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Old 7 Feb 2024, 11:37 PM   #1
artman
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Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Lenexa, KS (Kansas City metro)
Posts: 14
My emails go to recipient's spam folder

I use a Gmail address to send my emails.

I teach a handgun class for new shooters. When a person is interested in information I send them an email with the subject line of "Introduction To The Shooting Sports". In the body of the message where I explain the class description I use that same title, the word "gun" a couple of times and the word "ammo". I also attach 3 photographs of the shooting range that I use.

My emails usually end up in the recipient's spam or junk folder and the message is never opened. I think most people don't check their spam or junk folder and they probably delete all the messages without checking for ones that might be relevant.

I sometimes try to use a different subject line that doesn't include the word shooting but I don't think this helps.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can correct this problem so the emails about my gun class don't end up in the spam folder?

Thanks very much. Bill
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Old 8 Feb 2024, 12:30 AM   #2
n5bb
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
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Are you using Google/Gmail servers to actually send those emails? If you are using some other server you will have difficulty due to DMARC, since the SPF records of the gmail.com domain direct email systems to softfail (treat as spam but not delete) messages from non-gmail sending servers. The SPF record for gmail.com is now:
Code:
 v=spf1 include:_netblocks.google.com include:_netblocks2.google.com include:_netblocks3.google.com ~all
The ~all at the end of the SPF record specifies that any sending server not in those Google “netblocks” lists of Gmail servers should be treated as a spammer with a softfail classification.

SPF breaks forwarding with respect to DMARC. The only way to reliably send email with a gmail.com FROM address is to generate the message directly at a Gmail server using webmail or an email client which connects to the Google servers.

Bill
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Old 8 Feb 2024, 11:52 PM   #3
TenFour
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Quote:
My emails usually end up in the recipient's spam or junk folder and the message is never opened. I think most people don't check their spam or junk folder and they probably delete all the messages without checking for ones that might be relevant.
I have found that Outlook.com and other Microsoft-hosted email addresses have this problem a lot. They are very aggressive at declaring stuff as Junk no matter what you or they do. Also, the images could be causing a problem. Send a link to a website where you host the images and it will reduce your spam score a lot. But, you could have run into the problem that someone has reported you as spam in the past, and email services will pick up on that.
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Old 9 Feb 2024, 12:39 AM   #4
artman
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Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Lenexa, KS (Kansas City metro)
Posts: 14
n5bb - thanks for your reply. I am sorry but I really don't understand the information you gave me as I am not an email expert.

TenFour - thanks also for your reply. I am a single person (not a company) that is giving handgun shooting instruction to individual people - I send my email message only when someone contacts me and is interested in information. For this reason I don't think people are reporting that I am sending spam.

I am sending from my Gmail account. I also have an att.net (AT&T) account so I can try to send from that email address to see if my message still goes into my recipient's spam/junk folder. If I send the message with the photographs from my Gmail address to my Gmail address the message comes into my Inbox without going to my spam folder.

I am using Thunderbird on a Windows 10 machine to send my emails. The next time I need to send a gun class email I will log into Google and send it directly from my Gmail account on the Google website - maybe that will work. I will also try sending the message without attaching the 3 photographs of the gun range.

My recipient's email client/app may be receiving the message but it sends it to the spam folder - I don't know. This is very frustrating to send a legitimate message and it goes into the spam folder.

Thank you very much for trying to help me. Bill
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Old 9 Feb 2024, 01:02 AM   #5
malcontent
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You could email your recipients (text only) with a brief request to whitelist your email address to ensure future email deliveries from you.
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Old 9 Feb 2024, 01:04 AM   #6
n5bb
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Bill, I was asking if your Thunderbird email client was configured to send email through a Gmail SMTP server or a different company's server (such as your ISP). For example, you can mail a piece of physical postal mail by going to your local post office or a post office facility in another town. In the case of Gmail, Google asks email receiving systems to treat the message as spam if it wasn't sent through the smtp.gmail.com server.

This setting is in the Thunderbird settings, which can be found as follows:
  • In your Thunderbird Folders list, click on your email address (top folder)
  • Then click Account Settings in the upper right of the screen
  • At the bottom of this screen, you will see "Outgoing Server (SMTP)". Is this set to Google Mail - smtp.gmail.com?
  • If it is not (but is set to some other SMTP server, such as at your ISP), you may have difficulty with your messages treated as spam.
Bill
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Old 9 Feb 2024, 02:58 AM   #7
artman
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Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Lenexa, KS (Kansas City metro)
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by malcontent View Post
You could email your recipients (text only) with a brief request to whitelist your email address to ensure future email deliveries from you.
If the person provides me with their phone number when they request information I always send a text immediately after I send the email telling them I have sent it and if the message does not appear in their inbox to check their spam folder. Unfortunately most of the time they don't include their phone number.
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Old 9 Feb 2024, 03:09 AM   #8
artman
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Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Lenexa, KS (Kansas City metro)
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by n5bb View Post
Bill, I was asking if your Thunderbird email client was configured to send email through a Gmail SMTP server or a different company's server (such as your ISP). For example, you can mail a piece of physical postal mail by going to your local post office or a post office facility in another town. In the case of Gmail, Google asks email receiving systems to treat the message as spam if it wasn't sent through the smtp.gmail.com server.

This setting is in the Thunderbird settings, which can be found as follows:
  • In your Thunderbird Folders list, click on your email address (top folder)
  • Then click Account Settings in the upper right of the screen
  • At the bottom of this screen, you will see "Outgoing Server (SMTP)". Is this set to Google Mail - smtp.gmail.com?
  • If it is not (but is set to some other SMTP server, such as at your ISP), you may have difficulty with your messages treated as spam.
Bill
Bill - I checked my Thunderbird settings and the outgoing mail server was set to smtp.mail.att.net (default). I had no idea it was set to AT&T. I have changed it to the gmail outgoing server. Hopefully this will fix the spam issue!!

I used my att.net email for several years and then a couple of years ago I changed to Gmail. When I added the Gmail server setting settings to Thunderbird I can't believe I didn't change the outgoing server setting. I still have the att.net account on Thunderbird just in case someone important sends me an email although I did a very good job of notifying everyone about my email address change.

I have the att.net account also on my iPhone along with the Gmail address. I think I will delete the att.net account on my PC and only keep it on my phone just in case a get a message on att.net which is usually junk.

Thanks very much for the information. I really appreciate your help.

Bill
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Old 9 Feb 2024, 03:34 AM   #9
n5bb
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I hope that fixes the issue, Bill. From your description this sounded like the most likely cause of so many recipients discovering you emails classified as spam. Yahoo is even more strict, and messages sent through a non-Yahoo SMTP server with a yahoo.com From address will be bounced by DMARC-compliant email systems.

Microsoft upgraded their policies in July, 2023, to honor the DMARC published policy for a domain.

I believe that the vast majority of rejected (email not accepted by the receiving server) or marked-as-spam emails are due to sending server reputation and ignorance of DMARC rather than “spam rules”.

Bill
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