The modern business uses email as their primary methods of communication. It’s quick, simple, and lets you provide detailed information that can be reviewed at any time by either party. However, many business (and even personal) emails can get classified as spam by your recipient’s email.
Many email providers have spam filters, which sift out all sorts of emails that meet various criteria they have defined, and will delegate these emails to spam or junk folders rather than inboxes. For a business that relies on email marketing to their clients, these spam filters can be problematic and catch legitimate emails as well.
How Do I Stop My Emails from Going to Spam?
If your emails are being filtered into the spam folders of your recipients, it means that the email provider has certain rules and programs scanning inbound email traffic to determine whether it is spam or not. Here are some ways to ensure your legitimate emails are being received properly.
Authenticate Your Emails
A common method of spamming is to use fake or spoofed email addresses. These emails may look legitimate, but when the spam filtering software attempts to validate where they were sent from, the domain or IP does not validate properly.
To help authenticate your emails, you can add a number of DNS records to help validate your emails.
You can set an SPF record, which stands for Sender Policy Framework. This record defines which mail servers are allowed to send emails on your domain, and allows spam filtering software to determine if the email you sent came from an authorized mailserver.
You can also set a DKIM record, which is a DomainKeys Identified Mail record. This record is designed to ensure that no one can spoof email addresses, checking that the domain the email says it came from actually came from said domain.
You can follow this guide on How to Setup SPF and DKIM Records in cPanel.
Validate Your Emails
Sometimes even after setting SPF and DKIM records, your emails are still being filtered. In this case the next step is to add a DMARC record. DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, and is an email-validation system that builds on top of the SPF and DKIM system to not only authenticate, but also validate the emails sent.
You can use the guide on How to Setup DMARC Records in cPanel if you need assistance doing so.
You can also set up your rDNS records to help in the validation process. rDNS stands for Reverse Domain Name Server, and is a record that is the opposite of a normal DNS record. While a DNS record tells the internet what IP a domain is assigned to, an rDNS record determines what domain is assigned to the IP being checked. Email services will often do an rDNS check to determine if the IP that the email came from is the correct IP for that domain.
We have a handy guide on How to Setup rDNS Records if you would like to review more.
Use Commercial Email Applications
Sometimes it’s better to pay for commercial applications which already have a variety of tools and authentication set up for you. This is useful if you need to ensure emails reach the inbox more often. Do note that Hostwinds Technical Support cannot troubleshoot all issues with commercial email applications such as G Suite, though you can also use Hostwind’s Enterprise Email Service as well.
The biggest downside is that any email scripts on your websites will need to be rewritten entirely to be used with these email services, and that the PHP mail function will not work with remote email servers.
Troubleshooting Your Emails
If you ever are having issues with your emails, please feel free to contact our technical support via ticket, or any of our phone or LiveChat agents 24/7. If you receive any error messages in your email messages, feel free to Send the Email Headers to Support for them to review for you and get resolved.
Hostwinds takes a zero-tolerance policy on spam, and combats spam by using MailChannels filters to prevent outbound spam and bulkmail from being sent from our services. In some rare instances, this service may flag legitimate emails as spam or bulk mail. If after following this guide your emails are still being denied by Hostwinds’ MailChannels filter, you may be required to have your primary IP Whitelisted. Hostwinds also places outbound email limits on some of our services to help combat spam and bulk mail. Please review our Hostwinds Email Limits guide regarding the email limits on our services.