3 Keys to Avoiding the Dreaded Spam Folder

Today’s email services are hypersensitive to a certain four-letter word: SPAM. And it’s not just your clients that you need to worry about; its your clients, your customers, your users, your bread and butter.

It’s important to get your emails to inboxes, and do everything you can to keep them from the SPAM folder. I will go over 3 key factors of keeping your message out of the abyss.

Reputation

This is the most important factor of deliverability. It doesn’t matter how perfect your email is formatted, how low the image-area to text-area ratio is or how few links you provide, if your email is being sent from a bad address, domain, or IP, your email may never make it to the SPAM folder, let alone their inbox.

Quick Fixes

Get a new IP. The effects of this are almost instantly apparent. If you’re using a local relay, you can probably have your hosting provider switch your files to another server. If you’re able to, though, I would suggest using an external SMTP service for sending emails. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the 3 best options are Amazon SES, SendGrid and Mandrill, each of which have free plans for low volume.

Send from a different address. If this was the cause of your filtering, it will also be immediately noticeable. This is as simple as just changing the from address of your emails. If you pay per inbox, I suggest using a reply-to and setting it to your old email address for those who reply to the email you send.

Get a new domain. This is a drastic measure. Hopefully it doesn’t come to this, but if it does, get another domain and try and keep it in your brand. If abctools.com is getting blocked by email providers, register abctoolsmarketing.com, and again, provide a reply-to header in your emails so you don’t have to monitor two separate email accounts.


Authentication

This is an amazing way to keep spammers from using your email address and ruining your domain and address reputation. There are two main ways to authenticate, and I would suggest always doing both.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

SPF is an email validation system that allows only certain IP address to be authorized to send using your domain name. This doesn’t spammers and unauthorized senders CAN’T send emails with your domain, but they have a very little chance of getting through as most email providers block unauthorized emails. You can use this free SPF generator to make your own record.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

If you are sending email through a 3rd party system (like SendGrid or Mandrill), you will need to add a DKIM record at the DNS level. This will keep your email from ending up in the SPAM folder because it comes from a server that isn’t the same as your MX records. This is certainly a bit more involved, though you can find good support from your email service provider.


SPAM Score

This is very important because most email providers use email pre-processors to determine the probability that an email is SPAM. If you score too high on these, your email will not get through to the inbox, and if your score is horrendous, it won’t even make it to the SPAM folder.

Quick Fix

There is no fix other than testing and fixing the violations. We have written a spam checking utility for this. It’s very simple to use, and best of all, it’s free! (Click the link below!)

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SpamCheck by Visit Metrix

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