How to fix emails going to SPAM - Part 1
Have you ever had your emails end up in the SPAM folder of the recipient? The truth is that a surprisingly high number of companies have probably experienced this at one point through their existence.
Even though you might write a very eloquent, well-structured email that is grammatically and lexically correct, it could still end up being labeled as SPAM. But why?
The truth is that the different SPAM filters and systems can’t really determine your intentions. Despite trying your best to write an informative and legitimate email, SPAM detection algorithms utilize patterns and factors that you might not even be aware of.
In this first entry of our series of articles related to SPAM, we are going to discuss why your emails might be ending up being flagged as such as well as some useful tips and tricks that you can utilize to prevent this from happening in the first place!
Adjust your SPF, DKIM & PTR records
The SPF record is designed to protect your domain from spammers sending emails on your behalf. While this technique does not directly relate to your emails ending up in SPAM, it can positively influence your image and credibility when it comes to outbound email servers.
If you want to get to know SPF in more detail, how to create such a record and verify it, you can check out our tutorial on how to create and manage a SPF record.
DKIM (or DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a widely used security standard. Its primary purpose is to ensure that your emails are not modified, changed or altered during transit between your sending mail server and the recipient.
Creating and maintaining a viable DKIM record allows you to have better overall security, which will again prevent your emails being flagged as SPAM. Similarly to SPF records, we also have a detailed tutorial on how to create a DKIM record, which will walk you through all of the necessary steps so that you can easily complete the setup process.
Finally, we want to discuss PTR records, which are also commonly referred to as RDNS. A PTR record is a specific type DNS record type, where a given IP address points to a given domain (host) name.
It is also a crucial and inseparable part of creating a secure and credible mail server, which will ultimately reduce the chances of your emails being flagged as SPAM. You can check out our tutorial on how to set a PTR record which will also guide you through each and every step.
Prior technical experience isn’t necessarily required as the aforementioned tutorials are quite user-friendly and easy to follow. Because of this, you should definitely invest some time and effort into properly setting up all of these records because, as we already mentioned, their proper implementation will help you gain credibility.
Make sure your email server’s IP is not blacklisted
In addition to the records that we covered, SPAM algorithms are also constantly performing checks on your email server’s IP address.
There are literally millions of email addresses, which are all used for different purposes on a daily basis. Due to their sheer volume, SPAM-detecting patterns have developed the so-called email blacklists, which contain email addresses that have been previously reported for SPAM or that have violated some online policies.
Such emails have lost their reputation due to the fact that they have been sending unwanted emails with inappropriate or irrelevant content.
If your email server’s IP has been identified as such and has been blacklisted, we suggest you try to delist it as quickly as possible, as that can severely damage your credibility and reputation. Have a more in-depth look at the content that you are sending and the people you are reaching out to. Also, make sure to check that your messages aren’t being intercepted and changed prior to arriving at the recipient’s inbox.
There are a few tools to check the reputation of your IP address with one good example being MXToolBox.
Ensure your email server supports TLS authentication
Emails across the Web are sent thanks to the SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. By design, this protocol is not encrypted, meaning that information that it transfers can be easily read and extracted.
What adds the extra layer of encryption to online emails is known as TLS - Transport Level Security. This encryption allows the message to only be viewed by the intended recipient, preventing unauthorized access along the way.
Because of this, you need to ensure that your application, website, CMS and of course - email server, all support TLS authentication. This will improve your overall security and reputation.
Use a custom personal or business email address
We have all received promotional emails coming from free email services like Gmail or Yahoo. While there is nothing wrong with utilizing a free email service, this does damage your credibility.
Instead, if you already have a website or a Web hosting account, create a custom email address using your domain name. This will not only help you build authority and credibility, but can also boost your email engagement and opening rate.
You can also have a quick read through our article on the importance of having a custom business email as there are quite a few extra benefits that come with it.
Domain age & reputation
Domain age and reputation are the final 2 factors that we want to touch upon in this article. As with SEO, these parameters are crucial when it comes to credibility and authority.
Usually, SPAM sending domains are relatively new due to the fact that spammers tend to buy a domain name and start sending flooding messages immediately.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be sending out emails if you have just purchased a domain for your business, website or application. It is just crucial to remember to carefully construct your emails and to tweak all of the aforementioned SPF, DKIM and PTR record settings while also checking that your mail server isn’t present in any of the most popular blacklists online.
Ultimately, combining all of these suggestions will reduce the probability of your emails ending up in the SPAM folder.
In the second part of this article series, we are going to provide you with some more useful tips on how to construct your email in order to avoid your emails being ruled out as SPAM.