Bulk Email Best Practices - How To Avoid The Spam Folder

Written by

Michael Benson

Unlock inbox success! Discover essential Bulk Email Best Practices to steer clear of the dreaded Spam Folder.

Cold emailing has been one of the most popular prospect outreach techniques since time immemorial. When executed correctly, it can help you open doors, create rapport with potential customers, and establish long-term relationships. 

One essential strategy for successful cold outreaches is customizing your emails for each recipient. However, as your business grows, your email list expands, and the need for mass email marketing kicks in, it becomes increasingly challenging to give each subscriber personalized attention. 

Unless you have a responsive scalability plan, you'll soon find yourself sending thousands of one-shoe-fits-all emails that your audiences barely work. All this leads to high unsubscribe rates. In worst-case scenarios, you'll start recording increased bounce rates, blocks, and spam reports.

The above scenario sounds like a far-fetched plot from a poorly-written horror script. Right? Well, unfortunately, it's the current reality for several email marketers. The chances are it's your reality, too, and that's why you're here.

Don't worry. As usual, Mailreef has your back on cold emailing matters. This article offers a comprehensive guide on bulk email best practices to help you roll out mass mailing campaigns without compromising user experience and deliverability.

Before we bore you with our long introduction, let's get right into the core of the matter — how to send out mass emails that actually work. Unlock inbox success! Discover essential Bulk Email Best Practices to steer clear of the dreaded Spam Folder.

What Is Bulk Email?

Bulk emails, or mass emails, involve sending one email campaign to multiple recipients simultaneously. They are popular with businesses (especially B2C) targeting extensive audiences. While they can deliver consistent messages, spark engagement, and promote products as effectively as regular emails, their mass distribution approach often results in less personalization. 

For the record, bulk emails are not spam. They usually target contacts who have signed up for your marketing messages. Also, they often involve email list segmentation and message personalization — unlike spam emails that target all recipients with the same content.

A well-planned and effectively executed bulk email campaign can derive almost the same ROI as individual personalized emails. Sometimes, they can deliver even better results because of their extensive reach.

Below is a step-by-step run-through of how to send out mass emails:

1. Define Your Mass Email Marketing Goals

Before all else, it's essential to outline clear objectives with measurable deliverables for your email campaign. Do you want to enhance brand awareness and customer engagement? Are you aiming to drive more traffic to your blogs? Or do you want to generate more sales?

Defining your objective will help you identify the best email structure and content. It can also help you track your campaign's progress and measure its performance. Otherwise, how would you know if the drive is a success or a flop if you didn't set out its goals in the first place?

2. Create a Targeted Email List

There's a widespread misconception that bulk mail does not require email list segmentation. Mass email marketing initiatives are not spam emails. They need the same attention as regular individual emails, including building and segmenting your email lists. 

We'll discuss the importance of list segmentation later. However, at the core, it enables you to target subscribers with relevant content that can capture their attention and drive conversions.

3. Select The Best Mailbox For Your Bulk Emails

Different mailboxes have varying restrictions on bulk emails. Find one that meets your mass emailing needs.

While there's no standard definition of a good mailbox, you should at least ensure that it offers customizable templates, allows you to send and receive a reasonable number of emails daily, and provides real-time analytics. If you have a vast email list, look for an email service provider that allows automation. 

Mailreef is your go-to mailbox — it provides all the above benefits and more. We designed it specifically for cold emailers like you. You don't have to worry about SPF, DKIK, and DMARC authentication, domain creation, and scalability when working with us. We'll handle them to free you and your team to focus on other crucial tasks.

As if that's not enough, our mailbox also comes with the following additional benefits:

  • With us, you can send unlimited messages daily
  • Creating a Mailreef domain and mailbox is as simple as one click
  • We automatically implement DKIK, SPF, and DMARC protocols for all our customers
  • You don't have to worry about limitations on the number of emails you can receive daily
  • We assign each Mailreef email account a dedicated IP address
  • We conduct automatic spam screens
  • The mailbox is compatible with most email marketing tools

You're probably thinking — No way, this is pure market speak. On the contrary, studies show that Mailreef cold emails have higher open rates (42.8%) than others like Outlook (37.5%) and Zoho (28.8%). Numbers don't lie. 

4. Create High-Quality Relevant Content

The rule of thumb in email marketing (and marketing in general) is that the market is always right. Whatever the market desires, the market gets. Therefore, if you want your mass email marketing initiatives to succeed, feed your target audience what they want. 

Content is key. You can have the best offers, but nobody will know about them if you don't package them well.

