You don’t spam people. But your mail still ends up in your spam folder. This can be pretty frustrating if you’ve paid good money to set up spam checks and the like on your cPanel hosting panel. Here at www.xxiwebhosting.com, we help cPanel users troubleshoot to avoid spam reaching cPanel email issues through our external technical support services for web hosts.
CPanel users complain that even after they have enabled spam checking, mailbox trap, authentication, and more, their business mail still ends up in the spam folders of Gmail, Hotmail, etc. There would be no obvious explanation for this. For example, the IP of the mail server will not be blacklisted. So why cPanel do emails end up in your spam folder?
What causes cPanel emails to end up in the spam folder?
Mail servers use a wide variety of spam checks to prevent spam.
This includes checking IP reputation, composing messages, RFC-compliant SMTP handshaking, feedback from email users, and more. All of these checks together produce a spam score, which determines whether an email is spam. We have noticed that some messages, while legitimate, have a low spam rating due to the server’s poor IP network reputation, message encoding, message headers, etc. Thus, major email providers are careful to flag an email with a low spam rating as spam.
How to prevent cPanel emails from ending up in your spam folder
Mail servers mark emails as spam based on their spam and not spam ratings. To prevent emails from being marked as spam, we need to strengthen the “not spam” signals and reduce the possible “spam” signals.
Here are the best ways to do it:
Configuring FCrDNS (forward confirmed reverse DNS)
The vast majority of spam is sent from infected computers or poorly maintained mail servers. These servers and PCs usually have the wrong hostname and IP address for which there is no PTR record. Many email service providers (like Hotmail) use this as an important indicator of the source of spam. Thus, we avoid this spam score by configuring FCrDNS, which means:
- The IP address of the mail server will have a PTR record pointing to the server name. For example, if the IP address is 18.104.22.168, it will point to ServerName.com.
- The server name will point to the IP address assigned to the server. For example ServerName.com will point to 22.214.171.124.
This will complete the full DNS cycle, and many service providers consider this to be an indicator of good mail server health.
Configure DNS SPF and DKIM records
Spammers often use fake “From” email IDs to get customers to click on a phishing link. This is called spoofing. Mail servers fight this by using DNS records called SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail). The SPF and DKIM records list the authorized IP addresses for sending mail for the domain and decryption keys for the encrypted headers. Receiving mail servers use this to check if incoming mail is valid.
If no SPF or DKIM records are specified, receiving mail servers will operate on the assumption that the sender might be a bogus. This can lead to the email being marked as spam if it contains spam-like content (links, bright images, etc.).
Enable spam scanning in outgoing mail
cPanel by default only checks incoming mail as spam. It uses several high quality algorithms to check if incoming emails contain spam links, images, text or attachments. We also enable this strict spam check for outbound mail. Thus, if an email is likely to be marked as spam in Gmail, Hotmail, etc., it will not be sent. The email user will have the option to modify the message based on the spam score.
Choose a reputable IP block
Some blacklists block entire ranges of IP addresses when they constantly send spam. Thus, if your server neighbors are spamming or have a history of spamming, your IP address rating may be high. You can see the spam rate for your IP address and IP range on websites like senderscore.com. When we see that an IP block has a blacklisting history, we recommend changing it to an IP with a better reputation. And in this way you can avoid spam reaching cPanel email.