Usually, the simplest answer is: use a specialized service — it takes care of the technical and the most complicated side of things (SPF, DKIM records, and IP reputation). However, if you want to learn things the hard way, you can read this guide.
- Three Issues that Influence Email Reputation
- Technical Settings
- Email Content and Design
- Reactions to Your Bulk Emails
- How to Track the Spam Level of Your Emails
Three Issues that Influence Email Reputation
- Technical settings
- Email content and design
- Recipients’ reaction to your bulk emails
Correctly format headers
First of all, emails should undergo an accuracy checkout of SPF-record and DKIM-signature. SPF-record must be present in the domain of DNS and allow email sending on behalf of the domain’s name from a certain IP-address. DKIM identifies a sender.
Ensure the email underwent a checkout
To ensure if the email underwent SPF and DKIM checkout, open its headers in your email client, find "Authentication-Results" and make sure there is “pass” after SPF and DKIM. This means that the email underwent a checkout.
In Gmail it looks like this:
Use a special header
Use a header “precedence:bulk” in bulk emails for people to know what you send.
Include an Unsubscribe Link
Be sure to include an unsubscribe link in the email. It should be easy-to-see, have adequate size and font color.
If you don't add an unsubscribe link, SendPulse will do it automatically to keep your mailing list active.
Collect a legitimate mailing list
Never buy mailing lists from other companies. Recipients on purchased lists are more likely to mark your email as spam because they may be not interested in your emails. Collect your client base (mailing list) with the help of a subscribe link and double opt-in. This approach implies registration and subsequent email campaign in case a user confirms the accuracy of the data. A user receives a confirmation email with the link. This way, your client base will contain only valid and legal addresses.
All subscription forms created with SendPulse use double-opt-in confirmation.
Now, when you have subscribers on a list, send them email campaigns to maintain the relationships.
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The reputation of the IP-address and domain
Your sender’s reputation consists of 2 components: the reputation of the IP-address and the reputation of your domain.
Bulk emails sent via our service have an excellent reputation due to the domain's authority. If you want to be fully responsible for your reputation, you can buy a dedicated IP-address and link it with your domain.
If you are using a free email account (like Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) as a sender address, by default, your emails are authenticated with digital signatures of SendPulse to improve deliverability.
But if you are using a corporate email account as the sender address, it is highly recommended to set up DKIM and SPF for your corporate email domain. Once you set up SPF and DKIM for your domain and keep following the best mass mailing practices, you will develop a good sender reputation for that domain and for that email account, which should result in increasing the deliverability of your email campaigns.
Email Content and Design
Avoid using spam-like words
Don't use suspicious links and attachments
Links are vital. If a link leads to a questionable resource, it will be blocked. Don’t put links in the subject line and avoid shortened links, which may be viewed as a fraud.
The same goes for the attachments and documents. Files with suspicious titles, archives (especially password-protected ones), links for downloading a file from free file hosting services, can quickly get your email marked as spam.
Check the design
Stay away from using Caps Lock, exclamation marks, hidden text (tiny font), too many images and very little text, spelling mistakes.
Provide a plain-text version
Include a plain-text version of your email, as spam filters don’t like its absence, and it can be useful for some recipients. A lot of email clients cut off an HTML version of an email and show simple text. If the HTLM version can’t be shown, a recipient will see the plain-text version.
Reactions to Your Bulk Emails
Include an unsubscribe link
Every email must contain this link as it allows users to unsubscribe rather than marking your emails as spam.
Use familiar name and the address
Make sure that your subscribers know that the email is yours, and not a spammer’s. Using a familiar name, company name, and email address will help reduce a recipient's suspicion. Remember to be consistent with the names that you use in your emails, changes to your usual naming pattern may result in recipients perceiving your emails as spam.
Maintain email sending frequency
Even if the content of your email is exciting and relevant, don’t send emails every day. The optimal rate is not more than once a week and not less than once a month, so your subscribers don't forget you.
Send relevant and valuable emails
Take care of your subscribers. If a person subscribed to your bulk email, send relevant content to every subscriber. Use segmentation for this purpose, as it is a customer-oriented method. Segment your subscribers according to their gender, city, age, interests, and preferences.
How to Track the Spam Level of Your Emails
There are two ways:
Assess your emails with Spam Assassin
Email marketing services will help to identify the reputation rating of senders of the email, spam-level, and give recommendations on how to improve each email. The popular program Spam Assassin assesses an email's spam-level. It provides a general score: 0-4 (green background) – an email won’t go to the spam folder, 4-6 (yellow background) – an email contains incorrect text and will probably be in spam folder, 6 or more ( red background) – an email is spam and will be blocked.
Track abuse complaints
If you get abuse complaints, you can be blacklisted even if your email is relevant. Your subscribers may not be interested in your bulk emails, or your unsubscribe link may not be visible. They can’t find the way to unsubscribe, so they mark your email as spam.
SendPulse allows you to track abuse complaints.
We include metrics on email campaigns and the list of subscribers. You can regularly track the number of delivered and opened emails, click-throughs, abuse complaints, errors, etc.
Before sending a campaign, ask yourself: “Would I like to receive this email? What is valuable and useful in it?”
So, follow the recommendations, take care of your subscribers, and you won’t send spam.
Last Updated: 11.12.2020