsubscribe page
  • Never forget to explain what you want your users to do and why. Always outline the reasons for going through email verification. If your services allow it, you can offer a discount, a promo code or a special loyalty feature.
  • Keep your double opt-in “Nearly there” page highly UX and simple. It’s not uncommon for users to stop mid-verification due to its complexity.
  • Make your confirmation emails stylish and professional. Since your B2B emails will always be simple, you can let your creativity go when shaping a confirmation email because it doesn’t have to be a plain text format. You can use colors, brand logos or mascots and add bright CTAs. As long as you’re being moderate and don’t forget about the basics of writing subject lines, you’re good to go.

Is there a way to not be labeled as spam?

Sadly, we cannot guarantee that your emails will never ever go to spam. The email algorithms change regularly to adjust to the new phishing and cybersecurity threats and there will always be collateral damage. An update to the algorithm can send your perfectly normal emails to the spam folder in a blink. 

This is why you can only minimize the damage by staying aware of your performance. Use monitoring and read your data to nip all sending issues in the bud — it may take you some time to figure out the email services designed for analyzing and sending you data on your B2B messages, but the progress is not staying in one place. New faster and easier solutions are coming your way — and while they do, we are here to help you out.

Vladislav Podolyako

Co-founder and CEO of Belkins and Folderly
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.
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