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How to Avoid Becoming an Email Spammer

As you rev up your new marketing strategy and do a better job of actively communicating with your audience this year, don’t let your enthusiasm accidentally kill your business.

In other words, be careful of becoming an email spammer. If you cross the line, you could:

  • Find your email blacklisted
  • Lose the trust of your customers
  • Destroy your image and credibility
  • Get booted out of the email marketing service you use
  • Lose your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – and be banned from moving to another one

Yup, it’s that serious. When I said it could kill your business, I wasn’t kidding! So, how do you avoid becoming a spammer? Commonsense. Just follow these basic rules:

Limit the number of emails you send out

Sending out an email once or even twice a week (if something really big is happening) is perfectly fine; three times a day is not. The key is to balance keeping in touch with being a valuable resource. You want your lists to look forward to hearing from you, so keep that in mind when designing an email marketing campaign.

Only send emails filled with useful information

As alluded to above, only send useful information that your audience will appreciate receiving. The higher the open rates, the more favorably your emails will be viewed by email services, and the less you will be blocked or flagged.

You can also think of it like this: If your mother-in-law called to shoot the breeze every single day but had literally nothing interesting to say, would you start avoiding her calls? And maybe blocking her number?

Make sure everyone on your list has opted in

Do you get emails from companies you’ve never heard from? Me too, and it drives me nuts. I’m too nice to flag their emails as spam (I just unsubscribe instead), but not everyone is as nice as I am. Don’t open up the door to your emails being flagged as spam.

Take the time to create awesome emails

You don’t have to use an email service provider (ESP), but their pre-built templates make it easy to create beautiful, professional emails. They’ll quickly look unprofessional and get flagged, however, if you:

  • Use spam-bait phrase like “Click here!”
  • Go crazy with exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Send out the same email back-to-back (and maybe a few more times for good measure). If you don’t get the response you want the first time, retool the offer or message and try again a month or two later.

Also, don’t let your 1st grader write the copy or the subject line. Just sayin’.

What drives you nuts about spammers? What do you do to avoid becoming an email spammer?

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Author information

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen is a freelance copywriter and editor who helps with companies of all shapes on sizes kick their content up to the next level. You can find her online at