Before crafting your bulk emails, research your target audience. What do they want? What are their pinpoints? How can your product resolve their problems? Use your answers to these questions to create relevant and compelling content that positions you as the superhero your recipients didn't know they needed.

5. Ensure Your Email Is Visually Appealing

You only have one chance to make a first impression. The more visually appealing your emails are, the higher your chances of attracting and retaining recipients' attention. Therefore, ensure your email designs are as aesthetic as possible. Add images and graphics to break the monotony of paragraphs, and use colors that reinforce your brand's image.

It will also help to keep your layout simple for easy navigation. Break the content using short paragraphs and bullets to make it skimmable. You can also add numbers to highlight offers or discounts. 

6. Optimize for Mobile Devices

According to a recent study by Campaign Monitor, approximately 81% of email recipients open them on smartphones. Simply put, eight out of 10 subscribers will likely open your emails via their phones. Because of this, it's crucial to optimize your email content and layout for all screen sizes. Ensure they're mobile-responsive to give phone users an optimum viewing experience. 

Pros & Cons Of Bulk Emails

Mass mailing has its fair share of pros and cons. Below are a few examples.

Pros Of Bulk Emails

While we typically don't advise customers to send blast emails (especially without implementing bulk email best practices),  below are a few benefits of mass email marketing.

Obtaining A Wider Reach

The most obvious advantage of bulk emailing is that it enables you to reach several people quickly. This approach can be instrumental during peak seasons, such as holidays and festivities when businesses aim to contact as many people as possible. 

The broad reach makes bulk emails relatively cost-effective. They don't require you to conduct several audience studies. Once you've researched your subscribers in the initial outreach, you can use the same information to create other content in future correspondences. Comparatively, if you were to target individual subscribers per outreach, you'd have to start from scratch for each new campaign. 

Creating A Stronger Brand Awareness

Bulk emails enable you to target more recipients more frequently. Because you don't have to conduct audience research for every new campaign, you can use the extra time and effort to create more targeted content. The more subscribers open and read your emails, the more they'll likely familiarize themselves with your business, engage with your content, and resonate with your brand.

Giving You Better Insight Into Your Target Market

In today's digital world, data is the new oil. The more data you have about your customers, the better you'll likely understand them. Bulk emails allow you to target several people simultaneously, helping you track their open, click-through, and open rates. 

This information enables you to identify your prospects' interests, motivations, purchasing behaviors, and other essential traits that you may need to create relevant marketing content.

Cons of Bulk Emails

Now that you understand how bulk emails can improve your email marketing initiatives, let's look at the other side of the coin.

Increasing Your Risk Of Appearing As Spam

The primary aim of bulk emails is to reach as many people as fast as possible. While you might implement email segmentation and content personalization, your campaigns cannot be as relevant as they'd be if you had targeted individual subscribers. As a result, you're less likely to strike the right cords with your audiences. The more irrelevant recipients feel your content is, the higher the chances they'll mark your emails as spam. Doing so can lead to low open rates, affect your deliverability, and decrease your campaigns' overall performance.

Limited Personalization Options

We cannot overstate the significance of targeted content in email marketing. Nothing better grabs and retains recipients' attention than the content you've curated particularly for them. 

Unfortunately, bulk emailing offers very limited customization options. Let's say your mass email marketing campaign seeks to reach 10,000 people. How many days will you need to research them well enough to personalize your email content? You guessed right — it will take a lot of time and effort. Because of this, bulk mail campaigns often have limited degrees of customization. 

Does Mass Cold Emailing Work?

Mass cold emailing is increasingly becoming a popular cold outreach technique. However, experts are yet to agree on whether it works or not.

Proponents of mass cold emailing argue that it's an affordable, effective way to reach extensive audiences quickly. They say casting your net over large water bodies increases your chances of netting more fish. When executed thoughtfully with carefully crafted content targeting segmented lists, mass email marketing can perform as well as personal copies or even better.

Comparatively, critics of bulk emails argue that the strategy is prone to deliverability issues. And reasonably so — while mass email marketing campaigns often involve list segmentation and content personalization, you cannot customize them as well as perfect copies. 

As a result, you cannot miss two or more recipients who feel that your emails are generic and irrelevant. These disgruntled subscribers can block your email address or send your messages to the spam folder. The more this happens, the more email servers will perceive you as a spammer, leading to deliverability issues.

So, who is right — the proponents or critics? In all honesty, both sides are right. Bulk cold emailing can be a curse or a blessing to your campaigns. It all depends on how you plan and implement it. 

