• Justin

    I’ve been using Tout for a bit now and haven’t noticed a problem yet. I’ve been concerned about how it’d trigger spam filters. I’ve had concerns that the more people who use it, the more likely it is to trigger spam filters as time goes on. All the emails are sent via “” so the more people using the service to spam, could impact campaigns. I think I got in relatively “early” but there are a lot of link builders using and testing it now.

    I don’t do email in massive numbers and often write fairly customized emails, so this may help me with not getting marked as spam often. My open rates for my last campaign were fairly good.

    I don’t know if your sample size is big enough to make a solid comparison, but I’d love to see the test done with a larger sample size. I’d definitely make a switch if it was the service causing a problem. I should be doing an infographic launch in a few weeks, so I could maybe contribute some data. Were any of the responses from the 3rd test from the web form submissions? I’d suspect web form submissions get a different open rate than cold emails. Web forms might also change subject and sent from email address, so it adds other variables into the test. (It’d be nice to know if it’s the triggering, the email name / domain sending from, or the language of the email.)

    I agree that having tracking codes plus some other tell tell signs of spam could trigger a spam flag.

    I think it could be avoided more in your future tests. Such as not using the word “Test” because it gets caught in spam filters.

    The phishing trigger is definitely something worth knowing about.

    Thanks for bringing light to this though. I’m going to test it out on my next outreach campaign. :)

  • Asim

    @Justin, I would be interested to see your results, I am testing out the Tout application as well for our email outreach (really wish Buzzstream would have a tracking system similar to Tout hmmm..) But yea I usually customize all or 90% of the emails we send out, so I am wondering if customizing vs automation using Tout plays a role in the spam filters.

  • Andrew

    Interesting post. However, how do you know that these metrics are poor when you have no previous baseline to compare them to? Also, these numbers are far from being statistically significant in anyway. It will be interesting to see how Tout addresses the spam filter issue as volume of users and emails sent increases. It’s a constant battle.

  • Wil Reynolds

    Andrew, its definitely not a statistically significant sample, but you know the SEER way, when we see something we share it with the community. We could wait 2-3 months, but this early snapshot gave us reason to say, lets let people know about this, so they can draw their own conclusions / tests.

  • Michelle Noonan

    Justin, would love to see what you get from your own tests. My sample size is definitely not statistically significant, but we felt it enough to share.
    A break down of the manual outreach. Of the 5 emails, I had 2 responses, and of the 2 web forms, I had 1 response.

  • TK (Founder and Tout)

    First of all, let me just say that we’re extremely happy about the fact that we’ve been embraced by the SEO/Link Building community. We love you guys and want to help you.

    After looking at your numbers, I decided to look at our own stats. Here’s what I found:

    We’ve processed over 80,000 emails through our system. About 60% of those emails sent registered some sort of view or click event. On average, emails sent through Tout average about 3 view/click events.

    What does this all mean? In our opinion, it means that people are indeed seeing great engagement on the emails sent through our system.

    Needless to say, things aren’t perfect. We’ve been working hard to bring you shorter redirect links, better guides to ensure you write your emails and links in a way that does not trigger spam filters, and have even launched the Template Library ( to help people share knowledge around what kind of emails work and what kinds do not. We’re even working on a Gmail integration so Tout emails go through *your* email server to further eliminate any possible spam issues — at the same time, our email servers maintain a 97% reputation rating and we kick out anyone that abuses the system.


    In my opinion, switching back to manually writing emails is clearly not the answer. Making Tout work better for you and your cause is — just email us with your thoughts and ideas and we’ll work with you to make it happen:

    Also, I’m also available to talk personally about anything you have in mind related to Tout or Email Outreach, my email is: