Email Spam / Not Received problem

Hi,

I have an ecard site. As with other ecard sites, when someone sends an ecard, the recipient receives a notification email with a link to the ecard.

I am having issues with my site, where only 50% to 70% of cards ever seem to get read. That’s not so bad maybe, but at xmas, up to 2 or 3000 cards are going out a day, so the number of cards not being read goes up a lot…

I have tried checking my emails for spam scores, using mailingcheck.com, which says I have an excellent rating, but that’s not much help.

If I send an ecard to my yahoo.com email address, then it goes in the spam folder. I think it does for lots of other mail providers too.

I have looked around and have seen complicated things mentioned on sitepoint like:

  1. make sure you have a reverse dns entry for IP from which your email server sends our emails. How can I check this?
  2. Check if my site’s IP address is not on a blacklist - how can I check if it is?

Here’s a sample email header from my site (jimpix.co.uk), for a notification email sent from messages@jimpix.co.uk - are there any clues there about what might be the problem? I wondered if it might be that the “Received from” mentions ns103.zabco.net, instead of something.jimpix.co.uk?

	From: 	messages@jimpix.co.uk
	Subject: 	John has sent you a jimpix card
	Date: 	31 October 2010 14:21:29 GMT
	To: 	john@mysite.plus.com
	Return-Path: 	<messages@jimpix.co.uk>
	Envelope-To: 	john@mysite.plus.com
	Delivery-Date: 	Sun, 31 Oct 2010 14:21:35 +0000
	Received: 	from [212.159.7.103] (helo=mx.pcl-ipin04.plus.net) by inmx14 with esmtp (PlusNet MXCore v2.00) id 1PCYmq-0000JZ-BK  for john@mysite.plus.com; Sun, 31 Oct 2010 14:21:32 +0000

I don’t know how much my host will be able to change on their end on the ns103.zabco.net server… I can see from this:
http://validator.w3.org/check?verbose=1&uri=http%3A%2F%2Fzabco.net%2F

That the mail server is one of these, in case that’s of use to someone:
Apache/2.2.6 (FreeBSD) mod_ssl/2.2.6 OpenSSL/0.9.7e-p1 DAV/2 PHP/5.2.5 with Suhosin-Patch

Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks!

Hi bumpyride, I can help with parts of this question, so here’s my 2c:

I am having issues with my site, where only 50% to 70% of cards ever seem to get read.

Is this based on the delivery rate, or open rate? If we’re talking opens, that’s a very good rate for HTML email. If you consider that images have to be enabled in the recipient’s email client for an open to be recorded (and a lot of the time images are blocked by default), then the ‘real’ open rate is probably much higher than as published.

If it’s based on delivery/bounce rate, then yes, something is up.

If I send an ecard to my yahoo.com email address, then it goes in the spam folder.

There have been some Yahoo! -specific deliverability problems reported lately by a number of ESPs, but what’s best is that you check your content as well - you may have a lot of images and little text, words that may be getting flagged as spammy etc… But read on.

  1. make sure you have a reverse dns entry for IP from which your email server sends our emails. How can I check this?

You’ll have to arrange this with your hosting provider. Here’s a reverse DNS entry tool - you enter an IP address and it tells you if a reverse DNS entry can be found.

  1. Check if my site’s IP address is not on a blacklist - how can I check if it is?

First stop is this email blacklist tool.

You may also want to look at setting up DomainKeys/SenderID for better deliverability with Yahoo!/Hotmail.

All the best and have an awesome Christmas ahead!