Whether sending or receiving emails, there are best practices to allow for your emails to be successfully delivered to your recipient's inbox without being filtered out as spam by email providers.
- SPF and DKIM records
- Recognizable sender name
- Subject lines
- Avoid spam content
- IP reputation
- Domain reputation
- Managing spam reports
SPF and DKIM records
Authenticate your domain with SPF and DKIM records.
The sender policy framework (SPF) is email authentication to prevent spammers from sending messages on your domain, and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) record verification allows authentication in a way that mailbox providers can verify, made possible through cryptographic authentication.
The SPF and DKIM records you need to enter into your DNS are provided to you by your email hosting service.
If Exact Hosting is your email provider, the following SPF record should be entered into your host records:
v=spf1 include:spf.exacthosting.com MX ~all
Please reach out to our support team for guidance and assistance in setting up and testing your SPF and DKIM records.
Recognizable sender name
It is best to send emails from an email address that contains your name and brand name so that the recipients recognize you. In the sea of emails, they receive every day, they have to choose which ones to open, and people prefer to open those which are familiar or ones that include a personal name in the 'from' field.
A good subject line should contain between 30 and 50 characters, including spaces. Your email subject line should also create a sense of urgency while giving readers some indication of what to expect once they open the email.
Things you should avoid including while writing a subject:
- Spammy keywords (urgent, buy now, win, free)
- All uppercase letters
- Overuse of emojis
- Deceptive subject lines that don't match the email content
- HTML fonts and colors
- Blank subject lines
Avoid spam content
Whenever an email provider receives an email, the content is scanned to check for spam content. This filter looks for specific types of content that typically indicate spam. If you avoid adding the points below, you should easily pass through this step.
- Writing in all caps
- Using too much punctuation (don't write ten exclamation points in a row!!!!!!)
- Using red font
- Overuse of spam words (free, cheap, pre-approved, $$$, 100% free, urgent, don't wait! etc.)
- HTML errors
- Overuse of images and links
- Large attachments
It's best to offload your attachments to a service like DropBox or Google Drive instead of trying to send them via email when possible. If the attachment is too large to scan, the email will be rejected.
If your IP address has a bad reputation in the virtual world, your targeted emails are more likely to land in the spam folder. The reputation of your IP address affects your email deliverability rates directly.
Note: If you find your IP address is on a blocklist, reach out to your ISP with this information so they can assist you in getting a new IP address for your connection, and so they can clean up the block itself.
ISPs track the reputation of individual sender domains. While the importance of sender domain reputation has increased, the IP pools used through your internet provider will still impact the deliverability of your content.
This means your domain reputation is more important than ever and is your responsibility to maintain by maintaining good email habits. Switching email providers or marketing automation platforms will not remove damage inflicted on your domain reputation due to poor sending - that damage will follow you regardless of which provider you choose.
Aside from the email that you send out through your regular mail client, your website may also contribute to the blacklisting of your domain or email services.
Always take care to keep your website software, plugins, and themes up-to-date, and scan your site for malware or viruses, too. The security and updates of your site are up to you, so be sure to repair any issues right away.
Note: Managed WordPress plans are available which include regular software updates and malware-scanning services to keep your site clean and secure. See our Managed WordPress plan page for more information.
Managing spam reports
At times, spam messages will land in your inbox, and email messages you expect to land in your inbox will land in the spam folder.
If you receive an email that you consider to be spam, you can either right-click the message and mark it as 'spam', or drag it from the inbox to your spam folder.
On the other hand, if you notice legitimate mail is landing in the spam folder, you can right-click it and mark it as "not spam", or drag it from your spam folder to your incoming mailbox.
Any message that has been marked as spam and sent to your spam folder will be deleted after 30 days. For this reason, it is good practice to occasionally review the contents of your spam folder.