Problems keeping your emails from being marked as spam? You are not alone! There are quite a few factors that go into email deliverability. We will touch on a few common issues here but keep in mind there may be other factors that are keeping your emails from getting to their intended destinations.
In our experience most email deliverability issues boil down to your email not being fully configured. Here are a few things you should check (or have someone check) to ensure your email is set up correctly and minimize the chances of your messages being flagged as spam.
SPF Record Present
SPF sends for Sender Policy Framework and it’s nothing more than a DNS record which says which people are allowed to send mail on your behalf. Most people have this configured incorrectly. Imagine all of the places you send email from. Most businesses have a website with one or more servers behind it. Then there’s your actual email provider – let’s say that’s GMail. Perhaps you do some email marketing through SendGrid or MailChimp too. Each of these places should be properly authorized in your SPF record.
We recommend doing the following:
- Send out an email to relevant staff, vendors, & partners (marketing professionals, developers, etc). Ask them to list out every place/server that email gets sent from on your company’s behalf.
- Make a master-list somewhere to keep track of it. Repeat that audit 1-4 times a year.
- Have an IT professional cross-check that list of places with your current SPF configuration and update it as needed. If the list is already made this will usually just be one hour (or less) of an IT professional’s time.
DKIM Record Present
DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. This is another way of validating the authenticity of email messages. Whenever an email is sent your email-provider will sign it with a private key. After the email is received the receiving email provider will validate that private key against a public record. In simpler terms – when you send the email it gets locked with a special password. When it’s received it gets unlocked. If the message wasn’t sent by your servers it never gets locked, or will have a different lock on it, which flags it illegitimate mail or spam.
DKIM is amazingly easy to configure. You can usually find instructions by searching how to set up DKIM for your provider. EX: “How do i configure DKIM for GMAIL?” This is another thing you can have most IT professionals do for you for very little time.
DMARC Record Present
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is another anti-spam protection method. In a nutshell DMARC does two things:
- Tells servers receiving email to either accept, reject, or quarantine messages sent from your domain
- Sends a report back to an address you specify with data about all messages that have been sent from your domain – which allows you to see if someone else is sending fraudulent emails from your domain and can also indicate that your SPF record may be misconfigured.
DMARC is another thing which is very easy to set up. This can be done through a single DNS TXT record and shouldn’t take more than an hour for any experienced IT professional to do for you.