I’ve been hearing this question a lot from our customers recently. So that emails do not end up in spamThere are various points to consider. On the one hand technically, on the other hand also in preparing and creating the e-mail. In the following, I will go into the individual points, explain what you need to consider and how Aivie supports you so that your emails don’t end up in spam.

What are the goals of senders, recipients and ISPs?

The goal of an e-mail sender should be to send e-mails that reach the recipients, are read and trigger a certain reaction.

The aim of the recipients is to receive as few unwanted e-mails as possible. These include emails that they have not subscribed to, emails with fraudulent content, but also emails that offer them no added value.

The aim of Internet service providers (ISPs, e.g. Google and Yahoo) is to offer their users the best possible user experience. In other words, they do their utmost to make it easy for the recipients to achieve their goals. So you make sure that only the e-mails you want end up at the top of your inbox.

As senders of emails, we must therefore ensure that we meet the objectives of the recipients and the ISPs. Then we will also fulfill our own goals – in the long term.

What is Aivie’s goal?

Aivie’s goal is to enable its customers to send high-quality emails that are appreciated by the recipients. Aivie’s customers should be able to build the best possible reputation.

On the one hand, we use technical possibilities for this, and on the other hand we are also available to advise our customers.

Aivie cannot be used to send cold calls and other emails unwanted by the recipient or legislator.

Which sender should I choose so that my emails don’t end up in spam?

When you send e-mails, you can enter three pieces of information:

What is displayed to the recipient

1. sender name

This is the first thing recipients will see of your email in their inbox. Z. E.g. Adrian from Aivie

2. e-mail address (From)

This is the e-mail address that is displayed to recipients as the sender. This can be any address you choose. This is why it is often misused for spam or other scams.

If your contacts click on Reply in their e-mail program, an e-mail will be sent to this address.

Note: We do not recommend using a noreply address to encourage dialog with your contacts.

What the e-mail program sees

3. mail-from-domain

The mail-from domain is crucial for the deliverability of emails, as it is used by recipient servers to authenticate emails.

In addition, the mail-from domain is used to determine your domain reputation.

With Aivie you get your own mail-from domain. This allows you to build your own reputation.

By default, the mail-from domain is email.deinedomain.ch. But you can also choose your own. It only needs to meet the following requirements:

  • The mail-from domain must be a subdomain of the parent domain of a verified identity (e-mail address or domain).
  • The mail-from domain should not be a subdomain that you also use to send emails.
  • The mail-from domain should not be a subdomain that you use to receive emails.

4. technical mail-from e-mail address

Theoretically, there is also the Mail-From e-mail address. Also known as envelope-from. This is the e-mail address used in the SMTP communication protocols.

The mail-from domain is used to assign a unique sender address to each e-mail sent. It is used for all types of feedback. It’s not really relevant for you. But Aivie uses them to manage your bounces and complaints.

This e-mail address is assigned automatically. You can only specify the mail-from domain (above).

Recommended configuration

Take advantage of Aivie’s ability to build your own domain reputation for the emails you send from Aivie.

This minimizes the risk of marketing emails affecting the deliverability of your other emails that you send from Outlook or Gmail, for example.

Also, use a clear and consistent sender name like “Aivie Marketing Team” to increase recipients’ trust in your emails.

The Aivie Set Up Wizard supports you here.

What is domain reputation and how does it help to prevent emails from ending up in spam?

Domain reputation measures the trustworthiness and credibility of the domain from which you send your emails (e.g. aivie.ch). This rating is used by internet service providers (e.g. Google, Yahoo) and email security systems (e.g. McAfee) to determine whether emails from a particular domain are legitimate or should be classified as spam.

Most ISPs use extensive algorithms to rate a domain on a scale from 0 to 100. This evaluation is then checked during the processing of future e-mails in order to refine it further if necessary. The higher the domain reputation score for a particular recipient, the less likely it is that subsequent emails will be rejected or filtered as spam.

Reputation is built up over time and influenced by various factors such as the quality and engagement of emails sent, complaint rates, spam trap hits and adherence to best practices such as correct authentication protocols (see: SPF, DKIM and DMARC).

You can find more details in our FAQ Spam Score and Domain Reputation Test.

As mentioned above, Aivie gives you your own subdomain and allows you to build your reputation independently of the main domain.

What is the bounce rate and how do I prevent my emails from ending up in spam?

The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that could not be delivered. There are two types of bounces:

  1. Hard bounces that indicate permanent errors (e.g. invalid e-mail addresses)
  2. Soft bounces that indicate temporary problems (e.g. a full inbox)

You should avoid hard bounces in particular. They indicate a poorly maintained email list and many ISPs take this as an indicator of spam.

Within Aivie, bounced e-mail addresses are automatically marked with a “Do Not Contact“.

When importing your contacts in particular, make sure that the list does not contain any invalid e-mail addresses. We strongly advise against using purchased e-mail lists.

Aivie checks whether the address is valid when importing and creating contacts. If you import a lot of contacts, it may be worth using an external cleanup service.

