Ensuring legitimate emails are not being filtered as spam

Expertise level: Medium

Over the past few years, the exponential increase in the volume of spam has forced email service providers to apply increasingly strict filtering solutions that sometimes exclude legitimate emails. In order to reduce the chance that your emails are perceived as spam from major suppliers such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Google and AOL, make sure your server meets the following qualifications:

1. A valid “PTR” Record (Reverse-DNS) is configured on your IP address.
A PTR Record is essentially the hostname that is shown when a reverse lookup query is done on an IP address. This type of query is always done by default and the result is shown in email headers. Having a configured or customized PTR record will help provide your server with more credibility when sending emails. An optimal PTR record would be the server’s principal hosted domain. You can have your Reverse DNS configured or changed by opening an assistance request with our system administration team.

2. The email addresses: abuse_at_.dmain, postmaster_at_.domain should be working.
Feedback loop is an email address used to report spam abuses for a certain IP address. This address is abuse_at_domain and/or postmaster_at_domain. 

3. A “TXT” DNS entry that contains a valid SPF record is configured for your domains.
By default, anyone can send emails from any domain by spoofing email addresses. An SPF record will restrict the IP addresses or host names allowed to send emails from the domains it will be configured on. By having the two conditions above met, the verifications made by the email service providers are likely to determine that your IP address can be trusted and will refer to other criteria to verify whether a specific email is considered unsolicited.

If you wish to know more about how email delivery works and ways to raise your delivery rate, you can review the following website: www.saas.nsw.edu.au/solutions/dns.html

4. Microsoft Sender ID Framework SPF Record Wizard: 
If your dns records are at iWeb, you can generate the record by using the OpenSPF Wizard and by opening an assistance request. If you are on a cPanel-hosted server, refer the article: Adding SPF Records to Domains.

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