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I have an email server on my VPS and my emails from my domain fall into spam. I have checked by mail-tester.com and it looks ok. Emails are not newsletters. They are normal customer correspondence. It is not a new domain or a new email address. We sent email before and everything was ok. What can I check and fix?

v=spf1 include:spf.easyname.com ip4:XX.XXX.XX.XXX ~all

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  • "my domain fall into spam", but you're not telling us where, how often, or anything. This means you'll only get general answers. Mar 24 at 14:55
  • Does your reverse DNS match forward DNS? Have a look at the headers of the email in spam and see what clues it gives as to why it was classified as spam.
    – davidgo
    Mar 25 at 4:20

2 Answers 2

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Not knowing your specific domain, it's impossible to diagnose. However, there are several things you can check (and perhaps improve):

  • SPF: you have an SPF record, but it's lax. Change the ~all to -all, so that ONLY your declared servers can send emails on your behalf.
  • DKIM: are you using DKIM and is it properly configured?
  • DMARC: do you have DMARC setup and properly configured? Is it strict? I recommend the strictest policy, which is to deny any emails that fail either SPF or DKIM checks.

A strict record should look like this:

v=DMARC1; p=reject; sp=reject; fo=1; aspf=s; adkim=s; pct=100; 
  • PTR / rDNS records: do all your sending IPs have properly configured PTR / rDNS records?

Additional checks:

  • Send a test email to a Gmail account, and if it goes to spam, review the headers to understand why (click on the three dots at the right side of the message, and select the Show Original option)
  • Signup to Gmail postmasters' tools, and monitor if you are exceeding spam sending thresholds
  • Review your IPs reputation, perhaps you've fallen into a particular blacklist that mail-tester is not checking
  • Ensure you are only sending authenticated emails
  • Review your email logs for any warnings that need to be addressed
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From experience, I would suspect a problem with IP reputation, check in mxtoolbox for example if your IP address is not present in some more blacklists.

But based on the screenshot you posted it appears that you have DKIM and you've done pretty much all you could. Unfortunately deliverability is a common issue for people using self-hosted mail.

One possible workaround would be to use an external SMTP with better IP reputation for relaying your outgoing mail. For example, Google or Amazon SES. Then, your deliverability rates might improve but this cannot be guaranteed and will always depend on the destination.

The market for E-mail services is highly concentrated, and the big actors don't make it easy for independent operators like you or me. They would rather err on the side of caution and discard mail from small actors rather than risk accepting spam. Maybe there is also a perverse reasoning that by causing somewhat random or arbitrary deliverability issues, independent-minded persons will eventually cave in and move to commercial providers.

It is also possible that your webhost has a mediocre history, then it is their whole IP address ranges that are "untrusted", and you are just collateral damage.

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