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  1. #1
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    How to prevent my Newsletter from being flaged as spam?

    Hello,

    I am creating a perfectly legitimate Newsletter and I want to make everything possible to ensure that it will not go to the junk/spam boxes of my users.

    I run a test, sending the Newsletter to Outlook 2003, Gmail, Yahoo and MSN Live. MSN live put my Newsletter in its junk.

    What can I do (not my users) to prevent or limit this?

    I am sure there should be a way since in my MSN inbox I get a ton of real spam which MSN fails to flag as junk.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The trick to your messages making it through is one part content and one part delivery mechanics. Your sending IP and domain need to all be off the spam lists and trace through properly (the ip from your ISP doesn't tend to cut it for this) to your sending domain.

    Assuming that's in order, next you need to look at the content of the email. Are there trigger words being used in the subject or body? Does the message lack enough plain text content or have too many images, bold or other formatting? Is the topic highly spam flagged and if so, what's been done to minimize filter sensitive terms?

    Also keep in mind that simply sending yourself emails will not suffice for testing. Over time your program starts to pick up on what it thinks is spam and may falsely identify items. You should be running your emails through spam cop as well as a variety of test accounts (hotmail, yahoo mail, various outlook accounts, etc...). Once you have the basics drilled down you can reuse the same templates and limit the work.
    - Ted S

  3. #3
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    Thanks Ted.

    Could you tell me how I can ensure that the "delivery mechanics" are OK? the emails are send from my server with php.

    About the content, there is not much of it because is more like an alert for new articles, and I don't think there is any "trigger word". (no "bad" words, drugs or anything that spam usually contains)

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    It's difficult to optimize your server for sending mail sending yourself, but the basics include checking that your ip is dedicated (so no one else is using it), that it's not on any spam blacklists, and that a reverse trace takes you to your domain (so that the from domain matches the ip address in a lookup).

    Spam doesn't just get triggered off "bad" words, things like pharmacy, drugs, free, money, earn, satellite, cable, money etc... One or two of these words won't ruin you, but over using them (or having them show up as a high proportion of your content) might. Extremely short emails also get a hit as they have less to be ranked on.

    http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt8/spamfilter_phrases.htm

    http://www.internetbasedmoms.com/ezi...m_filters.html
    - Ted S

  5. #5
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    After a few tests the problem seems to have nothing with the content and something to do with my server. Everything I have on that server, including websites with dedicated IP, when I send emails from them end up in MSNs Junk!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Just having a dedicated IP doesn't stop you from being flagged... it merely means you won't be running the risk of someone else using the same IP and getting flagged going forward.

    Have you checked to see if the IP (or the entire C class of ips) is on any spam blacklists? Does the ip reverse out to authenticate against the domain you are "stating" the email comes from? Have you tried the same emails from another server on a completely different IP block?
    - Ted S

  7. #7
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    One thing that would help is to use a trusted dedicated service such as aWeber to send your messages rather than trying to send them yourself.

    Even if you're clean now, people will report you for spam in the future (even if they opted in) and eventually your server/IP will end up on a spamlist somewhere. Better to let someone else deal with those hassles.

  8. #8
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    Well said tke71709.

    Anither nice benefit of this solution is you get tracking on all your emails too.
    - Ted S

  9. #9
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    Is there any website that can check all or most spam-lists at once? If not, which are the spam-lists I should check? Any idea which one MSN is using?

    One thing that would help is to use a trusted dedicated service such as aWeber to send your messages rather than trying to send them yourself.
    My server creates a custom email for each recipient based on the options made by the subscriber at sign-up. Can somehting like this be accommodated with a service? It would need some form of API where my server would automatically send to the service the email address and the content for each email. Does such service exist?


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