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Help, email I send from my server is not arriving at GMail/Yahoo/HotMail/insert server here

We have had some customers report that their emails are not arriving at their destination address.  Or that they are arriving, but are being marked as spam.

Some tips to help ensure your emails arrive:

SPF DNS record

Set an SPF DNS record.  If you are using our name servers, go to http://rimuhosting.com/dns then select your zone, then select the txt record type then follow the link to http://spf.pobox.com/wizard.html

That will help you set a value for the SPF record.  e.g. the value v=spf1 a mx ~all would declare that just your domain's main server and any listed MX (Mail) servers are supposed to send email with a from address of your domain name.  e.g. if you did this you should not send email from you@yourdomain.com via your ISP's SMTP server.

For more information on SPF, follow this link: http://www.openspf.org/

Set a reverse DNS entry

You can do that via our control panel at http://rimuhosting.com/cp/rdns.jsp

You can only have one domain name per IP.  If that IP is setup for multiple domain names, that's fine.  Just pick one of the domains (the main one?  to match your server's domain?)

Ideally that domain name will also resolve back to the IP on which you are setting an RDNS entry.

Also related to the DNS entry you can check the following:
* make sure the SMTP ehlo (usually determined by hostname) matches the reverse DNS
* make sure there is valid forward DNS for the host being used, and it points to the same IP used for the connection.

Use the correct 'from' email address

If you are sending email from your server, then only use a 'From' address of a domain hosted on that server.  e.g. don't use From addresses like you@yahoo.com or you@gmail.com.  If you need a reply an email to go to a different email address then set a reply to email address to that email (e.g. the yahoo or gmail address).

Do not spam

One of the common reasons for people emails being marked as spam is because they are sending spam. Duh. So be sure that the emails you are sending will not get marked as spam.

* See http://rimuhosting.com/knowledgebase/linux/mail/mass-emailing-best-practices

Other ideas

Try sending text emails (cf. html or emails with images).

Avoid talking about pharmacological products in your emails :) e.g. V14gr4

Check out sender id:
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/safety/technologies/senderid/resources.mspx

Ditto DomainKeys http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys It requires work done to your mail server. So is more work than SPF. But is also not that widely used (yet).

SenderID and DomainKeys are not used directly to identify spam (spammers can use them too). They do, however, allow email providers to guarantee the identity of the sender so that they can build reputation-based systems around the sender identity.

Someone suggests not including URLs in your email.

Verify all email addresses before sending in bulk. undeliverable users mixed in could slow delivery.

Check black hole lists to see if the sending IP is listed (try your ip at http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx)

But it still does not work!

Each email service provider has their own policies and email filters.  And they may mark your emails as spam or bulk mail.  Or they may not deliver the email at all (and not send a bounce).

These are issues with the mail service providers.  And there is little extra you can do.  If the email provider sends a bounce message, see if that has any instructions in it you can follow.  Or check their FAQ/Help pages and see if they have any procedures for people sending email to their users.  e.g. a whitelist.

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