How Do I Send A Mass Email Without Getting Flagged?

Below are a few bulk email guidelines to help you ensure your bulk emails don't end up in spam folders:

Build & Maintain Targeted Email Lists

Bulk emails often end up in spam folders because they target the wrong people. The solution is developing and maintaining organic email lists from scratch. Avoid shortcuts like email address mining or buying—instead, only target recipients who willingly subscribe to your email marketing lists.

It also helps to implement a double opt-in strategy to filter out spam traps or subscribers who might have joined your list by mistake. Before rolling out your campaign, send new subscribers links, asking them to confirm their subscription. 

We know this sounds ridiculous. It goes against the bulk emailing fundamental principle of targeting as many people as possible. While this is true, implementing a double opt-in process is a great way to ensure you only target individuals with genuine interest in your messages. Doing so can reduce the likelihood of spam complaints from your recipients, enhancing your sender reputation. 

Maintaining email list hygiene is not a one-time process. You should continually clean your email lists by removing outdated or invalid addresses. Review your email service provider's reports and campaigns' performances to identify unresponsive sections of your email list or those with consistent bounces. Next, ask them to opt-out or remove them from your end.

Ensure Your Email Content Is Relevant & Engaging

We have already mentioned this a million times — content is key. Before you click that send button, ensure you've created the most engaging and relevant content possible. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this:

  • Use compelling subject lines: Subject lines give recipients a sneak peek of what to expect in your email. Keep them brief, intriguing, and relevant to the email content. Also, do not write them in all caps or add excessive punctuation.
  • Customize your email body: Email content personalization isn't just about adding subscribers' names in the salutations. No, it goes beyond this. Ensure every information in your email body is relevant to your recipients' behaviors, demographics, locations, purchase histories, and preferences. 
  • Leverage bullet points, images, and statistics: Long blocks of text can make your emails challenging to read, turning away potential customers. Make your email more appealing by subdividing its body using short paragraphs and bullet points. You can also make your content more engaging by adding statistics to support your claims or quantify your offers.

Segment Your Email List

Different audience members have varying preferences or degrees of interest in your products. Therefore, segmenting your email lists is crucial to ensure your messages are as relevant to recipients as possible. Segmentation is vital even when selling the same product to audiences with similar demographics. You can pool responsive recipients and target them with hard sales pitches as you massage the rest with less direct campaign messages. 

Optimize Your Sending Frequency

While Mailreef allows businesses to send unlimited emails daily, you should not bombard your subscribers with too many emails. Besides harming user experience, doing so can trigger spam filters. The best approach is to start with a few daily emails as you monitor engagement metrics. Once you've established rapport with recipients and created a good sender reputation, you can gradually increase your sending frequency. 

Authenticate Your Emails

When sending bulk emails, some email servers can mistakenly think you're a malicious cyber actor sending spam emails. However, with a DKIM or SPF authentication, you can verify that your emails are genuine and distinguish yourself from the bad guys. 

Doing so can also differentiate you from malicious characters that may try to spoof your address, giving you the legitimacy you require for optimum deliverability.

Offer Clear Opt-Out Methods

The CAN-SPAM Act requires all cold email marketers to provide precise opt-out mechanisms for all their emails. Besides being a compliance objective, offering opt-out mechanisms can reduce the chances of subscribers marking your messages as spam. The fewer spam reports you get, the higher your sender reputation becomes.

Is It Illegal To Send Out Mass Emails?

The short answer is — No, it is not illegal to send mass emails. However, you can find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you violate the following laws during your mass email marketing campaigns.

  • The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act: The US Congress enacted this law in 2003 to safeguard email users from unsolicited spam messages. It requires you to include your physical postal address in your cold email outreaches and to offer an explicit opt-out mechanism. It also prohibits deceptive subject lines and the harvesting of email addresses.
  • GDPR (General Data Protection) Act: If your email campaigns target audiences in the European Union, your mass emails must abide by this law. It stipulates that before your outreach involves processing recipients' data, you must have their direct or implied consent.
  • CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation): Like the CAN-SPAM Act, this law requires cold emailers to identify themselves and offer opt-out mechanisms. It also requires you to obtain consent before sending anyone commercial emails.


As your business grows, you'll want to reach more people in the shortest time possible — making it impossible to avoid bulk emailing. When that time comes, remember that mass emailing is a sensitive venture with a narrow line between success and flopping. However, with the above bulk email best practices, you can hack it. We wish you all the best!

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