Reputation-based Spam Reports


If there’s one piece of feedback we receive on an almost daily basis, it’s that our spam filtering should take into account the sender’s reputation. Today we’re thrilled to announce that Litmus now offers comprehensive, reputation-based spam filter testing!

Why does reputation matter?

Roughly speaking, about 50% of the decision to deliver your message to a user’s inbox is made based on the content alone. If you’ve included words or phrases commonly associated with unsolicited mail, there’s a chance many filters will flag your email as spam and not deliver it. Litmus already supports filters that are entirely content-based and will report anything that might cause your email to be sent straight to the junk folder. We’ve got you covered there.

However, the other 50% of the decision lies in a much more confusing realm of filtering: reputation. Reputation-based filtering begins with a few simple technologies, such as Sender Policy Framework and Domain Keys Identified Mail, and Litmus will now help you understand and validate these aspects of your sending process. We even offer help setting them up. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Each ISP will store information about the outgoing mail servers used to send large volumes of email to it. Over time, each of these mail servers gain a reputation, good or otherwise. If a particular set of servers send a lot of mail that is later marked as spam, you’ll find your emails struggle to get delivered to some ISPs. Litmus checks the reputation of your outgoing mail servers and lets you know if any ISPs or popular filters are flagging your email as spam.

It doesn’t end there. Litmus will now scan your email headers and any links used in both your plain text and HTML versions, checking if any email blacklists have information about them. This is very important because if you send your campaign while one of your links is on a blacklist (even if it’s a link to a site you don’t own), your reputation will be negatively affected.

What do I need to do differently?

The process for sending in spam tests to Litmus has changed a little to accommodate these new features. We now require you to send to multiple ‘seed’ email addresses, and it’s important that you send from the same place you’ll send your actual campaign from. For example, if you use Campaign Monitor to send your monthly newsletter, make sure you use their ‘send a draft’ form to send to our seed addresses. That way, we’ll be testing yours and Campaign Monitor’s reputations accurately.

While you’re in the earlier stages of designing and proofing your email, you can continue to send to a single address or upload your email. Just don’t check the spam option when creating a test, and Litmus won’t offer you the additional seed addresses.

If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly support team!