Realtors: Keeping your emails out of spam filters

When you follow up with leads who contact you via your website or lead generation tools, most of you are falling victim to a hidden, unseen trap: getting caught in the spam filter.

Most modern email clients are now pretty aggressive when filtering out what they think are junk or spammy emails. That means your lead conversion rates suffer, and you rarely even know it’s happening.

Here are the top 5 ways to keep your emails out of spam filters:

  1. Never use all caps – Ever see those emails that scream at you like an infomercial? Yeah, just avoid it altogether and get into the habit of leaving out exclamation points. Most professional style guides and experts suggest never using exclamatory language when doing business correspondence anyway.
  2. Don’t use “trigger words” in your email subject or body – Anytime you use words like “free,” “limited time,” “best,” “sale,” “going fast” or “guaranteed” (especially on the subject line), you run the risk of getting spam filtered. Now, this is especially important for real estate agents as words like “sale” and “top” and “best” are found naturally in the kinds of emails you send. Try learning to use other words and phrases that say the same things, but are not these exact words.
  3. Clean up your email body – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen real estate agent emails sent out with mixed fonts, bold, colored font and lots of typos. Make sure your emails are all the same font type and size, stay away from highlighting and make certain to spell-check. This is especially important in this line of work as many of you regularly send out home deals and listings. A big portion of your emails is likely never reaching its target. Sign up for free tools like and to make sure what you’re sending is high-quality.
  4. Never embed or attach – Got a form from your lead generation tool that you keep plugging into your emails? Attaching a big PDF of latest listings or new neighborhood brochures to your monthly newsletters? Chances are a very big portion of your emails are getting spam filtered. Attachments such as PDFs, Word docs, and spreadsheets are filtered out by almost every email client worth its salt, especially for contacts that have never emailed each other or who do so rarely.
  5. Don’t stuff your emails with photos – Agents are prone to attaching or pasting-in lots of photos and video tours right into their emails. Not only are the emails unreadable and hard to load, but they’re like big flashing warning signs for spam filters. Just use links back to your website or shared file systems like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Remember, every chance you have to “touch” a client or lead is precious. Less than 1% on average of your new contacts will become leads at all, so that means you need to make your chances count. Get caught in the spam or junk folder and your average drops even lower.

Keep your emails simple, personal and to the point. Write naturally, as if you’re writing to a family member. Re-read your emails three times before they go out. If they sound at all like an infomercial change it before you send. Your conversion rate will improve. Guaranteed.

More Helpful Resources for You

What is Spam? –

How Spam Filters Work –

10 More Tips for Avoiding Spam Filters –

Top Tip for Lead Success

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About the Author

Jason Polancich

Jason Polancich

Jason Polancich is a founder and lead architect of HomePocket, a data-driven, residential real estate marketing and lead generation network making big data work practically and usefully for agents. Polancich also originally created SurfWatch Labs, a cyber analytics firm founded in 2013 that provides highly accurate, timely and actionable information to businesses regarding the cybercrime threats they face. Polancich is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex internet commerce, data analysis, and cyber-defense problems. Novii Design, a company he co-founded in 2005 with Rebekah Lewis-Polancich, was based on his contributions to cloud architectures, distributed computing, data analysis and systems integration. The company assisted the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors. Novii Design was sold to Six3/CACI in 2010.

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