One problem that arises with spam filters and blockers is that legitimate emails are sometimes accidentally identified as spam. This article explains how to prevent your outgoing mailings, such as newsletters or PSMail List emails, from being blocked by your recipients’ spam filters. If you have questions about accidentally blocked incoming messages, please follow this link.
First, PSMail emails are always signed with SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), which helps to validate your email as originating from a reliable source. We also provide reliable email headers to ensure that your email does not resemble spam. These two steps alone should prevent most problems. However, if you are still having trouble getting your email through to certain recipients, there are a few things you can do to prevent misidentification.
#1 – Don’t include anyone on your mailing list (even friends, family, colleagues, etc.) without their explicit permission. A good way to ensure this is to make people “work” to sign up for your newsletter by requiring them to email a certain address with a “subscribe” instruction or by providing a newsletter sign-up box on your website. If they’ve specifically asked to be on your mailing list, chances are better that they won’t accidentally block you.
#2 – Don’t surprise people with unexpected content. If they’ve signed up for your newsletter on “Living in Africa” and they begin receiving information from you on fly-fishing or your European vacation, the may be confused (or frustrated) and begin blocking your emails.
#3 – Make it easy for people to unsubscribe should they so choose (e.g. “Just send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take you off our mailing list immediately.”). No one likes to be stuck on a mailing list they no longer read and they may very well begin identifying your email as spam. (NOTE: You may want to use one of your alias addresses as your contact for people who want to unsubscribe. For information on how to create an alias, click here.)
#4 – Always start your newsletter and/or List email in a consistent way so your readers can recognize it immediately. If possible, tie the subject line of your email to the content. This helps people distinguish your newsletter from a spammer’s unwanted gibberish. In addition, make sure your newsletter doesn’t look like spam. Avoid the use of the following in your subject line: ALL CAPITAL LETTERS; excessive use of “!”; other unusual characters like “…” or “X”; and words like “copyright”, “sale”, “percentage”, “discount”, etc.
#5 Do not includes links that are shortened or obfuscated in any form. Embedding link to images in the Internet usually gets marked as suspicious by most providers. Links to the Internet are to be transparent so it is clear to both the user and scanning systems what your content is. For e.g., a link to CNN news article should contact cnn.com and NOT through a redirection service or a URL shortner service.
#6 When attaching files, make sure files are small enough and filenames are not seen as suspicious. Any special characters such as “@” “$” “%” “&” “\” “/” “:” “*” “?” and finally “.” (other than one period to distinguish file type) in filenames and file extension such as executable (com, dmg, exe, sh, bat) will be rejected by the remote server. Filenames that are international are also not recommended when sending to Lists.
#7 Lists emails should be sent to one list at a time. Avoid things such as copying yourself, adding other email addresses or adding multiple List email addresses to one email. This will cause Lists deliveries to fail.
Follow these steps and you should have no trouble getting your information to those on your mailing list. If you have further issues or questions, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We’ll be more than happy to help you.