Are your emails ending up in SPAM? See if you can do something about it!
SPAM is any message that is unsolicited. By design, such messages do not reach the recipient. They can be blocked at several stages, between sending and delivery. However, the email system does not work perfectly. Some valuable mail ends up in SPAM, while unwanted offers arrive in the inbox. Can something be done about this?
SPAM, this SPAM everywhere
Yes, it’s true – we are surrounded not only by pushy advertising messages, but also by unsolicited messages. But what does SPAM mean? For everyone it will be completely different. A message that will interest one person, someone else will define as useless. In general, it is the user who decides what is SPAM and what is not.
When can an email message be identified as SPAM?
You think it only takes a moment from sending the email to delivery? Maybe the whole process happens in the blink of an eye, but there are a few stages at which, before a virtual letter reaches its addressee, it may be marked as SPAM.
The message may be marked as SPAM:
- still on the sender’s server,
- by the server room where the sender’s server is located,
- on the recipient’s server.
You know what’s most interesting about all this? You, as the sender of the email, have negligible influence on whether the email gets flagged as SPAM or safely reaches the recipient.
Why are some messages marked as SPAM and others not?
Various filters and specialized software are responsible for categorizing emails into valuable and unwanted ones. Below you will find some examples:
- IP Reputation,
- SPF, DKIM, DMARC Verification,
- Email syntax analysis,
- Email content analysis,
Want to find out what these projects are? Take a peek at this post.
What is mail deliverability and can it be improved?
Mail deliverability allows you to determine how many of the emails you sent were delivered and how many ended up in SPAM. This value is expressed as a percentage. If you are an email sender, you probably care about the ratio being as high as possible.
There are mechanisms that can positively influence the increase of your deliverability rate, but they will not guarantee your success. It is worth getting to know them, especially if your professional success depends on delivering as many messages as possible to your audience.
They can be helpful in authenticating the message you are sending, provided of course that you configure everything correctly.
SPF, DKIM and DMARC records
Using text records, you are able to authenticate the message you are sending. Among other things, they are a guarantee that the email was actually sent by you and not by an external user who uses your mailbox to send SPAM.
Security features include:
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework),
- DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail),
- DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance).
You can learn more about records in the text What is SPF, DKIM and DMARC?
Server IP and reputation
If the reputation of the server from which you are sending e‑mails is low, it is very likely that they will be treated as SPAM. How to verify the server reputation? You can use one of the following tools:
These will let you know if the domain you are using is not on backlists.
More and more often not only technical aspects have an influence on whether a particular message will be considered valuable or will be classified as spam. Modern anti-spam systems use behavioral filters to select emails. They draw conclusions about which emails are worth delivering, based on the recipient’s behavior.
Every engagement, even the slightest one, will work in your favor. Even such a small reaction as opening the message will be a sign that the user is interested in it. Similarly, moving the message to another folder and any other action performed by the recipient will work.
If you want to increase the deliverability of the messages you send, then:
- Avoid attachments, images and links to external sites – some spam filters reduce the credibility of the message based on these,
- Remember that the first sentence of the e‑mail (preheader) should encourage the reader to read the message,
- Group your audience into those who open messages from you and those who skip them,
- remove people who do not want to receive newsletters from you from your subscriber list, otherwise they may mark incoming emails as SPAM.
And finally, one more note. If you have both transactional and marketing emails going out from your mailing address, use separate software to send them. Why is this a good solution? If even a newsletter with a promotion is not opened by too many users, this situation will not translate into a lower ratio of transactional emails.
How do I know if an email I am sending may be classified as SPAM?
There is a way to do it – check software that will check if there is a high probability that the messages you send will end up in SPAM. Programs such as mail-tester.com will verify not only the content of the e‑mail, but also technical issues (correctness of SPF, DKIM, DMARC records settings, outgoing mail servers).
You’ve learned a few ways to increase the likelihood of your messages being delivered to their intended recipients. However, keep in mind that the final decision on whether an e‑mail will be marked as SPAM lies with the recipient.
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