Articles on: Solving Spam Problems

How to help fix a spam spike and/or reputation score drop using MailReach

This article is specifically recommended to fix spam spikes on your "Where your warming emails land" graph and associated reputation score drop. The guidelines below will help you solve this issue ASAP.

⚠️ If you're experiencing a very damaged email reputation and deliverability (= you land mostly in spam since several weeks), we recommend you the following article : How to restore a damaged email reputation and deliverability using MailReach

Here are two examples of spam spikes that this guide will help you solve ASAP.

For both cases, you can see that the warming emails landed in inbox at the beginning and then started to land more in spam. This is what we call a spam spike.

The main causes of spam spikes.

Most of the time, spam spikes are the results of the following causes (by priority) :

Having too many emails marked as spam (accentuated by a high volume of emails sent).
Sending too many emails per day.
Sending too many follow ups : specific to cold emailing.
Having too many hard bounces.

Step 1 : Reduce the number of daily emails you send or even better: stop sending during several days.

For cold outreach, you shouldn't send more than 100 cold emails per day per mailbox. Going above this number multiplies your risk of spam spikes and damaging your reputation.

When having a spam spike, the best thing you can do is to show the email providers that you're a good email sender who receives a lot of positive interactions from his recipients.

You're having a spam spike because you didn't have enough positive interactions compared to the volume of emails you have sent AND/OR because you received too many negative interactions (spam complaints, etc.).

When you reduce the number of emails sent on your side, you help MailReach fix your spam spike as it raises the engagement rate on your mailbox and associated domain. The fewer emails you send on your end, the more the engagement generated by MailReach will be efficient to fix your spam spike as soon as possible.

You want to "re-balance" the activity of your email address and associated domain by having a better 'positive interactions / number of emails sent' ratio.

This is particularly important for cold emails. Sending too much cold emails per day per domain will make you land in spam in several weeks.

For a cold emailing use case, the absolute best sending strategy is explained in this article : The Best Cold Email Deliverability Sending Strategy to Avoid Landing in Spam.

Step 2 : Make changes to minimize your risk of spam complaints ("mark as spam").

Having your emails marked as spam is the number one cause of spam spikes. It's often linked to the volume of emails you send per day on your end.

Years ago, having your emails marked as spam was not as damaging as today, this is why you need to be EXTRA careful in order to minimize that. It hurts your email reputation A LOT.

The main causes of why people mark your emails as spam :

No clear unsubscribe link : this is crucial. If there isn't a clear unsubscribe link in your email => you get much more spam complaints, that's mathematical. And no, saying "to unsubscribe, reply "unsubscribe" to this email" => this sucks and does not help. Most people don't care about replying to your email, they just can click on "mark as spam" and ciao. We 100% recommend having a clear unsubscribe link. And no, it DOES NOT decrease your results, that's a myth. No unsubcribe link => damaged deliverability => you miss customers. That's it.
No clear unsubscribe link AGAIN : to make sure you understand, there's NO SCENARIO in which not including an unsubscribe link is better for you. "But it looks less human if you have one" => NO, you can send 1-1 emails and have an unsubscribe link. That's just respect and UX for the recipient. We've compared campaign results between having an unsubscribe link VS not having one => no major difference in terms of leads / sales. In the long run it even generates more sales as you'll land more often in inbox.
Your email is not relevant for your recipient : wrong targeting, wrong email addresses, etc.
Your email is too pushy or salesy : be elegant and gentle, don't be a bad vacuum cleaner salesman.
You send too many follow ups (cold emailing use case) : after X emails, people can be pissed and mark your emails as spam.
Your email contains an error they didn’t like (‘Hi Last Name’ for example) : make sure to have a cleaned email list. That's very unpleasant to read that the person made a mistake about you.
They don’t like your offer or your brand : if you sell something they don't need, want or hate.
They receive too many emails : they are over-solicited and they easily click on "mark as spam".
Your email pisses them off for some other reason.

Fixes :

Include a clear unsubscribe link if you don't have one.
Make sure your list is targeted, clean, up to date with no errors.
Make sure your list is targeted and contains people that can effectively be interested by your offer.
Make sure to solve a problem your recipients have?
Ask yourself : would I be pleased to receive my own email? You have to please your recipients, respect them, be kind, polite and nice to them. Treat them as you'd like to be treated.
Personalize your emails.
Don't send too many follow ups and space them (cold emailing use case) : we recommend a minimum of 3 days between emails, 3 follow ups max to protect your reputation. We send only 2 follow ups at MailReach.
Don't be too pushy.
Read our Ultimate Deliverability Guide, again and again : How to Prevent Emails from Going to Spam

Step 3 : If you're sending cold emails, reduce the number of follow-ups you send per recipient and space them.

