12 Ways to Send Cold Emails Without Spamming

Discover 12 effective strategies to send cold emails without landing in spam folders. Improve your email deliverability and engagement rates.
In SaaS sales, every opportunity counts. Time is precious, and making the right connections quickly can be a breakthrough. That's where cold emails come in.

Cold emails introduce your business to potential clients and partners. But just like any first impression, it’s crucial that your email not only reaches its destination but also stands out. That’s why understanding cold email deliverability is essential.

In this blog, we'll break down what you need to know to ensure your emails land in inboxes, not spam folders, giving you the best chance to connect with your prospects.

1- Do Not Send Images, Links or Attachments

When sending cold emails, avoiding images, links, or attachments is best. These elements often raise red flags for spam filters, which can prevent your message from reaching the prospect's inbox.

Spam filters are made to protect users from potentially harmful content. Including images, links, or attachments might signal to these filters that your email could be phishing or spam.

Moreover, images and attachments can slow down email load times. Busy decision-makers at tech startups don't have time to wait for emails to load—they want clear, quick-to-read messages that get straight to the point.

Many professionals are cautious about opening attachments or clicking links from unknown senders. By excluding these elements, you reduce the perceived risk and increase the likelihood that your email will be read.

Instead, focus on delivering a clear, concise message. Introduce yourself and explain how your service can solve a problem they may be facing.

Keep it personal and relevant to their needs. For instance, mention specific challenges tech startups often face and how your service can help them overcome them quickly and efficiently.

2- Validate Your Prospect’s Emails

Before hitting send, ensure the email addresses on your list are valid. Sending emails to incorrect or non-existent addresses can hurt your sender reputation and increase the chances of your messages being marked as spam.

Start by using an email validation tool to check the accuracy of your leads' email addresses. This step helps you avoid high bounce rates, negatively impacting your deliverability.

Scrubbing your email list is also a good practice to avoid high bounce rates, and hurting your sender domain.

High bounce rates signal to email service providers (ESPs) that your emails might be unwanted, leading them to block or filter your future messages.

Moreover, validating emails shows respect for your lead's time and inbox space. It demonstrates that you’re serious about making a genuine connection and not just sending mass, unsolicited emails. Think of it as the first step in building trust with your potential customers.

Accurate targeting also allows you to personalize your messages better. When you’re confident that the email address is correct, you can tailor your approach to the individual, increasing your chances of starting a meaningful conversation.
signs your email list needs cleaning

3- Use a Reliable Email Outreach Tool

Investing in a reliable sales outreach tool is crucial for executing a successful cold email campaign. These tools help you manage your email lists, track engagement metrics, and automate follow-ups, ensuring your emails are delivered to the right inboxes.

A good email outreach tool offers features like email tracking, template management, and integration with your CRM. These capabilities allow you to monitor open rates, click-to-open (CTOR), click-through rates, and responses, giving insights into what’s working and where you need to adjust your strategy.

Furthermore, a quality outreach tool ensures compliance with email marketing regulations, helping you avoid potential legal issues. Look for tools that provide built-in safeguards against sending too many emails at once, which can trigger spam filters.

Using a reliable tool also enhances your ability to personalize emails.

Personalization is key to connecting with your leads, as generic messages will likely be ignored or marked as spam. With the right tool, you can customize your emails based on the recipient’s name, company, or specific pain points, making your outreach more relevant and effective.

Overall, the right email outreach tool simplifies your processes, increases your chances of staying out of spam folders, and drives meaningful engagement.

4- Avoid Using Spam-Trigger Words

Choosing your words carefully in cold emails can make a big difference in whether they land in the inbox or the spam folder. Certain words and phrases trigger spam filters, reducing your chances of reaching your leads.

Spam-trigger words often include terms that sound too good to be true, like "free," "guarantee," or "no cost." These words can raise red flags for email service providers, as they are commonly used in unsolicited or deceptive emails. Instead, opt for language that feels natural and authentic.

It's also important to avoid excessive use of exclamation marks, all caps, and hyperbolic statements. These elements can make your email appear untrustworthy or overly aggressive. Aim for a professional yet conversational tone, as if speaking to a coworker.

