>Emails are still an efficient and effective way to communicate, but organizations are often concerned that their legitimate emails will not get through to their recipients. Due to the immense volume of spam on the Internet, many networks have setup filters to reject email that might be spam. To combat this, proactive measures to ensure emails get through to their recipients are taken and emails are not falsely identified as spam. Let’s dig into the different ways to ensure optimal email deliverability.
* Participation in whitelist programs:
Companies can participate in several whitelist programs which help ensure emails are delivered to their recipients’ in-boxes. Companies can have whitelisting agreements with AOL, Juno/Netzero, AT&T Broadband, and Comcast just to name a few.
* Staying off email blacklists:
A controversial, yet still widely used method of spam filtering is subscribing to one or more publicly available email blacklists. Blacklists contain IP addresses of companies that are known to have a record of spamming. Organizations can monitor DNS based blacklists and take proactive measures to protect their IPs from being listed.
* Publishing Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Records:
Organizations can publish Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records for not only their domain, but for the domains they may host on behalf of their customers. SPF is an open standard that fights email address forgery and makes it easier to identify spam, worms, and viruses via records in the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). Customers using their own branded domains in the From Line of their outbound emails are encouraged to publish SPF records within their own DNS servers.
* Signing email messages with DomainKeys/DKIM:
These two technologies validate a sender’s identity and ensure that an email message is unaltered in transit from sending server to receiving server. Companies can sign all email campaigns using a domain signature From Address with DomainKeys and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), to ensure optimal deliverability to receivers that authenticate messages based on these technologies, like Yahoo! Mail and GMail.
* Responding to each spam complaint individually:
Even though people send legitimate emails that conform to anti-spam policies doesn’t mean that recipients don’t complain. Sometimes a recipient may forget that they signed up for a particular list. You can begin with an inquiry to the person as to how the address in question ended up on the list. After obtaining the relevant information, compose a response to the complainant and carbon-copy it.
* Email server log file monitoring:
A special log file analyzer can be used to monitor email server log files for failed deliveries. This analyzer generates a daily report to network administrators, who can then determine if there are any domains rejecting emails. Sometimes domains inadvertently block email from mass mailer networks that generate too high a volume of email, even when the email isn’t spam.
* 24-hour monitoring:
Some administrators proactively monitor the email broadcast system 24 hours/day to ensure smooth delivery of their customers’ emails to their recipients. There are alerted if a customer engages in spamming or sends content that could trigger spam filters on the recipients’ side.
* The “Spam Check” Feature:
Before you click the “Send Email” button, it is recommended that you click the “Spam Check” button if available. The Spam Content Checker uses the SpamAssassin engine to “score” an email for spam content. SpamAssassin is the world’s most popular spam filtering software, and it performs over 1,200 tests on an email message. For each test that an email fails, a score is assigned. If the total score is above a certain threshold (usually 5 points) then SpamAssassin classifies the message as spam. It’s recommended that you make adjustments to your email to get the total score under 5 before you send it out to all of your recipients.