Author Topic: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients  (Read 7477 times)

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Here's to ol' D.H. Lawrence...
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
I have my own domain and use the email address charlotte@mydomain.co.uk.  The domain is registered with 1&1 and until recently, I've been using their servers for running my email.  Recently, I became aware that my outbound emails are being marked as spam by Google.  It's not just them, either - Hotmail and several others also seem to be dumping emails originating out of 1&1 servers straight in the spam box.

This is really, really annoying because I'm just starting to make some really good contacts with my new business venture and I can never be sure that my emails are getting through.  If firms are using Google at their end, I'm reasonably sure they're marking me as spam.

So the first thing I did was call 1&1 who told me that I ought to ask recipients to mark my address as not spam.  I explained that I'm sending a lot of speculative email, but they didn't understand.  Then they said maybe I ought to change my subject line to something less spammy.  Basically, their tech support people suck and they're not 'fessing up to me about a known issue:

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/SSRu248gctk

The second thing I did was move my email to AAISP (with whom we have our broadband).  I thought that would be golden, but I'm having the same problem.  Maybe my email address or domain has now been marked, I don't know.  Either way, when I send an email to a Gmail inbox, I'm spam.

So what I *could* do is to take my email to Google. They'll charge me three quid or so a month and it'll be all sorted, but I'll have joined skynet and I'm buggered if I want to do that at this stage.

What I need to ask is how I can get this sorted.  Are there any email experts in the house?  Can I email your Gmail address for you to look at what's going on for me?
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

YHPM

FWIW I flirted with google for my business, but really couldn't justify it compared to the free email with my domain. If you're working with people the calendar and docs are handy, but less so for for a more or less solo venture.

Have you checked whether you're blacklisted? http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

My gmail is last name (with an 'e y') dot first name at.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
We had one of our domains blacklisted fir a while. There was a ransom type fee to pay to remove the blacklist, so we just left it, given it wasn't a key domain. The blacklist fell away after a few weeks and has not come back.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Reading your link, Charlotte, the issue of a blanket spam filter being applied to 1&1's mail server seems to have been sorted back in April (there are no posts to that thread after several 'phew, it's fixed' messages), so I'm surprised you're getting that problem. However, I have a couple of gmail addresses and I'm happy to let you have them if you want to try a few test mails. PM me if you want to try that.

I'm quite interested in this as I run a 1&1 hosted site for my brother's business, and I'd like to know if there are any issues of this type that might affect him!

Do you have an SPF record in your DNS? And, if so, is it correct for all 1&1 servers ?

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited
    • Cycle:End-to-End
From experience with about 20 email addresses I use it does seem that all the free email services (g/googlemail, hotmail, yahoo etc) have wildly variable and inconsistent spam filtering.

We've spent quite a lot of time trying to work out why - with limited success ... one thing we have discovered is that g/googlemail seems to be very keen to block messages when the same one is going to more than about a dozen addresses - mass mail goes to spam, same message to an individual goes straight to the inbox.

Not a lot of help - it does seem to be a bit of a black art as far as ISPs are concerned

Rob

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
We find it is random, so an address will be fine one day and not (google/hotmail/shitmail eats it) the next - this has caused all manner of fun emailing for BiCon. My work's junk filter is even more trippy and blocks students from our own domain quite often after I've been emailing em for months. I have to check it daily to fish out legit email.

I have a barakta @ gmail and my fullname @gmail and barakta@barakta.org.uk if you want to test spamminess on me. I think barakta.org.uk is on A&A's servers as well. 

Suspect if you sign up for Google you'll get blocked by Hotmail etc. 

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Happened to me a while back, then disappeared overnight.  Likewise, some years ago a chum's provider in Yorks started dumping all emails from Wanadoo.fr, the major French provider of the time.  Wanadoo later changed their name to Orange.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Do you have an SPF record in your DNS? And, if so, is it correct for all 1&1 servers ?

This.

To find out whether it is an issue, you can get someone to check the message headers in one of your spammed emails received by a Googlemail account.
They need to open the email in a web browser, next to the reply button is a down arrow which can be used to open a drop down list. From the drop down list they need to click "Show Original". This will show you the email in it's naked glory complete with headers.
You would be looking for a header called "Authentication-Results"

Here's a sample for an email I recently received from LinkedIn:

Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
       spf=pass (google.com: domain of m-15eiuvbg3e8v7il1bka7nlymsgvp9op6rlyumu7r0tt2bxjndd7sog8rj5@bounce.linkedin.com designates 2620:109:c006:104::145 as permitted sender) smtp.mail=m-15eiuvbg3e8v7il1bka7nlymsgvp9op6rlyumu7r0tt2bxjndd7sog8rj5@bounce.linkedin.com;

This tool can help you create SPF records: http://www.spfwizard.net/
You will need to set them up on the DNS server along with your MX record.

Drop me a PM if you need any further help.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2015, 11:33:52 am »
From experience with about 20 email addresses I use it does seem that all the free email services (g/googlemail, hotmail, yahoo etc) have wildly variable and inconsistent spam filtering.

Either! Yahoo! or! the! way! Thunderbird! talks! to! it! has cleaned its act up immensely recently.  T'bird is no longer downloading the contents of the Yahoo spam folder, whose contents agree so closely with my local spam filters that you'd think it was reading my mind, or at least Thunderbird's.

The occasional one does slip through; ironically these are invariably the "Your e-mail account has exceeded its quota" ones purporting to come from Yahoo support, nearly always apparently from an AOL address and always thinking that 99.5 gigabytes is less than 10 gigabytes.

One day I'll get my head around this IMAP business, no doubt just in time for it to be replaced by something else.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2015, 11:46:00 am »
Just a follow up from my prior email.

There'a few other things that can inflate your spam score, depending on the receiving email service.

1. Using shared hosting for your email server and being unfortunate enough to share an IP address with a profligate spammer
2. Sending emails to multiple recipients
3. Rich content in emails (lots of images, stylesheets, hyperlinks)

I'm sure you've improved the situation regarding 1 tremendously by switching over to AAISP.
With regard to 2, if you are sending emails to multiple recipients, then you need to look at a way of sending copies of the same email to different recipients.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2015, 11:47:37 am »
I dunno what it is with Google's spam filtering. The most frustrating time I've had with it was when booking flights; it would not, simply would not, let me see emails from the airline. I got the airline to forward them to my work email address, then I forwarded them to my Gmail account; no joy, they were still blocked.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Here's to ol' D.H. Lawrence...
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 04:29:04 pm »
Have you checked whether you're blacklisted? http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

I have now and I'm pleased to say that I'm not.

Do you have an SPF record in your DNS? And, if so, is it correct for all 1&1 servers ?

I do now (hat tip to Afasoas for the links)

Okay, so I've moved BACK to 1&1 (because I don't know whether it was actually the problem) and I've re-jigged everything with an appropriate SPF at the 1&1 DNS end.  I've just emailed everyone who kindly said that they'd do testing for me so can you please all check your inboxes and spamboxes and see what's arrived?

Ta muchly, people  :)
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2015, 08:14:10 pm »
Or send from an address that matches your originating mail server (so @1and1.co.uk) and use your preferred address in Reply-To. Low-tech approach, but gets round the tendency to regard any mis-match between originating server and From as a sign of spam.

Unfortunately, many recipients will use mail clients that haven't caught up with this stuff; when you read the message they show the From address, and when you add the sender to your address book they add the From address, even though, when you reply to the message, they use (as they must) Reply-To. Hence, the recipient keeps being shown an address that isn't the one that you have asked that he/she should use.

Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2015, 08:16:25 pm »
Charlotte, I've just done the 'view original' thing on the message you sent (saw that first, just catching up here) wondering if it would show me the headers, and I got a cr@pload of formatting code with your message knitted into it.

For example this between 'Your Name - Photographer' and your phone number:

Code: [Select]
-&nbsp;Photographer</b><br style=3D"color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; =
font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; =
orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: =
none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;" class=3D""><span style=3D"color: rgb(0, =
0, 0); font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; =
font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; =
line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; =
text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: =
0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: =
none;" class=3D"">+44


TBH, I'd flag it as suspicious if I were a google algorithm!

Can you try sending some plain text emails and see if they get through, or change either your mail client or formatting?

Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2015, 08:31:15 pm »
Isn't there a plain-text part?

But yes, some HTML emails can have a pretty high formatting to content ratio.

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Here's to ol' D.H. Lawrence...
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2015, 09:38:54 pm »
That's odd.  It's just the Apple mail sig generator with HTML links.

Right, I'm taking them out then and I'll find someone who's not had any email from me to test it on.  I've set the SPF for a hard fail (-all) and I'll see whether I can get any sense of it.

If this doesn't work, I'm going to have to start paying protection money to Google, aren't I?
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2015, 10:09:18 pm »
Right, I'm taking them out then and I'll find someone who's not had any email from me to test it on.

You can try my fully-xkcd://1279-compliant firstname.lastname@gmail.com address if you like.  It won't be one you've used before.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Here's to ol' D.H. Lawrence...
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2015, 10:29:23 pm »
Thanks Kim

Having done pretty much everything else, I'm beginning to suspect that it *might* be the Tumblr link in my email sig that's scoring it for spam.  I'm sending you an email without that link in the sig.  Can you check it for me?
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2015, 10:31:32 pm »
Right, I'm taking them out then and I'll find someone who's not had any email from me to test it on.

You can try my fully-xkcd://1279-compliant firstname.lastname@gmail.com address if you like.  It won't be one you've used before.

I've got one of them too (complete with correspondence from realtors in South Carolina. Sometime, I'm going to start signing the leases they keep sending me) - again, welcome to try it.

Someone else will have to interpret the headers though.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2015, 11:09:25 pm »
Thanks Kim

Having done pretty much everything else, I'm beginning to suspect that it *might* be the Tumblr link in my email sig that's scoring it for spam.  I'm sending you an email without that link in the sig.  Can you check it for me?

No such luck  :(

(I'd have responded faster if it hadn't been flagged as spam, as that would have forwarded to the account I actually use.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2015, 11:18:03 pm »
C, try Thunderbird, or a different email client?

I use Mail, but it blows chunks when sending images.
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Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2015, 03:07:12 am »
Drop me an email to my gmail address and I'll test :)
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Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Help, my outgoing emails are getting marked as spam by Google recipients
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2015, 08:31:01 am »
If you need "new" email addresses to test against, ten.ajnintobor@sirhc in reverse will get to my google apps hosted email.