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Why Your Email Marketing Is Not Working

Email Marketing Not Working
Email Marketing Not Working

Have you Built up a large email list? Sent hundreds if not thousands of emails? Yet not receiving the response you expected?  What is going on? Why is your email marketing campaign not working?  These frustrations plague companies large and small in all industries.  The main issue is usually related to email server issues.

Server Issues (Email Sent From Hosting Providers)

First Issue: what type of server your website is on?  We always recommend dedicated servers, for any customer looking to be serious about their website, but shared hosting is the most popular because it is cheap. They are also one of the largest causes of Email Marketing Campaigns to fail, or email in general. If your shared hosting provider allows, request a dedicated IP address as this will help tremendously. Shared IP’s can cause sent email to be blocked and sent directly to a spam folder or blocked. Which is what you are trying to avoid in the first place. Email servers look at all email coming in from the same IP address as the same, so a spammer is treated the same as a legitimate email user. So if the shared ip is blocked, all email will be blocked as well.  A dedicated IP address will allow your email to flow, even if the shared IP address is blocked.

Second Issue: Many hosting providers have limitations on email being sent out.  Let’s say your hosts limits email to 250 Emails an hour. But the server attempts to send email to 1000 people without a proper mail list program, a good portion of those emails will be rejected or bounced without the email recipients ever seeing it.  If a hosting provider has an outgoing mail limit, invest in a good mail list program that can control how many emails you can send out per hour.

Third Issue: Even though you may have a dedicated IP address, that does not mean your account is setup to send from that dedicated IP.  Make sure your host setups the server to ensure that when email is sent from your domain, that the ip address matches your domain and not the hostname of the server your are on.  This is extremely important which is covered below.

RDNS,DNS and PTR Records

Another overlooked issue is the proper setup of your DNS records.  When sending out email, the receiving email servers will look at if the IP address matches the domain that it reports it is sending it from.  One of the ways a email server decides if email should be send to the main inbox or junk folder is by ensuring everything matches.  So for example, if email is sent to a yahoo.com email account, their servers will do a reverse look up and determine if the IP address of your server matches the domain of your IP.  It should look represent something like this: = devprocb.com

devprocb.com =

if for example your DNS information is mismatched like this:

devprocb.com =

and the reverse returns something like this: = server.hostedsomewhereelse.com

The email receiving system will look at this as “spammy” and most likely send your email to junk or block the email outright.  It will usually send a bounce back email stating that your email has been blocked because of an RBL/DNS mismatch or something along these lines.  You must ensure your DNS and RDNS is setup properly or email will never will never reach it’s destination properly.  Your hosting or internet provider can assist you with these changes. You will also need to ensure your domain has the ip records setup pointing to your domain correctly.

DKIM/SPF Records.

One of the final things you want to do is ensure that your hosting environment supports and has enabled SPF and DKIM records.  This helps increase the security of your email as well as verify that the email being sent is from a legitimate server.  Your hosting or internet provider will need to help you with the setup of these services if you are not familiar with them.

EXIM:  Exim is the most popular so we will cover this server option first.  Exim handles the outbound email for you so you want to make sure the headers of your email are clean.  One of the first things you want to do is ensure exim is setup to ensure proper delivery.  Below you will find a popular code to help assist you with that.  Please be aware DEVPROCB.COM is not responsible for any damage this code may cause to your system.

THIS CODE WAS DESIGNED FOR cPanel WHM Systems.  You will need to modify it for use in your non cPanel WHM Sysem:

received_header_text = Received: by $primary_hostname ${if def:received_protocol {with $received_protocol}} ${if def:tls_cipher {($tls_cipher)\n\t}} (Exim $version_number)\n\t ${if def:sender_address {(envelope-from <$sender_address>)\n\t}} id $message_exim_id ${if def:received_for {\n\t for $received_for}}

In Conclusion

These are all simple tasks that should take about an hour or two to setup. The full effect will not be seen until 48 hours later. These settings are overlooked very often because hosting and internet providers usually go with default settings. They usually never care to ensure a proper setup for email.  If you have any recommendations,question, or changes feel free to list them in the comments below.


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CIO at a Large Private Company, Web Developer, Web Designer,

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