Sales Calls Are Showing Up As Spam Likely? We got you covered.
October 13, 2023 / Written by Angela Garfinkel


Navigating the challenges of making outbound sales calls while ensuring they don’t get labeled as spam is both an art and a science. There's no hard-fast rule, but rather rough guidelines and tips to avoid the dreaded "Spam Likely" designation. Especially, because it can reduce your answer rate by over 90%...

This article delves into the intricacies of crafting a legitimate and trustworthy cold calling strategy ensuring your outreach remains credible and effective.


How to Avoid Spam Likely On Your Sales Calls

When your phone buzzes and "Spam Likely" flashes on the screen, what's your instinct? A prompt swipe to decline, presumably. This automated tagging rolled out to help shield users from potentially disruptive or malicious calls. Yet, amidst this protective layer, legitimate businesses often find themselves erroneously classified and it halts any outbound sales efforts.

Understanding what propels your calls into the "Spam Likely" abyss is critical. Factors like brief call durations, low answer rates, swift dialing, subpar attestation levels, abrupt volume spikes, and poor list quality are notorious culprits. Each of these not only tarnishes your caller ID reputation but also dilutes your connection with potential clients and partners.


III. Decoding "Spam Likely" Triggers

A. Length of Call: Abiding by the unwritten etiquette of telecommunication, short calls, especially those under 10 seconds, often signify disinterest or an abrupt disconnection. When carriers detect a pattern of such brief interactions, it becomes a blaring red flag, signaling potential spam activity.

B. Answer Rates: The frequency with which calls are answered indirectly alludes to the relevancy and acceptance of your calls among recipients. Anomalously low answer rates may suggest that recipients are deliberately ignoring calls, tipping carriers towards presumptions of spam.

C. Dialing Velocity: In the era of automation, dialing speed is a significant indicator. When a number is churning through a hefty list, making perhaps a thousand calls a day, it naturally falls under suspicion. Carriers deem this high-velocity outreach as indicative of automated spam calls, pushing them into the "Spam Likely" category.

Navigating through each of these triggers requires strategic planning, accurate data analysis, and meticulous execution.

D. Attestation Levels: Navigating through the depths of outbound calling necessitates understanding attestation levels, especially within the STIR/SHAKEN framework. Low attestation levels - often categorized as "B" or "C" levels within STIR/SHAKEN - can substantially impair your caller ID's reputation. Carriers prioritize calls signed with "A" attestation, a badge of authenticity and legitimacy in the caller ID landscape, thereby reducing the chances of being flagged as spam. Integrating STIR/SHAKEN into your call management system and ensuring an "A" attestation should be considered a cornerstone in establishing reliable communication channels and maintaining robust connectivity with your audience. Contact us to learn how we can help you with this.

E. Cold Numbers: The terrain of cold numbers is tricky and demands cautious progression. Carriers scrutinize numbers that manifest large spikes in call volume, especially if they are unfamiliar or 'cold' within their system. Establishing trust with carriers begins with a slow and steady increase in your call volumes, thereby circumventing outlier detection systems. It’s imperative to understand that trust-building is gradual; initiating with lower call volumes and incrementally amplifying them provides a pathway to credibility without awakening the “Spam Likely” alert.

F. List Quality: The caliber of your call list is paramount in safeguarding your calls from falling into the abyss of spam. Engaging in calls to idle, non-existent, unassigned, or malformed numbers sends a glaring signal to carriers about the lack of value and relevancy in your outreach. Immaculate list management, which includes consistent updating and validation of numbers, ensures that your calls are targeted, relevant, and significantly more likely to be welcomed. A meticulously managed list not only amplifies the success rate of your calls but also serves as a testament to your commitment towards value-driven communication, thereby distancing your calls from being perceived as spam.


The Impact of "Spam Likely" on Businesses

Let's delve into the repercussions from a business standpoint. A label of "Spam Likely" doesn’t merely decrease answer rates – it actively chips away at your brand's credibility. When your calls are perpetually ignored, you’re not only grappling with diminished client interactions but also contending with the cascading financial implications.

A. Client and Prospect Interaction Challenges: A Quality Voice & Data study reveals a staggering 95% of calls tagged as spam are left unanswered. For businesses, this isn’t merely a statistic; it's a detrimental reality that obfuscates communication with potential clients and prospects.

B. Financial Implications: The monetary facet cannot be disregarded. Investing in phone number lists is hardly economical, and when calls go unanswered, businesses find themselves plunging further into financial strain, compelled to purchase even larger lists to marginally boost successful connections.

The nexus between efficient cold calling and avoiding the “Spam Likely” label is unequivocally intertwined. As we advance further into this article, the subtleties of establishing a robust, spam-free cold calling strategy will unravel.


Strategies to Avoid "Spam Likely"

So, how does one deftly navigate through the potential pitfalls of cold calling without spiraling into the “Spam Likely” vortex?

A. Gradual Build-up of Call Volumes: Start slow, establish credibility, and then incrementally amplify your call volumes. A sudden spike is a red flag for carriers, hence a meticulously paced build-up circumvents triggering spam algorithms.

B. Maintaining Optimal Dialing Velocity: Establish a dialing velocity that aligns with conventional human dialing patterns, eschewing the rapid-fire approach of automated dialers which often catapult calls straight into spam territory.

C. Ensuring High-Quality Call Lists: An immaculate call list isn’t merely a tool; it’s a strategy. By assuring that your calls are directed towards relevant, active numbers, you subvert carrier suspicions and enhance the probability of successful connections.

D. Engaging Call Content: Engage recipients with pertinent, valuable content, thereby elongating call durations and evading the short-call trap.

E. Partnering with STIR/SHAKEN Providers: A professional partnership with authorized STIR/SHAKEN providers not only ensures compliance but also empowers your calls with the coveted "A" attestation, bolstering credibility. Quality Voice & Data are industry leaders in this regard.

C. Navigating Regulatory Frameworks: Understanding and adhering to regulatory frameworks safeguard your operations against potential legal quagmires, ensuring your calling strategies are always within legal and ethical bounds.



Navigating the tumultuous terrains of cold calling while keeping the “Spam Likely” label at bay is an intricate ballet of strategic planning, technological adaptation, and adherence to protocols like STIR/SHAKEN. The cardinality of legitimate, transparent communication cannot be overstated, especially in an era where digital trust is fragile. Your commitment to maintaining a clean Caller ID reputation isn’t merely a strategy; it’s a testament to your brand’s integrity and customer-centric approach.

Through an amalgamation of understanding spam triggers, adherence to STIR/SHAKEN protocols, strategic call management, and leveraging technology, you erect a formidable defense against the “Spam Likely” tag, ensuring your calls find their mark, and your voice is heard.

In this endeavor, your dedication to maintaining ethical, transparent, and customer-centric communication transcends strategy; it embodies your commitment to forging genuine connections in a digital world teeming with impersonal interactions.


Contact our team today to learn how we can help - Schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Written by Angela Garfinkel

Angela Garfinkel, Director at Quality Voice and Data, brings over 30 years of experience in call center and business process outsourcing. Well known in the telemarketing and telecommunications industry, she co-authored a course for The Direct Marketing Association and actively participates in professional groups like PACE. Her educational background includes an MBA and an undergraduate degree in Telecommunications Management from the University of Nebraska.