Envelopes with the word 'SPAM'

October 29, 2021 | By: Quinn Nichols

Email: How To Get Mail Through to Your Customers & Avoid The Dreaded Junk Bin

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We've all been there – whether it's being frustrated by the amount of spam mail you receive on a daily basis, launching a new website, or marketing campaign only to discover the majority of those carefully crafted customer emails went straight to the junk bin.

Unfortunately, the challenge of getting notifications through to the right customers while keeping unwanted or malicious emails out is not a new one – luckily, this isn't our first rodeo. As a trusted technology partner in the biz for over 25 years, we know the ins and outs of web hosting and email delivery. To help keep you informed, here are a few things you should know about email, some of the top challenges we see, and ways we can help.

The origin of electronic mail

The first known version of electronic messaging was invented in 1965 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This early iteration allowed people to log in through remote terminals to share files and messages on a central disk. However, the first electronic messaging system that allowed emails to be sent from different computers was invented in 1971 by the programmer Ray Tomlinson. 

It's wild to think that email as we know it just celebrated its 50th birthday!

Email security

Because email is one of the oldest applications on the internet, it wasn't exactly designed with security in mind. Today, certain technologies make it reasonably easy for people to send emails that look like they are coming 'from' someone else, which has led to an onslaught of malicious activities. Phishing attacks, malware, and data breaches often start via email.

To help mitigate this, Sender Policy Frameworks (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) standards have been implemented but unfortunately, they are often not uniformly applied. As a result, a considerable amount of mail traffic on the internet is considered spam or unsolicited mail. According to Statista, over 45% of global email traffic is SPAM. Read more about worldwide SPAM traffic via statista.com. 

Why legit email gets marked as spam

With email threats and inconsistent states of protection, legitimate emails often get incorrectly blocked or dumped into a spam folder. Automated emails from websites such as registration confirmations and emails from new IP addresses or marketing platforms are especially vulnerable to getting marked as spam.

How we help get your notifications noticed

As website hosting and marketing experts, we have a variety of technical tactics to help ensure your mail gets to your customers. Here are just a few examples.

  1. We routinely deploy various methods with the Domain Name System (DNS) that help minimize the risk of legitimate website emails being blocked.
  2. With DNS access, we can check the SPF records, a form of email authentication that defines a process to validate an email message that has been sent from an authorized mail server. We then confirm that the domain we are using has the correct configuration, so the webserver is considered an authentic source of an email.
  3. We check the webserver IP to see if it is listed on any major email client block-lists. Because IP addresses for web servers are frequently reused, the website server might be a previously abused IP. If the IP is blocked, WSD can make individual requests to the email providers to have the IP removed from the block list. The primary email providers are outlook.com, comcast.com, att.com, gmail.com.
  4. We validate that the website is sending from an actual email address explicitly configured for that domain and ensure that the site sends from a "no-reply@domain.com" email.
  5. If these solutions do not resolve the issue, we usually put the client on a 3rd party email service, like Send Grid. This paid service sends emails from safe and monitored IP addresses that are less likely to be blocked or rejected.
  6. Before any new website launch, we proactively apply all possible measures to ensure email delivery. We also work closely with our clients post-launch to confirm that messages are getting through. 

WSD email & marketing services 

Here at WSD, we provide technical and creative services for everything from web hosting and DNS configurations to email marketing and help with email hosting. Whether you'd like us to collaborate with your IT department or provide dedicated IT and marketing services, we are here to help. Contact us to learn more today!

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