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How do I stop my emails being marked as spam?

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As you probably know I am in charge of answering support request here at Maxprog. Quite often I am being asked about e-mail delivery issues, especially problems regarding apparently legitimate messages being flagged and blocked by spam filtering software. This particular issue is quite frustrating because most of the time you have no idea where the problem comes from. It is even more frustrating for me when people think the culprit is MaxBulk Mailer, maxprog bulk mailer software. There is no relation actually, MaxBulk Mailer is an e-mail client like any other.

In this post, I will try to gather all my knowledge about how to prevent running into this kind of problem. Let's see the typical story:

You composed your newsletter, as usual, you selected your subscriber list and then sent the message with a copy to yourself. You later found out that your copy never arrived and then, asking a few subscribers it turns out some of them did not receive anything either.

Does this story look familiar to you?

A message wrongly flagged as spam is called a false positive. A spam filter will check your message and will give it a score. If you reach a given score your message is flagged. Basically the spam filter will check whether:


  • Your message looks like spam

  • Your mail server is blacklisted

  • Your recipient list contains lots of dead addresses

  • Your recipient list contains spam traps

  • You are sending to too many recipients



Let's go through this list:

Your message looks like spam

When you write a message try to be as personal as possible. Think like if you were sending the message to one person only. It is easy to do, just select one of your best-known customers and write the message with him/her in mind. Finally add tags to the message to insert personal info, a personal greeting for example. It is explained in detail here: How to make your e-mail's look more personal. Do not use spam-like words. The list is huge but just have a quick look in order to get the picture. A List of Common Spam Words, The Ultimate List of E-mail SPAM Trigger Words.

Your mail server is blacklisted

If your mail server is blacklisted there are chances your message will never go through. How do you find out? Easy, MXtoolbox. That service will check your mail server domain or IP address with about 100 blacklists. Here you should get green OK icons on all lines. You should work on that overwise. Very seriously! All blacklist systems offer a way to get delisted.

Your recipient list contains lots of dead addresses

How old is your list? Where or how did you get it? Are you maintaining it regularly? Did you know those big mail servers like Gmail may flag a message sent to their server after reaching a given error threshold? That means that if your list has what Gmail considers too much dead/invalid addresses, the whole message will be flagged. You should check your list and remove bounces from it! Bounces are those delivery error e-mails you get in your inbox, don't ignore them! Remove the invalid e-mails addresses from the list right away. One solution is to verify the list with eMail Verifier at least once and then process bounces with eMail Bounce Handler as explained here.

Your recipient list contains spam traps

Spammers usually collect email addresses by using automated e-mail address harvester software. Those tools build lists out of web sites. Spam traps are specific email addresses placed on purpose so any e-mail messages sent to such type of address are immediately flagged and considered as spam. Finally, an anti-spam system may instantly block your whole message as soon as a spam trap is found. Nobody else will get it!... So, never harvest email addresses from the web and never purchase lists. Create your own lists!

You are sending too many messages at once

There are systems, like Gmail that may flag your message because you have reached a given delivery threshold. That means you have sent too many messages to that particular server. The solution is quite easy, send your message at a slower pace. It is explained here in detail: Sending a message through a server with a daily or an hourly delivery limit.

Now I would like to talk about a great service I am sending all my customers to. It is called Mail Tester. This free service is literally for testing the 'spamminess' of your e-mails. You just need to send your message to an e-mail address they will give you. A few seconds later you will get a score and a detailed report of what is ok and what is wrong. That simple. You even get some directions to fix the problems. The best here is to try to get a score of 10/10. There are chances you will have to sign your messages with DKIM. Hopefully last versions of MaxBulk Mailer support DKIM. It is explained here: How to use DKIM with MaxBulk Mailer.

And remember to add an unsubscribe link to your messages. You can do that by installing our Mailing List Manager (MLM) on your web site. You can use MLM only to handle unsubscribes for local lists and ignore all the other features. When using MLM MaxBulk Mailer will add unsubscribe headers that Gmail will display automatically.

I hope you like this post. I welcome your comments.

More information on Spam:
- E-mail Spam
- The Definition of Spam
- How to create and publish your first newsletter


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Stan Busk Stan Busk
February 14, 2019



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Stan Busk If you want to make the most of the software that you have acquired at Maxprog, do not miss the Stan's Blog. It is a library of Tutorials and Tips covering specific features and tipical problems you may have when using our tools. This page is updated regularly depending on the topics discussed in our public forums and issues reported thru our HelpDesk. If you are interested on what we are currently working on (or want to participate in beta testings) don't miss the Stan's Logbook.
For years, MAX Programming has provided companies around the globe with sophisticated and innovative solutions. Our commitment to quality is not only evident in our products, but also in our people. It is our mission in Professional Support Services to ensure that our products perform to the fullest of their ability in order to meet the business objectives of our customers. We provide the tools and information required for improved productivity. To accomplish this, we offer an array of services including: Technical Support, Education Services and Consulting Services.

Maxprog is part of an internet site network made of desktoolset.com, emaildesignstudio.com, familycash.com, icash.promo, maxbulkmailer.com, maxprog.com, maxprog.net, maxprog.org, maxprog.us, myrecipients.com, newslettercomposer.com, sharedcontents.com, stanbusk.com, stanbusk.pairserver.com, usertools.com.
MaxBulk Mailer is a full-featured and easy-to-use bulk mailer and mail-merge software for macOS and Windows that allows you to send out customized press releases, prices lists, newsletters and any kind of text or HTML documents to your customers or contacts.

MaxBulk Mailer is fast, fully customizable and very easy to use. MaxBulk Mailer handles plain text, HTML and rich text documents and gives full support for attachments. With MaxBulk Mailer you will create, manage and send your own powerful, personalized marketing message to your customers and potential customers.

Thanks to its advanced mail-merge and conditional functions you can send highly customized messages and get the best results of your campaigns. You also have support for international characters, a straightforward account manager with support for all type of authentication schemes including SSL, a complete and versatile list manager, support for importation from a wide range of sources including from remote mySQL and postgreSQL databases.

MaxBulk Mailer is a software tool that you purchase once, no need to pay on a per-email basis to submission services!



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