How an Email Reaches the SPAM Folder

Robert Dodd | 11/18/2013 2:58:00 PM

The value of working with a service like eCampaignPro for your email marketing needs can best be explained by taking a look at the issue of SPAM. Many people lack an understanding of how an email can become SPAM and what goes on behind the scenes to deliver an email. In today’s blog post we’ll explain why sending emails from your own address can be very damaging to you and your company’s web presence and we’ll look at the technical gatekeepers that determine the success or failure of email delivery.

Let’s look at the different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and how they can block your email, sometimes without you even knowing.

Outbound ISP

One way to stop individuals from sending spam is to figure out how many emails the “average person” would send in a day. If you send out much more than that, your outbound ISP may assume that your computer has been taken over by a hacker and turned into a spam machine, and they’ll cut-off your ability to send emails through! They’ll simply block anything you send out. Better safe than sorry, they figure. And you’ll never even know your emails didn’t get through.

This answers one of the most common questions we hear- “Why can’t I create email lists and send mass emails myself?”

Edge Networks, Receiving ISPs, and Firewalls Edge networks sit on the outside of receiving ISPs and filter incoming traffic for spam and viruses. They could block your email from getting through, especially if they come in at high rates or have badly written code (yes, there is such a thing as well written code and badly written code, and most of us never know the difference).

Even if the outbound ISP sends out your email, and it gets through the edge network, the receiving ISP can stop your email from getting to its intended recipient if you don’t follow best practices. Nowadays, most companies have firewall systems in place that may not let your email in (think of a firewall as a spam filter on top of a spam filter). And if you’re sending to an individual’s email, they may have their own personal filter software too.

So, if the ISP said it’s okay to go through, what else could be stopping your emails from being delivered?

The Accidental Blacklist

Getting blacklisted is no laughing matter and can happen innocently enough. If someone else using the same server as you sent lots of spam, the whole server can get blacklisted. That means that no emails going through that server will get delivered.

If there are enough spam complaints about emails from you, or someone with your company’s domain name, your URL or email address can be blacklisted (see figure 2). Once this happens, emails from you or anyone from your company will be blocked.

The harsh reality is once you get blacklisted like this - whether or not it was you who caused the problem - it’s very, very difficult to get whitelisted again. And you’ll quickly find that not only are your marketing emails going nowhere, but since any email sent from your email address is getting blocked, your everyday communications with your clients and prospects will no longer get through. Just imagine trying to run your business without any emails getting through to clients. It could be devastating.

eCampaignPro was developed to help you navigate these tricky technological waters. We have established relationships with many ISPs, which allows us to send emails through servers that are not blacklisted. We keep current with new laws so that your email communications stay safe and credible. Best of all, you can leave all the techie terminology to us and, instead, focus on your business.

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