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Email Deliverability: Increased Spam Email Protection Makes These Best Practices Vital

March 11, 2021

The influx of phishing and spam emails, combined with the recent Microsoft email hack, has made email deliverability a little more challenging. As concerns over security and privacy increase, email service providers continue to make email filters stricter. 

CountingWorks PRO emails fall into the following categories: transactional (E-Sign or message notification), reminders, or marketing emails (newsletter). 

We have taken steps to improve system-generated email by optimizing the email structure, minimizing the use of words that might get flagged, and monitoring email delivery rates. Our platform successfully delivers millions of emails every month. 

Here are some areas that you might look at if you are facing email deliverability challenges. 

1. Do not use Gmail or Yahoo type emails as your “from” email address. 

Use an email address  that includes your domain name as the “from” sender. Ex: lee@myfavoritetaxcpa.com.

2. If you host your own domain, update your email settings to include our SPF settings. 

Unlike other email products out there, we allow for maximized branding of your messages, which means the messages appear to come right from you. There are some instances where mail servers will recognize that you are not the actual sender of this message. 

This can cause the messages to go to spam. However, there is a way that you can tell other servers that it is OK for our server to send messages on your behalf. 

Please have your IT person add this SPF record to your DNS entry to ensure proper deliverability:

  • For Google:
    • v=spf1 a mx include:world-serv.net include:_spf.google.com ~all
    • If you do have an existing SPF record, add this to the SPF record string:
      • include:world-mailserv.net -all
  • For Rackspace email:
    • v=spf1 a mx include:world-mailserv.net include:emailsrvr.com ?all
    • If you do have an existing SPF record, add this to the SPF record string:
      • include:world-mailserv.net -all
  • For Office365 email:
    • v=spf1 a mx include:world-mailserv.net include:spf.protection.outlook.com ?all
    • If you do have an existing SPF record, add this to the SPF record string:
      • include:world-mailserv.net -all

If you use another third party system, please inquire to research the proper SPF settings for your configuration. 

3. Do not use words that might be flagged as spam. 

Check out this article by AutoPilot with a list of 202 spam trigger words you will want to avoid.

4. Ask your subscribers to add your “from” email address to their contact list. 

For example, in Gmail, users can hover over the sender’s name in the top-left corner of the email, then click “Add to Contacts.” Emails from a subscriber’s contacts always go to the Primary inbox. Ask your subscribers to add your “from” email address to their contact lists.

5. Did the recipient flag you as a junk sender? 

The number 1 issue we see with email deliverability is when your recipient flagged one of your emails as spam or unsubscribed. They will need to resubscribe to get you off a blocked list.

6. Has your email been hacked? 

If your email has recently been hacked or spoofed in a hacker phishing campaign, your domain or even phone number might be showing up on spam filter tools and being blocked. There are steps you can take to get yourself removed if this has occurred. Contact your IT professional for support.

7 . Ensure you have proper DMARC settings. 

We have found that some clients who manage their own DMARC settings have made the settings so high they get their own emails flagged by many internet providers. This usually looks like:

  • None,
  • Quarantine, or 
  • Reject 

Many times we see “quarantine” ending up in spam folders. You will want to change that to “none.” 

When in doubt, you can view the flagged email header to see why the email is being blocked or delivered to spam. Here is a great email header guide for the most popular email clients.

Keeping your domain name and sender email scoring low in spam filters is our priority. Ensure you only send emails to people who have opted in or have a pre-existing business relationship. 

If you need assistance with updating your SPF records, please reach out to Client Success at help@countingworkspro.com. 


Pro advice, ideas, and information to help your practice get going and grow.

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Lee Reams II

I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.

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