In my Mailchimp classes (both online and classroom training) I always go through why spam filters may identify email campaigns as spam. There are the usual things that many people are aware of in avoiding being identified as a spammer such as not enough text in a campaign and not using a high quality email sender. Very few people understand how important the quality of a domain is in getting your marketing past spam filters.
What is Email Domain Quality?
Every domain has a quality score. This score is important in terms of both SEO and recipients receiving your email. In regards to email messages, spam filters consider the sender score/domain score of the sender of an email message and this is a strong factor in deciding whether the message should be sent straight to spam (i.e. the recipient won’t see the message).
Several factors go into determining the quality score of a domain; the age of the domain, the proportion of messages marked as spam, whether the domain is listed on blacklists and so on. The data in relation to sender score is shared between reputable email companies so that spam-filters are able to identify likely spammers.
… anti-spam and security systems tend to discard or mark as spam any messages that appear to come from addresses which have no known history or reputation attached to them.
– Brian Krebs
How to Check your Domain Sender Score
There are a few tools available where you may check your domain quality. Cisco Talos has a free reputation lookup you may use. You’ll notice that the tool even knows the service providers you use to send your email messages; the reputation of service providers we use also affects whether our messages get identified as spam (that is why it’s so important to use high quality email service providers).
How to Improve your Domain Sender Score
Here are a few things that you can do to improve your domain score:
- Send email campaigns regularly; this will avoid a sudden large number of hard bounces.
- Only send to people that have agreed to receive your marketing; your message being marked as spam by a recipient is detrimental to your domain score.
- Use high quality service providers; e.g. Mailchimp for email marketing, Google G Suite or Microsoft Office 365 for ‘normal’ email, Mandrill or Mailgun for transactional messages.
- Send content people find interesting; you want people to open and click your campaigns.
I hope this helps in understanding how important the quality of your domain is in getting your email messages and campaigns past spam-filters.