There is nothing worse than seeing your hard work end up in the trash. And that’s exactly what happens when your polished email campaign that took you a week to perfect gets filtered to the junk folder.

As a small business owner, you know that getting the right message in front of the right audience can make or break you. And when you see your emails getting sorted into junk after you’ve followed all the usual rules and built a fully credible email list, you might be wondering what else you’re supposed to do?

The truth is, landing in the junk folder isn’t always your fault. Especially when popular email providers are constantly updating their terms with secretive new ways to protect, flag, and eliminate legitimate spammers (even if that means a few honest senders get caught in the crosshairs). Luckily for you there are some nontraditional ways take back control and empower yourself when it comes to deliverability. It all starts with knowing a bit more about why you might be encountering this problem.

Here are three lesser-known reasons why your emails are being filtered to the junk folder – and some ideas for what you can do about it.

Your inbox usage is inconsistent.

Just like how your credit usage plays a large role in your financial credibility over time, so does your inbox usage. Even if you’ve cleared your message of spammy verbiage, blacklisted domain links, and large image files, your email might be filtered into the junk folder simply for being one of a few dozen more than what you usually send. For this reason, it’s important that you consider how many emails you typically send per day, per week, and per month from your account.

If it’s unusual for you to send 100 emails in a day, try segmenting your list by priority and sending messages in small batches spread out over time. And if you tend to email your list weekly or monthly, try to keep that date as consistent as possible too. Any actions involving your email that are statistically out of the ordinary could be working against you.

Your email list has some duds.

So you’ve already created a two-step opt-in process for subscribers who have interacted with your business before and have confirmed on multiple occasions that yes, they want to hear from you again in the form of an email. So what gives?

Chalk it up to human error. The most common instances of perfectly compliant emails getting filtered into the junk folder often involve a list that needs a little extra elbow grease. Unbeknownst to you, some recipients may have ditched their old emails, gotten a new job, or even updated their address to reflect a recent name change. Keeping them on your list leads to lower engagement percentages, a big red flag to email providers who would rather your audience be more enthusiastic about your messages.

Go through your analytics to see who hasn’t interacted with your emails recently. Send a follow-up email to ask if they’d still like to hear from you. If you don’t hear back, wipe them from the list. You can also use a variety of email verification programs to double check the legitimacy of your contacts and get rid of those pesky bot addresses that will also decrease engagement over time.

Sales and marketing platforms can make this a super easy chore. For instance, Hatchbuck monitors engagement and lead score – so you can scrub unengaged contacts from your list without any guesswork.

Your email signature is getting flagged.

Believe it or not, your logo might be what’s kicking your emails to the curb. If you include an image file in your email signature, regardless of its size, ruthless junk filters might see it as spam. One way to test this out is by temporarily removing your logo from the signature and comparing your open rates before and after. Another way is to use an email signature app like WiseStamp that can customize and add a professional signature for you. It will work with your email provider rather than against it. Simply install the add-on and use it directly inside your inbox.

It’s also common knowledge that including your physical address in an email message can help prevent it from being filtered into the junk folder. If you haven’t tried it already, add it to your signature and monitor any changes in future campaigns. Most email marketing tools – including Hatchbuck – include your address in the footer of all of your email templates, making it super simple to check this box.

There are many ways to prevent emails from being filtered to junk.

When it comes to ensuring your email campaigns land in the right places, there are lots of things to keep in mind. The benefits of knowing exactly how and why your emails ended up in the junk folder are fairly obvious, but the choice to execute these changes is up to you. Optimizing your email doesn’t have to be a mysterious or confusing process. As a business owner or marketer, it’s mission critical for your marketing and sales efforts to have a reliable method of contacting your potential customers through email. Since most of these solutions are low or no cost methods, gaining virtual trust and credibility is as easy as updating your settings.

Even knowing one of these reasons why your email is being filtered to the junk folder can save you some costly headaches in the long run. As you continue to improve your email marketing skills, an all-in-one CRM and marketing tool can add the extra leverage you need increase engagement with customers and better your business.