Email Spamcheck: The Details Count

An email spamcheck seems like an obvious enough thing to do, when you’re creating campaign messages for broadcast. After all, you want to ensure that your email can actually make it to the inbox. Unfortunately, not everyone does all the testing they should.

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time on a client’s email.  Delivery rates were in the toilet. Since I’m trying to warm up an IP for this client, low delivery rates are less than ideal. Something had to be done.

The Right Tools

My first step was to generate an email to myself from the email service provider.  I saved this email as a file, and then opened it in MailingCheck. Mailingcheck is a great little tool that does two things.  It opens an email file, and it scans it with SpamAssassin.

Using this tool I was able to identify some odd things.  One was a report that a url contained multiple instances of “.com” which makes it look odd.  You may see this in some redirected links, but it is scammy-looking.

It turned out that the client was loading images from an Amazon AWS instance, which had a full domain name as part of the system name.  In other words, the system name for the host was something like “www.blahblah.com.x42.s2.amazonaws.com.” Having two instances of “.com” looks bad there, and had a horrible negative effect on deliverability.

Obviously the client tested the message before fully hosting the images.  Had they done a full test including the image host, this would have stood out.

Email Spamcheck For The Win

A second issue was one of pure laziness.  Instead of including alt text for the images, they simply took the filename for the image, stripped off the extension, and used the rest.  The result was mostly all-caps alt text.

Since this was an image-only message, for the most part, this resulted in a high percentage of capitalized letters in the text of the message.  This isn’t what normal people do when writing an email, so it has a negative effect on deliverability.

By taking the time to analyze the message properly, I was able to greatly increase deliverability for this message.  By taking the time to analyze your messages properly, you can put them into the inbox.

Isn’t inbox deliverability worth a few minutes of testing?

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