Use the double opt-in strategy to verify all your emails.

ISPs also look to see if recipients interact with your emails. In other words, whether the links are clicked on. By doing a double opt-in, such interaction takes place and future emails from you are unlikely to end up in spam.

What is the complaint rate and how do I prevent my emails from ending up in spam?

If your recipients complain about your emails to their ISP, this will also result in your future emails being classified as spam.

You should therefore only send emails to contacts who have previously given their consent. Here, too, you should consistently use a double opt-in.

It can be a big challenge if you haven’t written to contacts for a long time, if the name of the company has changed, or if the contacts are hearing from you for the first time ever. Here you can use a so-called permission pass procedure. Contact us for more details.

Aivie constantly monitors your bounce and complaint rate. If a critical threshold value is exceeded, we pause the sending of your emails. This is done to protect your reputation. We will then contact you and work with you to find out how this happened and how we can solve the problem.

What needs to be considered in the content so that the emails do not end up in spam?

Make sure that the content of your emails is written for the recipients and that they can unsubscribe.

1. valuable content

The content of your emails should be valuable for your recipients. Avoid lurid subject lines and excessive use of capital letters or exclamation marks, as this can be classified as spam. Quality before quantity.

2. relevant content

Make sure you send personalized content instead of a newsletter that generically contains the same message for all recipients.

Personalized emails have a higher probability of ending up in the inbox. Use the data you have about your recipients to personalize the content and create a connection.

A clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe link is not only required by law (revDSG, GDPR), but is also important for the deliverability of your emails. Make sure that recipients can easily unsubscribe from your list if they wish to do so.

Should I remove emails from the mailing list so that I am not considered a spammer?

It is important to find a healthy balance to ensure that your emails are not perceived as spam. Frequent writing can lead to recipients feeling inundated and finding your emails annoying, which can lead to a spam complaint. It is therefore better to have a well-maintained list than the largest possible list.

As a rule of thumb, remove addresses from your list that have not interacted with your emails in the last six months. This regular cleansing helps to improve the quality of your list and ensure that you only write to recipients who are actually interested in your content.

Aivie has a segment with all contacts who have not been active in the last 6 months. We recommend that you use this to sort out the relevant contacts.

With Aivie you also have the option of doing different campaigns. You can then write to the contacts if they are interested. For example, remove them from the weekly emails, but write to them again when they have visited your website.

Technical requirements so that emails do not end up in spam

Implementing authentication ensures that your emails are recognized as authentic (sent by you). With encryption and a good IP reputation, you can further reduce the risk of your emails being classified as spam.

1. authentication

With authentication, you ensure that the recipient of your email believes that you are authorized to send emails on behalf of the specified sender. We use SPF, DKIM and DMARC for this purpose.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

With an SPF entry, you define which servers are allowed to send emails on behalf of your mail-from domain.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

DKIM attaches a digital signature to your email, which is verified by the receiving server. This also makes it possible to check whether the sender is authorized to send via the specified mail-from domain.

The entry also ensures that the e-mail was not changed during transmission. And the entry remains, even if the e-mail is forwarded.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance)

SPF and DKIM only check whether the sender is authorized to send from the technical mail-from domain. So not from the domain displayed to the recipient. This means that any sender can still be specified.

DMARC ensures that the technical mail From and the domain displayed to the recipient in the sender address (From) match.

DMARC also provides a way for you to tell the receiving server how to handle emails that do not pass these checks.

More technical details.

With Aivie’s setup wizards, you can easily set up and check all authentications. We are also available to answer your questions in person.

2. TLS encryption

Transport Layer Security (TLS) encrypts the e-mail transmission between the servers, which increases security and strengthens trust in your e-mails.

Aivie supports TLS and ensures that your emails are sent encrypted.

3. IP reputation

The reputation of the IP address from which your emails were sent is crucial. It is important that your IP address is not blacklisted and has a good shipping history.

Aivie continuously monitors IP reputation and ensures that your emails are sent from trusted IP addresses.

By default, you share the IP reputation with all other Aivie customers. If you want to have more control and build your own reputation, you can purchase your own IP address.

New spam guidelines from Google and Yahoo

In spring 2024, Google and Yahoo published new guidelines relating in particular to authentication protocols and compliance with data protection regulations.

  • Google is placing greater emphasis on the use of SPF, DKIM and DMARC. In addition, senders must prove that they have the recipients’ consent to contact them.
  • Yahoo demands clear transparency in the use of data and has increased the requirements for encryption in order to ensure the security of e-mail communication.

Aivie ensures that all new Google and Yahoo guidelines are met from the start and helps you customize your email campaigns accordingly.

You can find details in the FAQ: Is Aivie compatible with the new Google and Yahoo spam rules?

Summary

By taking the technical points into account, you lay the foundation for successful email marketing campaigns. With a well-thought-out strategy and the right content, you can significantly increase the likelihood that your emails will end up in your recipients’ inboxes and not in the spam folder.

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