For example, instead of saying, "Get our service FREE for a limited time!!!,” you might say, “We offer a trial period so you can see the benefits for yourself.” This approach is more relatable and less likely to be flagged as spam.

5- Don’t Send Too Many or Too Quickly Follow-Ups

Following up is crucial in cold emailing, but striking the right balance is important. Sending too many follow-ups or too quickly can annoy your prospects and increase the chances of your emails being marked as spam.

Instead, space out your follow-ups thoughtfully. Give your leads some time to respond before sending another email. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least a few days between follow-up emails. This shows respect for their time and avoids overwhelming their inbox.

For effective cold emailing, it is generally recommended that three to five follow-up emails be sent, spaced a few days apart. A common strategy is to wait about three to seven days between each follow-up.

Quality over quantity is key here. Each follow-up should add value and build on the previous messages. Rather than repeating the same content, offer new insights, answer potential questions, or address common concerns. This approach demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in their needs and not just trying to push a sale.

Also, keep your follow-ups short and to the point. Long, repetitive emails are more likely to be ignored or deleted. Aim for a brief reminder of who you are, a quick recap of your value proposition, and a clear call to action.

Check out our best follow-up email subject lines to send after a meeting blog. They'll keep you out of spam!
how many cold email follow ups should i send

6- Turn Off Opt-Out Links & Tracking

Turning off opt-out links and tracking, or tracking pixels, your cold emails can significantly improve your deliverability. While these features might seem helpful for managing responses and measuring engagement, they often trigger spam filters, reducing the probability that your emails will reach your prospects' inboxes.

Opt-out links are a common feature in marketing emails, but cold outreach can cause your email to be flagged as promotional or unwanted. Instead, consider including a simple line at the end of your email inviting leads to reply if they wish to unsubscribe. This method is less likely to be caught by spam filters and maintains a personal touch.

Tracking links can also raise red flags for email service providers. Trackers often appear suspicious to spam filters, especially when cold emailing, as they might be perceived as phishing attempts. Disabling tracking ensures your emails look cleaner and more trustworthy, increasing their probability of being delivered and read.
Improve your email deliverability with Unfiltered.ai

7- Warm-Up Your Email Before Sending a Cold Email Campaign

Before launching your cold email campaign, it's essential to warm up your email account. This practice helps build a good sender reputation and improves your email deliverability, guaranteeing your emails reach your prospects' inboxes.

Start by sending a few emails to known contacts and gradually increase the volume over time. This gradual increase signals to email service providers that your account is trustworthy and not a source of spam. Engaging with the responses you receive also helps improve your sender reputation.

Instead of doing this manually, consider using an automatic email warm-up tool like Unfiltered.ai. These tools simplify the process by gradually increasing your email sending volume and engaging with your messages, simulating natural interactions. This automated system ensures your emails are less likely to be flagged as spam and helps you start your cold email campaign more efficiently.

Additionally, avoid sending mass emails right from the get-go. Instead, send targeted, personalized emails in smaller batches. This reduces the risk of being flagged as spam and allows you to refine your messaging based on initial feedback.

Automatic email warm-up is crucial in preparing for a successful cold email campaign. It builds trust with email providers and increases the chances of your target audience seeing and acting upon your emails.
do you need to warm up your email

8- Provide Value

In cold emailing, providing value is key to capturing your prospect's attention and building a connection. Always aim to offer something beneficial right from the start.

Whether it's insights specific to their industry, a case study showcasing proven results, or a free consultation, ensure your email demonstrates how to address their unique pain points.

Instead of a generic pitch, tailor your message to highlight solutions that fit their specific pain points. This way shows you understand their problems and are ready with relevant information to help them immediately.

Offering genuine value through personalized content shows respect for their time and intelligence, making it more likely they’ll engage with your email.
Remember, the goal is to clarify why engaging with you will benefit them.
how to write a cold email

9- Increase the Number of Emails Progressively

When starting a cold email campaign, gradually increasing the number of emails you send is significant. This incremental approach helps build trust with email service providers, reducing the risk of your emails being flagged as spam.

