Most of the major email servers will look at the domain name part of your email address to check that the correct security settings are included in the email header to allow the email server to authenticate that it is from a genuine email address and not created as part of a spam storm. The first two steps below are the most important.
- Try to use the same domain name for your 'From' address, 'Reply-To' address and also the 'SMTP Server Name' (Setup > Provider > Email). Some email servers will compare the domain names used in the out-going email and if they differ they rank the email for spam accordingly.
- Add the relevant DMARC, SPF and DKIM settings to your domain host (talk to your IT provider) - this is very important.
Additional options to check the deliverability of your email.
- If you have a @gmail.com address, create a free account at Google Postmaster Tools. This will give you the ability to see various metrics that Google/Gmail keeps for your domain name and will let you see if there is a problem. Note: it will take a few days for any stats to appear after you create an account with them.
- Check that your domain name isn't on a domain blacklist. You can search for your domain name at MXToolbox. Also search for your domain name at URLVoid.
- Search for your domain name at BorderWare Watchguard. This will show BorderWare's assessment of the reputation of all IP addresses that are sending emails from your domain name. Any servers that have a bad reputation may have become compromised, or may be sending out emails that have generated spam complaints in the past, and should be investigated. You can do a similar search for your domain name at SenderScore.org.
- If you're sending from a free email service such as Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. your emails are often treated more suspiciously by recipient spam filters. It is always better - and more professional - to send emails from your own (or your business') domain name. You should never send emails from a Yahoo or AOL email address (as of April 2014) as these domains are now restricted by their DMARC policies. You should also not send from a Gmail email address as of June 2016 due to Gmail's new DMARC policy.
- If you place links in an HTML email, it is best to not display the actual link (http://www.etc...) in your email. Many email programs now have anti-phishing technology which treats such links suspiciously. If the underlying URL of your link is different from the URL displayed, then your email will be marked as spam by email clients such as Thunderbird. And never use an IP address in a link.
- Never use URL shorteners in an email.
You can test the likelihood of your email being regarded as Spam by using email checking sites such as https://www.mail-tester.com/ You will be provided with a unique email address like firstname.lastname@example.org that you can put as the patient's email address and then try sending emails from different locations in the Incisive application. You will be provided with a score. Anything with a score of -5 or less is likely to be marked as Spam. Scores of -1 or -2 should see the emails successfully delivered to the recipient's Inbox.