Keep your newsletters out of spam filters

Spam emails are becoming more and more of a plaque in your and my inboxes. What is not yet common knowledge is that the fight against spam may also result in your legitimate newsletters getting caught up in spam filters. Did you ever get complaints that hotmail users never got yournewsletters?

Well, Microsoft who owns hotmail are playing hardball in the fight against spam, by enforsing senders to use the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) when sending emails to hotmail users. If not used, emails are bounced and never received by the hotmail user. It is not really a bad move because SPF is kinda cool, is easy to implement and it now gets a lot of deserved attention.

So what is it about? : Well, more and more people have tried to receive “underliverable emails” to users they never sent emails to. The reason is that spammers have used their domain to send emails from, and if they are rejected you get the email, not them. SPF is about making life hard for spammers who want to abuse YOUR domain. When implementing SPF, the sender sets up an SPF text record in their DNS, stating which servers are allowed to send emails from this domain. A receiving mailserver screening incoming mails can then check the domain against the IP address of the sender and see if they match. If not the mail is rejected and that is what happens when hotmails are bounced. Of course the receiving mail servers also have to support SPF to avoid spam, but that really isn’t your headache.

What is your headache is that you should make sure that the SPF record is set up for your domain. That way your newsletter will also arrive at mailservers checking the SPF records.

Read more about the Sender Policy Framework and how to set up SPF records here:

http://www.openspf.org/Introduction

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