Author Topic: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?  (Read 810 times)  

Offline TromboneAl

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Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« on: June 15, 2017, 08:33:02 AM »
I happened to notice that my three loving sisters were not opening my newsletters. Turns out they were going to the spam folder.

So, I'm wondering how many of my subscribers are (unintentionally) not seeing my newsletters and what I can do about it.

If I change the from address from Al@AlMacyAuthor.com to AlMacy@AlMacyAuthor.com, would that bypass any gmail (or other) filtering?

Also, concerning preventing spam classification: Presumably, some recipients forgot who I was and marked a newsletter as spam, but could the wording of my NLs be contributing to the problem? I often have a "Here Are Some Free Books" heading in there somewhere. My subjects mostly don't sound spammy:



Thanks.


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Online Devyn Jayse

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 08:50:58 AM »
Wow! What if that's happening to me and I am unaware of it?  :o

I'd love to know if there's an answer to this (or prevention).
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Offline Dan C. Rinnert

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 09:04:41 AM »
...but could the wording of my NLs be contributing to the problem?

That's a possibility.  Comparing your list to my current spam folder (all of which is genuine spam as I manually sort this particular eMail address and don't have messages automatically moved to spam), here are the ones that are comparable to spam messages:

  • "Your Video Holiday Card" --- This is similar to the junk "blah blah blah sent you a postcard!" messages.
  • "Cover Reveal, Coming Attractions" and "Sign Language and Free Books" --- The titles themselves aren't a problem (except for the second but we'll get there) but the use of special characters suggests spam.
  • Any title mentioning "Free" --- There is some dispute on whether or not "free" triggers spam filters, but an awful lot of spam messages do promise something free in their subject line.
  • Any title with exclamation points or question marks --- Yeah, spam messages use those a lot.
  • "My Dangerous Research!" --- Sounds spammy like one of those headlines suggesting there's medical cures being suppressed by the government or pharmaceutical companies or whatever.
  • "Adventures in Sweden" --- Sounds like travel booking or airline flights spam.

Not saying these are definitely a problem, but they do resemble spam headlines so I imagine there is the possibility that some might be getting flagged as spam.

Offline Megan Crewe

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 09:12:09 AM »
I recommend running your next couple NLs through https://www.mail-tester.com/ before sending them out. It'll flag potential areas of concern.

I don't think adding your last name to the first part of your email address will make any difference. I've never heard of that being an issue.

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Offline Lydniz

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 10:30:44 AM »
Have you authenticated your domain with Mailchimp (if that's who you're using)? Send a mail to yourself and look at the sender details. If it says something like "al@almacyauthor.com via 23549872q9e84ts98dfjmmamsddcp.cv" then you should think about getting rid of that last bit, as it tells the email fairies your email has come via a mailing list server and may result in your mailout going to spam. Here's a link that will explain it better than I can.

http://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/email-authentication/about-email-authentication

Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 12:04:11 PM »
Have you authenticated your domain with Mailchimp (if that's who you're using)?

Ah. I had done all but the last step. I am now authenticated. Thanks!

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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 12:28:33 PM »
I recommend running your next couple NLs through https://www.mail-tester.com/ before sending them out. It'll flag potential areas of concern.

Nice resource! I made some changes and raised my score from 8/10 to 9/10.

I don't think adding your last name to the first part of your email address will make any difference. I've never heard of that being an issue.

I was just wondering whether having a different from address would make a difference. Some more research showed me that it might be advantageous to have a return address of "feedback@AlMacyAuthor.com."

It will be fun to see if I get a better open rate with my next newsletter (Saturday).

Good ideas, Dan. I sure like those subject emojis, but maybe I'll deep six them.

Thanks!

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Offline nikkykaye

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 11:43:49 PM »
So that's where I'm going wrong! I have to stop making the subject lines for my erotic romance stuff like "Notification of Penile Enlargement Inheritance."

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2017, 03:18:35 AM »
If your email is served by a cheap hosting solution there is nothing much that can be done. Those who use cheap hosting for spamming purposes ruin that service's mailing reputation and everyone else is tarred with the same brush. Of course you can change email host without changing your web host. That is what I did as I was going to subscribe to Office 365 Business and paid a few more quid a month to get the email service. It felt a bit like giving into blackmail though as Microsoft were the main culprit for outright rejection of my emails (not spam folder, but refusal to deliver).


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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2017, 09:25:12 AM »
I'll soon be switching to MailerLite.



When I do, should I Manage My Own Authentication?

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Offline EllieDee

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2017, 10:41:25 AM »
Quote
I have to stop making the subject lines for my erotic romance stuff like "Notification of Penile Enlargement Inheritance."

Hah!  That's one subject line that might tempt me to open spam.  Of course I'm running Linux so ... Come at me, viruses and malware!

 :P

Offline Anma Natsu

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2017, 12:39:02 PM »
I'll soon be switching to MailerLite.



