Avoiding Spam Filters

 

Use SendGrid

We highly recommend SendGrid as an email solution. The solution is flexible, provides valuable feedback and can be upgraded to a dedicated ip or DMARC whitelisting.

Configure A Proxy Email

Some email services may reject emails where the sender's domain doesn't match the organization's domain (e.g., if a volunteer with a gmail.com email address uses the Send Group Email option). It is therefore recommended that a SPoC setup the proxy email feature which sets a standard From email address but still allows all replies to go to the original sender's email address.

There are three places this should be configured if your smtp provider requires outgoing email to be from your domain. 

For each of the three following applications, you will set two values:

  • Email Domain — this should be the bare domain emails should be coming from. If your church's email addresses look like name@church.org, then your Email Domain would be "church.org"
  • Proxy Email — this is the email address from your domain to use when senders have emails in a different domain.

Platform — Edit the Domain record in the platform updating the Email Domain and Email Proxy From Address fields. Changes take place immediately and handles any new Messages created in the platform at the time they are sen.

Portal — Edit the Configuration Settings in the platform (Administration > Configuration Settings) and update the PORTAL,EmailDomain and PORTAL,EmailProxyFrom settings. You must use the Portal Admin page for the Configuration Settings to take effect immediately in the Portal.

MobileTools — Navigate to Admin Tools and edit the "Email Domain" and "EmailProxy From" fields. Alternatively, you can use the platform and update the MOBILETOOLS,EmailDomain and MOBILETOOLS,EmailProxyFrom Configuration Settings. Use the Admin Tools page for the Configuration Settings to take effect immediately in MobileTools.

What the Proxy Email Does

When email is created and the from email address is not in the specified domain, the email is sent from the proxy email address instead, with the original email address moved to the Reply To. This means outgoing email will come from your domain rather than a third-party domain.

Watch What You Send

There are some rules of thumb for avoiding the SPAM Bucket:

  • Never send images only.
  • When sending HTML emails, always include a text version (some of the Email Service Providers do this for you).
  • Avoid SPAM words in the Subject line (Free, Prize, Sign-Up, etc.).
  • Always make it clear how to unsubscribe or stop receiving these emails. Use templates or snippets to help users include this easily.
  • Always include the street address in the footer of the email to maintain your legitimacy. Use templates or snippets to help users include this easily.

Implement Email Security

There are some things that just have to be set up and secured. Email Security is one of them. There are several technologies that can help ensure the security of your email, domain and sending infrastructure.

  • DKIM – DomainKeys Identified Mail
  • Sender Policy Framework – You generate a special key and update the dns for the affected domain with information that identifies authorized sources of email.
    • http://www.spfwizard.net – Tool that generates SPF records that is easy to use.
    • http://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx – Tool that can lookup your domain dns info and report SPF information. This tool also conducts a number of tests against your SPF information and report any found issues. ·
  • Make sure the following email addresses exist in your domain. They can all point to the same mailbox, but some ISP’s / SPAM tools test against these.

    • abuse@domain.com
    • postmaster@domain.com
    • webmaster@domain.com
    • hostmaster@domain.com