Tips for setting up to avoid being flagged as spam?

(I had to edit all the email addresses shown because it looked like I was including more than 2 links)

I’m a new user to phpList 3.3.6. I’m a volunteer trying to help setup a small mailing list for a church. The site is hosted on Webintellects and phpList was installed via their automated “Softaculous” tool.

I created a mailbox user specifically for this list: listserver@iglesiabautista. net. I can send emails from that mailbox to my gmail address without a problem.

When I first configured phpList, like others I was getting all emails to @iglesiabautista. net addresses but nothing to other addresses I used. No bounces or errors, nothing in junk, just no emails whatsoever. I tried setting the message envelope to the dedicated bounce address, bounces@iglesiabautista. net. After that, I can now receive test messages, campaigns, start/end messages, and processing reports.

However, some (but not all) of these messages go into the Junk folder on my email client. When I view the messages on the web in gmail, they all have a yellow caution that the message might be a phishing attempt because it might not have come from the sender ( appears to send all the messages; that’s how they want it). I verified SPF/DKIM are enabled in cpanel.

Is there a way to reliably setup phpList so that it avoids being designated SPAM? Is there any reason why I send out a campaign to my test list and some of the generated emails (campaign start, campaign end, etc) are spam while others aren’t? I’m trying to get this straightened out before I start trying to import his current lists into phpList. Please let me know if more information is needed to answer my questions.

No, because gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc do not explain how their junk mail classification works.

This is quite understandable. The email claims to be from a gmail address but has not actually been sent through gmail servers, instead it has been sent through your web server. You should use an email address on your domain as the From address, you can forward automatically any replies to the gmail address.

Thanks for the reply. I was hoping there was some way to setup the envelope or SPF record to make GMail less suspicious of the sender. I’ll try using a domain email address to see if that is successful.

EDIT: I forgot I tried that already. Some of the messages still go to spam, but now the warning is a gray stop sign with the message " Why is this message in spam? It is similar to messages that were identified as spam in the past."

Oddly the Campaign started and queue processing reports make it to the inbox, albeit with warnings the message might be spoofed, but the campaign finished message and the actual campaign both go to spam. I think the answer might be in the SPF, and I think I need to check with my hosting provider for help there.

You might want to try an online spam score assessment service. That would tell you more about issues with SPF and DKIM, among other things.

Also a header change in the new release of phpList, due this week, may improve your deliverability somewhat.

Thank you. I contacted the hosting provider and they made the appropriate changes to the SPF record. The messages now have a 9/10 score and should be good to send. The -1 is for lack of DKIM, which isn’t controlled by the hosting service but rather the mail relay company they use. This all used to be a lot less complicated (but more easy to spoof) back in the old days :slight_smile:

Nice work – good luck!