As a small business owner, you know how important it is to keep in touch with your clients.

Communicating with your clients:

  • Helps you build a positive relationship with them.
  • Improves client retention.
  • Keeps your business top of mind in between bookings, so you can make more money.
  • Keeps clients up-to-date on your business: new hours, new employees, new products, new locations. 

That’s why Schedulicity’s email marketing is one of the most used features in our online booking software.  But, we get it. Email marketing can be tricky. Especially when it comes to avoiding that pesky spam filter. 

In this blog, we’ll break down why emails end up in spam folders and exactly how to avoid them — even if you’re new to the email marketing game.

Why Are My Emails Going to Spam?

There are a couple of reasons why an email provider, like Gmail or Microsoft Outlook, sends your email to the spam folder. 

The most likely reason is that your email is caught in a spam trap.

Spam traps are invalid email addresses that help your inbox detect bad email practices and spammy messages. It’s important to note: “These spam trap email addresses may have been legitimate at one time, but are now abandoned or invalid.”

If you send an email to one of these addresses, your deliverability suffers, and ultimately, you could be blocked from sending emails to anyone. It sounds scary and technical, but we promise, you’ve got this! 

(Here’s more on email deliverability from the marketing experts at HubSpot.)

How to Avoid Spam Folders

  1. Check email addresses for spam traps, misspellings, etc. 
  2. Don’t ever buy or rent email lists. 
  3. Don’t send emails to unengaged audiences. 
  4. Use list segmentation to send relevant emails to the proper audiences. 
  5. Use subject line and preview text best practices. 
  6. Write authentically. 

1. Check Email Addresses

Let’s start off easy! 

  • Check your clients’ email addresses for common typos like “gnail” instead of “gmail”. With your Schedulicity account, view your Problem Email Report. Validate or fix any typos with those email addresses we flagged.
  • Don’t ever buy or rent email lists. It seems like an enticing way to get new clients, but it goes against the Terms of Service for email providers.

Note: When you use Schedulicity’s Email Marketing feature, we automatically keep your email list updated by only sending to clients who booked an appointment with you in the past two years.

2. Keep Your Email List Updated 

When you’re talking to a client before or after their appointment, ask if their email address is up-to-date. Is it their most recent email? Is it spelled correctly?

(This is also important because they need to receive appointment reminder notifications and other automatic messages, like birthday emails!)

If there are any issues with their email address, you can fix it on their profile. Using your Schedulicity account, go to a client’s profile. You’ll see a box that confirms that they’re subscribed to your email marketing. 

3. Use List Segmentation for Smaller Audiences 

Let’s debunk a myth about email marketing:

❌ Less email recipients equals less income.
✅ In fact, fewer recipients can lead to more income.

By emailing specific clients and segmenting your lists, your ROI (return on investment) is likely to be higher! That’s because not every client wants (or needs) every email. 

For example, if you’re having a sale on dog shampoo, you should only send an email to clients who have dogs. If you’re constantly hitting up your cat clients with dog emails, they stop opening your emails and start getting annoyed. That’s how you end up in the spam folder. 

Using your Schedulicity account, you can segment your email list for specific audiences. To avoid your emails going into the spam folder, send relevant emails to relevant segments:

  • Clients who have scheduled specific services
  • Clients who use packages
  • Client who haven’t scheduled an appointment recently 
  • Plus many more segments to choose from! (Read more about them here.)

4. Don’t Use Spam Trigger Words 

In fact, according to HubSpot, 69% of people can tell if an email is spam based on the subject line alone. These subject lines and preview texts use words that overpromise, seem too good to be true, or include too many buzzwords. These are called spam trigger words

How do you avoid using spam trigger words? Here’s a complete list of which words to avoid in your email, like: 

  • Affordable
  • Bargain 
  • Best price
  • Cheap 
  • Notspam

You can also use this free tool from Mailmeteor to check your email for spam content. Remember, avoid writing an email that’s:

  • Shady
  • Overpromising 
  • Too urgent
  • Unnatural sounding, like AI wrote it 

5. Keep Your Emails Short

Don’t write too much! It’s as simple as that. 

6. Double-Check the Subject Line and Preview Text 

A good subject line is crucial for getting clients to open your email. Better open rates = more engagement and lower spam levels.  Make sure the subject line and preview text resonates with your audience and is relevant to the content inside.

Unsure of how to write a good subject line?

It’s OK! Here’s what makes an effective subject line: 

  • Keep it short and sweet. Too-long subject lines get cut off in your inbox anyways.
  • Make sure it resonates with your audience. (Remember: dog shampoo for dog owners)
  • Ask a question: “Are you ready to book your next appointment?” or “Have you seen what [service] can do for you?”
  • Be entertaining or educational: “Did you know…?” or “Yep, I need a break. Here are my new hours.” 
  • Have a sense of urgency: “Flash Sale: 48 Hours for [product]” or “Only three appointments left this week!”
  • Include a Call to Action: “Book your appointment today” or “Buy a package deal”

Check out this free tool from Mailmeteor to check a subject line’s effectiveness for: 

  • Word count
  • Length 
  • Number of question marks and exclamation points – not too many!!! 
  • Number of emojis or spam words

7. Be Yourself

Your clients love your business, because they love you.  Just be yourself when writing and sending emails. It’s another easy way to stay out of the spam folder.

guide preview

Getting the Word Out:

A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing and Automated Text Messages

Get the Guide

Additional Email Marketing Resources

You’re now an email marketing spam expert!

Want to learn more about email marketing? Here’s other articles to help you improve your email marketing strategy:

If you’re using Schedulicity’s email marketing features, check out these templates: