Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder – Q&A #2


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Q&AAs we mentioned in the previous Q&A follow-up post, we received so many great questions during our webcast, Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder, we had to wrap them up in two different blog posts. Even senders with the best intentions (sending wanted email) can end up in the spam folder. To finish off the Q&A, our presenter, and Senior Technical Account Manager, Melanie Rowe, took the second half of questions we received to answer:

Q:  Do you need all three authenticating practices (DKIM, SPF, and DMARC)? 

A:  The two main methods of authentication that you should implement are SPF and DKIMDMARC is not a requirement, however we are seeing many companies move towards implementing this standard.  Please note additional DMARC information referenced here.

If you do want to implement DMARC, you will need to be using a dedicated IP which is available with our Silver Plan or higher.  In addition, if using DMARC, you need to have DKIM and SPF set-up and the SPF record must have an ~all.

Q:  Regarding CAN SPAM, what about Europe and the rest of the world? Do you have resources we could access regarding laws about Europe or do we need to go into each country laws?

A: There are many other countries that have legislation around email and email privacy. The EU has their Safe Harbor law, and some individual countries within the EU also have their own (e.g. France and Germany – which are some of the strictest) as well as Australia, Japan, and China. There isn’t one repository, but here are some links to help consolidate: USA, Canada, Australia, and the EU

Q:  What about DMARC? Especially with Yahoo and Gmail. For example, when a sub user has a Gmail ‘from’ address.

A:  Some ISPs have begun implementing changes to their DMARC policy. Both Yahoo and AOL are the first to make these changes which means that senders can no longer send mail through an ESP using a ‘from’ address of @yahoo.com or @aol.com unless they are sending from either Yahoo or AOL servers.  Otherwise, your mail will either get blocked or bounced upon sending. Both Yahoo and AOL have implemented these security measures to help reduce potential address spoofing of their email domains and we anticipate that more ISPs will follow suit. Those sending for commercial purposes shouldn’t be using gmail ‘from’ addresses.

Q:  Is there a way to split blocked from spam filters? Like Mail.ru blocked us massively, and it has been counted into the blocks, even if it’s really different feedback.

A: ISPs classify filtered and blocks in different ways. The codes returned are similar – which is what allows us to differentiate between a bounce (hard bounce – which gets added to your suppression list) and a block (soft bounce – not suppressed). At this point, if we were to split that out further, the chances of false positives or errors is high.

Q:  Does it make a difference to spam filters how your email image is created using an image map vs table html?

A:  Not anymore. In the past, those email attributes were how ISP’s made their decisions. As the email world has grown, the filtering has become much more sophisticated and decisions are made based on less subjective attributes.

Q:  What is throttling?

A:  Throttling means that your mail is being deferred. The ISP is refusing your message, but the return reason code is a temporary refusal (usually a 400 class error). It could be that you’re hitting the ISPs connection limits or your user’s mailbox is full. It could also mean that the ISP has some concerns that you may be sending spam so they may hold back for a bit, sending mail through slowly to see how users engage with your mail. SendGrid does continue to try to deliver your mail up to 72 hours, after which time if we’re unsuccessful, we’ll consider this a block (soft bounce) in our system. Blocked addresses are not suppressed by SendGrid for future mailings. Here’s additional reference documentation.

Q:  Do you have to go to the dashboard to get stats or can you grab stats via API?

A: You can retrieve statistics via our General Statistics API and our Advanced Stats API.  The reference documentation can be found here.

Q: We have been using a spam detection API called defensio that is going offline this fall.  We were wondering if you guys happen to have a similar API call that can determine the “spamminess” of content within an email/submitted form/etc…? Thanks! 

A:  SendGrid does have a Spam Checker App.This allows you to send mail through SendGrid and receive a Spam Checker filter notification (which utilizes Spam Assassin) when emails are detected that exceed a predefined spam threshold that you set up on your end. The Spam Checker App works on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the most restrictive. When you enable, the default is set to 5 so you can tweak as needed. If over your designated threshold, SendGrid will drop the mail and not deliver to your recipient.

Thanks to everyone who joined us and if you’d like to view the full webcast on demand click here.


When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Content Marketing Coordinator. Kate's responsible for content creation and social media management. Translation? She loves those #hashtags.

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