How to keep my sent e-mails from going to a junk/spam folder?
October 11, 2015 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Lately (the past few months?), it seems that e-mails from my info@ e-mail address are going straight to the junk/spam folder of current or potential customers. We are a small business and our site/e-mail provider is GoDaddy. About the e-mails themselves....there are usually 1-3 links in the message, and a couple of phone numbers in the signature. No photos or fancy stuff. I use mac mail to send them. Any ideas as to why this keeps happening?
posted by okay-quiet-time to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
This sort of thing can be very tricky to diagnose in some cases.

Is this actually bulk mail that you are sending to lots of people or jut normal email? If it is bulk mail, you should use a service like Mailchimp to handle this. It isn't worth the risk of sending bulk email from your day-to-day use email server.

Do you know if other emails from the same server are also suffering the same fate or is this only for your address and other addresses (like are OK? If it is not just the one address (or you only have one), you may want to check if the IP address of your mail server is on any of the email server blacklists (Check here). If it is, then your best bet is to use a different mail server or something like Google Apps for your domain to handle your email. GoDaddy has a not so great reputation, so this probably isn't a bad change to make anyways.

Can you track down some of the emails that have ended up in spam folders so that you can take a look at the headers to see if there is any information in there? Sometimes those can provide clues as to what is happening. Is there any pattern to which addresses have problems?

If you can provide some more information along the lines of the above, it will be easier for people to help you.
posted by ssg at 1:14 PM on October 11, 2015

Thank you, ssg. These are just normal e-mails that I'm sending out. I do have other e-mail addresses, but haven't had this issue with them (although they aren't used nearly as often).

When I used that link to check my IP address, it says I'm listed on two of them: SORBS DUHL and Spamhaus ZEN

Is "header" the same thing as "subject" line? I often us asterisks in the subject line. Such as *Rates & Info* or *Calendar* Otherwise, I haven't been paying much attention to the details of e-mails going into spam. The content is all fairly similar.
posted by okay-quiet-time at 1:29 PM on October 11, 2015

Well, in that case, step one is to change your email server to somewhere else. Double check by sending an email to another address you have (like your personal email) and looking in the headers to make sure you are checking the IP address of your mail server - it may not be the same as your website IP address. The headers are a bunch of information about the email and the path it takes that you don't normally see. See here for instruction for Mail.

If you aren't sending spam, someone else on the same server is. You can try to complain to GoDaddy to get them to kick off the offenders, but I think the best course of action is to get yourself off their servers and then you will no longer have these problems.
posted by ssg at 1:38 PM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

In addition to ssg's suggestion, this could also be the result of people marking your emails as spam in gmail, etc. Are you cold-emailing people? Are you sending any sort of advertising/promotional stuff with your emails to current users? It sounds a lot like you may be violating CAN-SPAM, which can get you in trouble, even if your intentions are good. It doesn't just apply to bulk emails. Do you include a physical address and an easy opt-out in these emails? Make sure that your emails aren't, well, spammy, especially to prospective customers, and that current customers have ways of only receiving necessary transactional emails and not "sales-y" emails if they don't want to.
posted by brainmouse at 2:16 PM on October 11, 2015

I do nothing of that sort, brainmouse. If I send an e-mail to someone, it's because they have asked for info. Now that I think about it though, I am sometimes emailing people after they request info from a third party site that we advertise with.

Thank you though.
posted by okay-quiet-time at 2:28 PM on October 11, 2015

You’re more likely to be flagged as spam with a generic info@ email address
RFC 2142 has recommended the info@ account as an autoresponder address since the earliest days of the internet and for that reason it has become a favourite of spammers and phishing attacks.

Just pick a different address, hello@ or something more specific like okquietsales@
posted by Lanark at 2:46 PM on October 11, 2015

Also, I found out through GoDaddy the IP address of my mail server and when I checked it out on MXToolbox they all came back okay.
posted by okay-quiet-time at 2:47 PM on October 11, 2015

You might want to run your emails through a service like Email on Acid to see if any obvious red flags are raised.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:59 PM on October 11, 2015

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