Begin by sending a small batch of emails to a select group of prospects. Monitor the engagement and deliverability rates. As you see positive results, slowly increase the volume. This strategy protects your sender reputation and allows for adjustments based on initial feedback, ensuring your message resonates well with your prospects.

By progressively increasing your email volume, you can maintain high deliverability rates and enable better relationships with your leads, making your outreach more effective and sustainable.

10- Set Up SPF, DKIM & DMARC

Setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC ensures emails are delivered to your recipients' inboxes. These email authentication protocols help verify that your emails are coming from a legitimate source, which boosts your credibility and improves deliverability.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) helps prevent spammers from sending emails on behalf of your domain. It specifies which mail servers are allowed to send emails to your domain.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) attaches a digital signature to your emails, allowing the recipient’s server to verify that the email hasn’t been altered during transit and genuinely comes from your domain. How to set up DKIM? Check out our blog.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) builds on SPF and DKIM. It lets you specify how receiving servers should handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks, providing an added layer of security. All in all, DMARC improves email deliverability.

By setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, you not only protect your domain from being used in phishing and spam attacks but also increase the chances that your emails will land in your prospects' inboxes, not their spam folders.

11- Don’t Send Long Emails

Keep your emails short and to the point when reaching out to prospects. Long emails can be overwhelming and are often skimmed or ignored. Aim for a concise message that quickly communicates your value proposition.

Start with a brief introduction, then get straight to the core of your message. Highlight how your solution addresses their specific pain points and offers immediate benefits. Use bullet points to break down key advantages if necessary.

Always end with a clear call-to-action, such as scheduling a call or responding to your email. By respecting your reader's time and keeping your message focused, you increase the odds of engagement and a positive response.

12- Keep Bounce Rate Under 3%

Maintaining a low bounce rate is essential for the success of your email campaigns. A high bounce rate can damage your sender reputation and reduce your emails' chances of reaching the inbox.

To keep your bounce rate under 3%, start by regularly cleaning your email list. Remove invalid and outdated email addresses, and use email deliverability tools to ensure the addresses on your list are current and correct.

Segment your list based on engagement levels. This helps target the most active and interested recipients, reducing the likelihood of bounces. Also, monitor and analyze your email campaign’s performance to quickly identify and address any issues.

email bounce rates

Cold Email Deliverability Checklist

Ensuring high deliverability for your cold emails is crucial for a cold email campaign's success.

Here’s a brief checklist to keep your efforts on track:

  • Warm-up your email account: Gradually increase your email sending volume with email warm-up tools. This will help build trust with email providers and prevent your emails from being flagged as spam.
  • Use a professional email domain: Sending from a professional domain boosts credibility. Avoid using free email services like Gmail or Yahoo.
  • Optimize for mobile: Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly. Use responsive design, short paragraphs, and easily accessible links.
  • Personalize your emails: Address prospects by name and personalize content to their needs. Personalization increases engagement and reduces the chances of being marked as spam.
  • Craft convincing subject lines: Fresh subject lines capture attention. Make them relevant and enticing to improve open rates.
  • Avoid spammy language: Avoid trigger words that could flag your emails as spam. Words like "free" and "guarantee" should be used sparingly.
  • Keep emails short and engaging: Respect your reader’s time. Highlight key benefits and include a clear call-to-action to maintain interest.
  • Monitor spam complaints: Monitor your spam complaint rate. If it's high, review your practices and adjust your content accordingly.
  • Ensure clear unsubscribe options: Make it easy for prospects to opt-out. A simple unsubscribe process can reduce spam complaints and maintain your reputation.
  • Use plain text emails: Plain text emails often feel more personal. Mixing them in can add a human touch to your communication.
email deliverability checklist



Dominating cold email deliverability can make a substantial difference in your outreach efforts. It’s about more than crafting a message; it’s about ensuring your prospects see and read it.

Following best practices and being mindful of how email providers rate your communications can improve your chances of starting valuable conversations.

So, take these insights, refine your approach, and watch your connections and business grow. Remember, every email is an opportunity; with the right strategy, you can make each one count.
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