How can I help ensure emails go stright to peoples inbox?

What are all the different ways to ‘help’ ensure your emails get to the persons inbox please? So far, I have SPF and DKIM. Are there any other things to go into please?

I think in most cases if you ask them to “whitelist” your emails when they opt in they should get by any filters, no?

Off-hand, I can only think of two reasons for a post not going into the recipient’s inbox:

  1. It has been trapped by a spam blocker. The solution is not to send spam - or messages that look like spam.

  2. The recipient has set up a filter that automatically files incoming messages in different folders. In that case, you should respect the user’s wishes.


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You also might check a few domain/ip blacklist sites to find out if your domain or ip are on any spam blacklists. Especially if you’re using a mailing service or a VPS, etc with a recycled IP.

Thanks for the replies, I would add, that this is for when someone emails me, I get their email, then when I reply, they don’t always receive it into their inbox. Given that info, any further ideas please?

you should use mandrill

It provides a dash to effectively manage your reputation and make sure your emails get through. Most major platforms these days use a service like this to ensure a happy email subscriber base

A few alternatives to mandrill are Amazon SES and Sendgrid.

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So, this is for individual emails to specific recipients, rather than bulk or automated emails. In that case, the best solution would be to find out why the emails don’t reach the recipients’ inboxes. Are they being trapped by an over-aggressive spam filter? Is there something wrong with your email delivery system - or your recipient’s email client? You have to find out what’s wrong before you can fix it.

In the case of a spam filter, make sure your messages don’t look like spam. That might involve avoiding certain words and expressions in the header or the message body. Alternatively, try to persuade the recipient to whitelist your email address within their anti-spam system.


You could try sending a typical email to and see how it scores.

I’ve never seen that one before, looks like a handy quick way to check them out, if it works well.

Many thanks, getting some great ideas here. Where/how do I find good domain/ip blacklist sites please?

The problem with that strategy is that some filters are not all that great at working out what is spam and what is not. At work, I frequently get replies to emails that I have sent out, from people I am in regular correspondence with, that are flagged as spam.

Did you forget to whitelist them? Spam filters are supposed to ignore emails that come from people on your whitelist.

I shouldn’t have to whitelist everyone I expect to receive an email from, including people who are responding to emails I send out (my whitelist would be in the thousands), when there is nothing remotely spammy about the emails people are sending me. Unfortunately, some systems just aren’t that smart.