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Test emails say success -- but not always received. Response rates have dropped


#1

We’re at a loss. Since September our response rates have dropped in half! Virtually over night, and we think it’s because some of our emails aren’t reaching the inboxes.
We’ve been using PhpList since 2009. Have a double opt-in list (approx 4000 subscribers), add/drop subscribers reasonably often and have never had an issue before.
We have done a few clean installs of the latest versions (running 3.3.7 now) Php 7.2, changed vps hosting – because the old host seemed to be unresponsive. We’d been with them 9 years! But we are still experiencing intermittent email blocking/sending issues.
We have run email testers (to check for spamminess) and have come up 10/10. Our old IP was not blacklisted, and obviously our new IP is not either.
Honestly, we have no idea what is taking place.
When we send test emails, some make it through, and some don’t. We can send to multiple gmail accounts and some will get it, others won’t. It doesn’t appear to be specific to any email service.
We also have several email accounts from our domain, set up to be imported into gmail – those also appear to work intermittently.
We would love to hear some thoughts from the bright folks out there who know way more than we do!
Thanks in advance,
JG64


#2

Did these check technical aspects like DMARK and DKIM, or only content? Domain blacklisting appears to be a reality, so it’s possible Gmail follows your sender address around the various servers you’ve tried. Changing VPS / IP will probably make deliverability worse before it gets better (IPs need warming, reputation needs building).

Check if the issue is only with Gmail. They are the toughest in my experience.


#3

Sam…thanks for the response. The mail-tester.com test that we ran gave pretty complete details. We got a 10/10 ratingm but It did say we were – “not fully authenticated” meaning: server is authorized to use bounces@xxx.com, DKIM signature is valid, server is successfully associated our server name, hostname is assigned to server, message is safe and well formatted…blah, blah, blah – the only hit was" You do not have a DMARC record" – then it instructed to: please add TXT record to your domain _dmarc.mail.xxxxxxxx.com with the following value: v=DMARC1; p=none. Not even sure how to do that!
We have done nothing as of yet. We were waiting for some discussion and direction.
Thanks.


#4

Sam,
I also want to point out that when we look at who has opened our emails in statistics, we have emails from gmail, yahoo, hotmail, outlook, bellsouth, etc, etc, etc…
It does not appear to be one email service that is preventing our email from being received.
Thanks.


#5

I use DKIM wizard to create my DKIM keys, the site also shows how to add, but you need access to your dns settings on your host c panel


#6

Thanks.
Is that something I would be able to do under the DNS functions tab of my Web Host Manager (WHM)?
There is a tab titled “Enable DKIM/SPF globally”?


#7

These are the results of the test and instructions provided for the DMARC portion:

You do not have a DMARC record, please add a TXT record to your domain _dmarc.mail.mark-a-hydrant.com with the following value:

v=DMARC1; p=none

Verification details:

The DKIM passes, the DMARC=none


#8

DMARC should definitely help deliverability, but it’s hard to say how much. It’s also strange if you also didn’t have it setup before, and the deliverability issues you have now developed only recently. Not sure.


#9

You could also try using Google Postmaster tools to debug the issue, but that requires a relatively high volume of mail to get any readings.


#10

Sam,
Thanks for the input!