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FAQ - Sending good email

General Advice

Feedback from email recepients can contribute significantly to spam detection.
It is therefore important to ensure your message does not get manually flagged as spam by users.

  • Don't flood email boxes frequently, as users will mark your emails as spam to stop the flow. There is not much distinction between marking an email as spam and unsubscribing, for many people.
  • Send relevant, high quality messages only.
  • Apply personalisation where appropriate. For example, Hello {Name}
  • Avoid the usual spammy or misleading terms in subject lines and email copy. Spammy Test checks for these so get a report now!
  • Use simple HTML only. No javascript, iframes or forms for example.
  • If sending an HTML email ensure the system also sends a text-version equivalent. The text parts must be the same between versions.
  • Avoid a high ratio of images. Have at least 500 characters of text. Also, avoid images with text on them.
  • Images should be hosted on the sender website domain.
  • Don't put too many links in your email and avoid using shortened links.
  • Avoid Sexually explicit terms.
  • Avoid Certain drugs.
  • Avoid SHOUTING (all caps) can be regarded as sales copy.
  • Avoid using a "reply-to" address that does not match the "from" address.
  • Avoid marketing terms. Words and phrases that look like sales and marketing efforts.

cPanel: Bulk email best practices

  • Use the same IP address to send all bulk email.
  • Use the same email address in the From: header of your email.
  • Ensure that your email complies with RFC 5322.
  • If your email uses HTML, ensure that it complies with HTML standards.
  • Ensure that the contents of your email body relates to the subject of your email.

Gmail: Bulk Senders Guidelines

  • Authenticate your messages.
    • Use a consistent IP address to send bulk mail.
    • Keep valid reverse DNS records for the IP address(es) from which you send mail, pointing to your domain.
    • Use the same address in the 'From:' header on every bulk mail you send.
    • Sign messages with DKIM. We do not authenticate messages signed with keys using fewer than 1024 bits.
    • Publish an SPF record. *
    • Publish a DMARC policy.
  • A user must be able to unsubscribe from your mailing list.
    • A prominent link in the body of an email leading users to a page confirming his or her unsubscription.
    • Provide a 'List-Unsubscribe' header which points to an email address or a URL where the user can unsubscribe easily from future mailings.
    • Keep a clean list - Automatically unsubscribe users whose addresses bounce multiple pieces of mail.
  • Formatting
    • Comply with RFC 5322 and HTML standards.
    • Messages must have a valid 'Message-ID:' header field.
    • Ensure that the contents of your email body relates to the subject of your email.
    • Messages should indicate that they are bulk mail, using the 'Precedence: bulk' header field.
    • The subject of each message should be relevant to the body's content and not be misleading.
  • Delivery
    • The 'From:' address is listed in the user's Contacts list.
    • A user clicks 'Not Spam' to alert Gmail that messages sent from that address are solicited. And on the other hand, if users continue to click 'Spam' for your emails, you will have deliverability issues.
    • Use separate email addresses for transactional and marketing emails.
    • Messages should indicate that they are bulk mail, using the 'Precedence: bulk' header field.
    • The subject of each message should be relevant to the body's content and not be misleading.
    • Monitor affiliate and 3rd party senders are maintaining good email practices.

* What is a SPF record?

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) describes which mail server is allowed to send messages for a website domain.
It requires configuration by adding a "TXT" record to your DNS to enable.
For techs: example here.