How to get the emails delivered, opened and read has always been the subject matter of vital importance for internet marketers….or specifically, those involve with email marketing campaign.
One of the major problems would be those resulting from email filtering by ISPs and blocking on suspicion of spamming. I supposed there are two major aspects to this:
- Message contents and quality of list
- Email authentication
While item 1 on Message Contents and Quality of email listing is important, we shall nevertheless not discuss this within this writeup, but instead focus more on item 2 in regards what needed to be done in Email Authentication.
What is meant by email authentication?
This is about authentication between the sender and the recipient’s ISP (or receiver) so that the recipient’s ISP can recognise incoming email message automatically. Usually the authentication can be done in any of the following ways:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
- Reverse DNS Lookup
- Sender ID
In this way your opt-in email messages would not be constantly blocked by recipient’s ISP, otherwise you would need to adjust your authentication records.
A little bit of explanation would certainly help in the understanding of things:
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – SPF is an open-standard created to stop forgery of the “FROM” addresses. We generally are aware that majority of the spam emails are sent from forged email addresses thus the one great way is to enable the RECEIVER’s host server to easily verify that the emails that you send are actually from the server that those emails assert them to be sent from…”it is like the email sender is telling the receiver that he or she is sending those emails from this computer only….” Thus, if any other computer is being utilised to send the email from the same domain, the receiver’s mail server would identify that this “FROM email address” is forged!
SPF is currently used by ISP such as hotmail, yahoo, AOL, etc You can either set up the SPF records in the following manner:
But I would suppose this process can be tedious… I therefore am very particular with my hosting company, which in my case preferred BLUEHOST.COM (check it out)
Enable reverse DNS (or reverse DNS Lookup) on your mailhost – a reverse DNS lookup is about determining what host and domain name belong to a given IP address. If a reverse DNS lookup returns a “no domain associated”, then the email will likely bounce to the sender or will be filtered, or in some cases, deleted.
This method should involve certain simple steps:
- do not send email directly from your home computer (always use an STMP server whenever possible)
- do not send emails from a crappy shared hosting server for a small monthly fee – get a better host like BLUEHOST.com and request them to enable reverse DNS lookup.
Set up Domain Keys – This setting up process often follows the setup of your reverse DNS records. What is Domain Keys? “Domain Keys” is an email authentication system designed to verify the DNS domain of an email sender and the message integrity – in simple terms, the domain keys system checks if the email is really sent from the domain it claims to be sent from.
By installing this domain keys, you will be able to help your server deliver your emails directly to the recipient’s Inbox. Again BLUEHOST.COM has this feature enabled all the time, thus no fuss about getting this important things done….
Domain Keys authentication is currently used by Yahoo and Gmail, thus if your mailhost does not have Domain keys installed your emails sent to Yahoo and Gmail will be subject to a much more thorough filtering, and ended up in the Spammer box instead.
Setting up Sender ID – is an option really, the first three setups would have reasonably done the job. Sender ID is an email authentication technology that validates the origin of email messages by verifying the sender’s IP address against the supposed owner of the domain the email is sent from.
The Sender ID authentication algorithm addresses the problem of forging email messages headers by verifying the domain name from which the emails are sent.
Other aspects that may further help in improving your email deliverability rate:
- Check your email server’s IP address against DNS based blacklists – MX Lookup is a common tool and you can click to test it out.
- Whitelist your server with ISPs
I hope the above writeup makes good reading and able to help your better appreciate why emails that you have had sent ended up in the spammer box.