Like not having a clear unsubscribe link, when sending cold emails, the more follow-ups you send, the more likely you'll land in spam. That's mathematical.

And yes, we know that sending follow-ups is important as, in theory, it helps generate more leads / sales. In a wonderful world where deliverability is easy for everyone and the button "Mark as spam" doesn't exist => yes sending several follow ups is good. BUT this is not the case today as the button "mark as spam" hurts your deliverability WAY MORE than before.

And that's normal, nobody likes to be contacted too many times for something which is not interesting. After the Xth time, you're more likely to click the "Mark as spam" button.

The worst thing you can do is to send an irrelevant email to someone, then follow up the day after, follow up again the next day and follow up again the day that follows => terrible.

Don't stifle your recipient.

Our recommendations :

Send 2 follow-ups max. The fewer the better. At MailReach we send 2 follow-ups maximum (3 emails in total).
Set minimum 3 days between each email sent. At MailReach we send the second email 3 days after the first and the third 8 or 10 days after the second.

Step 4 : Have a bounce rate lower than 5%.

This one is a classic but having too many bounces can hurt your deliverability as it sends a bad signal : the signal you don't really know your recipients. Because if you really knew your recipients, you'd know their email address is not valid anymore, etc.

You have to show the providers you have a clean, up to date contacts list.

Our recommendations :

Make sure to verify your emails before sending them an email. At MailReach we use Verifalia but you can also check Debounce, etc.
If you send emails to 'catch-all' addresses (emails that you can’t know if they’re valid or not) : have max 25% of your contact list as catch-all emails to cap / control the bounce rate. The rest should be "valid / success" emails. More info about the 'catch-all dilution' in the section "The best email verification strategy" our famous guide here : How to Prevent Emails From Going to Spam – The Ultimate, No Bullshit Email Deliverability Guide.
The email list verification has to be 1-2 months old max. If you verify your list in january but you send emails to this list in june, it has to be verified again as some % of this list will be invalid with time.

Step 5 : Make sure to apply all the best practices we recommend at MailReach to totally get rid of spam spikes 🛡️

You need peace of mind. You want to be confident with your email setup to make it work for you and generate a constant flow of leads / conversions without having to worry about spam.

If you have a bad email reputation it means you need to make changes. If you repeat what you've done before, you'll get similar results.

Of course MailReach helps, that's a solid boost, but as said before, MailReach won't be able to magically fix all your mistakes.

Our recommendation is : READ, RE READ and APPLY the best practices that we listed here :

MUST READ for cold emailing AND opt-in / newsletter sending : How to Prevent Emails From Going to Spam – The Ultimate, No Bullshit Email Deliverability Guide.
MUST READ for cold emailing, the best sending setup : The Best Cold Email Deliverability Sending Strategy to Avoid Landing in Spam.

These two articles are golden nuggets in terms of deliverability. These are the result of years and years of fixing deliverability issues for a lot of companies.

(Re)read them and apply the changes, you will have a better sleep, trust us.

Step 6 : only if you have properly done the previous steps and have no difference : raise the volume of daily warming emails sent by MailReach

Doing that without fixing bad practices listed above is not recommended. You don't put a bigger engine on a car with flat tires. You fix the tires first.

In MailReach > Email Warmer > Find the email account you need to heal and click on Show
Go in Settings > Edit sending and ramp-up volumes
Turn off the Autopilot Mode by clicking on the green selector
In Max sends per day > Add 6 conversations > By default it's on 17, so if you were on 17, raise to 23 (between 51 and 69 warm up emails sent per day).


A spam spike is the reflect of your practices and should be temporary. If it persists, it means there's still something that has to be changed on your side.

This article has been written with love and passion to help you get rid of spam spikes ASAP. Make sure to follow our advices as it's based on a deep experience experience, data and a lot of money spent on fixing spam spikes.

Once you've made all the changes, get ready to check your "Where your warming emails land" graph in several days and see improvements.

Keep in mind the intensity of the spam spike is proportional to the damage you're having on your email reputation. The bigger the spam spike, the bigger changes you need to make to fix it.

Good luck future Deliverability Maestro 👑

Updated on: 20/05/2024

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