When I do, should I Manage My Own Authentication?

Yes, go to I'll manage my own and then follow the instructions to do the authentication with your host

Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2017, 07:04:01 AM »
One of my subscribers wrote this:

Re. spam, I just checked and your provider has properly set up an SPF record which allows a receiving email server to check if the sending email server is indeed "yours".

Now for the gotcha: that works as long as you send email via that service.  If you use a bulk emailer such as mailchimp to email your fans on your behalf you better tell your provider - if the bulk provider email servers facilities are not added to the SPF record it will cause your bulk email to be tagged as spam by default - irrespective if it comes from "feedback@", "al@" or "ThemPillsAreReallyGoodForYour@" (btw, CapItaLization does not matter in email addresses either).

If you get told your fanmail often lands in spam buckets, that's what I would check first.

I'm not quite understanding--do I call Suddenlink (my ISP)?

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Offline Anma Natsu

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2017, 10:07:00 AM »
When you set up the authentication in Mailerlite, there should have been instructions on setting things up on your server end as well for setting up some entries on your domain registrar's DNS records for your domain.  It involves adding a DKIM and an SPF entry.  The full process is described here: https://kb.mailerlite.com/how-do-i-authenticate-my-domain/

This enables them to act as an authenticated sender on your behalf.

If you have that all set up, then your next email should be good to go.  :)


Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 10:30:54 AM »
I started avoiding using the word "free" in the subject line and now use "complimentary" instead.

Unfortunately, the first couple of times I used the wrong spelling - "complementary".  That was wrong.

Philip

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Offline notjohn

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 11:00:59 AM »
One of the reasons I don't use MailChimp to SEND newsletters is that I suspect it's spam-folder bait.

It's not just free or cheap domain names that can be spam-foldered. I write for a national newspaper, and after 9/11 they stopped getting my emails, which had a comcast.net domain name. Evidently they'd installed new software to provide a buffer for their staff, and Comcast was blackballed as a source of junk mail. I switched to Gmail and had no further problems along that line.

I'm told it's important not to have an alias, or seem to have one. Therefore I've set up (through my web host) an email address and a mailing list and a domain that all consist of my full name, so that the newsletter comes from a variation on the theme of notjohnbooks@notjohnbooks.com (not of course a working address!).
Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting: http://viewbook.at/notjohn

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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 11:10:50 AM »
One of the reasons I don't use MailChimp to SEND newsletters is that I suspect it's spam-folder bait.

Actually, Mailchimp works very hard to comply with Can-Spam and make sure newsletters do get through. The problem will be content, not service provider.

As was already noted, a lot of the subject lines sound spammy.

Not having the domain authenticated was probably also causing problems.

An irregular schedule will also result in people reporting you as spam. For example, you sent out four newsletters in December, which is excessive if people aren't expecting it and will get people to flag you as spam. Then two in January, but none in May. A regular schedule helps tremendously. You really need to abide by the reader's expectations. If you told them they would only get a newsletter when there is a new release, for example, then don't ever send out a newsletter UNLESS you have a new release. If you tell them they will get the newsletter once a month, then make sure you send it once a month.

And as an aside, any subject like that includes a bunch of icons gets the same treatment as a subject line with excessive exclamation points: deleted unread.

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Offline deanstow

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2017, 09:37:45 AM »
As a recently retired IT Manager, I have had a lot of experience with trying to stop spam.

What I am going to share with you may not be useful, but then again it might.

My experience is with Barracuda spam filter products.

A score of 8/10 should not be a cause of concern.  I suspect that the filtering will not begin to impact delivery until 6 or below.  In reality, I would think 4.  If an 8/10 would keep a message from being received, then there would be a lot of 'false positives' that cause their own problems.

SPF information in your DNS zone file is important.  I don't think it always matters.  Some SMTP servers don't care.  But, when it does, it is an absolute lead pipe lock that the email won't get through.  In fact, it will likely never even make it to the spam folder because it is rejected by the SMTP server.  To the best of my knowledge, you CAN have multiple ip addresses listed in the SPF entry.

I have come to a conclusion (without hard evidence) that gmail pays attention to how many people actually read the emails in question.  I have seen times when I quit opening a daily newsletter for a while and then could no longer find it until I looked in the spam folder.  This can be a problem.

My best advice is to consider contacting the subscribers from another email address asking them to whitelist your newsletter source domain.  Sometimes this is as easy as sending an email to that address.  If you do this, you will want to send the emails with ONLY one addressee at a time.  Too many addressees will also get you marked as a spammer.

Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Getting Newsletter Out of Spam Folders?
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 05:50:59 PM »
Okay, I guess I'm set. My latest newsletter had a 41% open rate, up a bit from 37% of the previous.

>My best advice is to consider contacting the subscribers from another email address asking them to whitelist your newsletter source domain.

I would do that, but I've seen that the how-to-whitelist instructions, for gmail at least, would be too difficult for many people (such as my sisters).


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