A while back, I was tasked with solving an email problem for a company I worked with. The problem was that the HR department needed to send an email to all of the company employees (as in a couple thousand of them), and every time that they tried a few of the emails would make it to their destination, but most of the emails would “bounce” (that is, give an error message saying that they couldn’t be delivered).
I advised that they stop sending bulk emails from their Outlook inbox.
What causes bulk emails to be rejected?
- The HR team was attempting to send a single email to all of their employees (over 2,000 of them) from their Outlook inbox
- The Exchange server was configured to use Barracuda Networks’ spam filtering
- Barracuda saw a large number of emails and flagged them as spam, causing most of the email messages to bounce
Our server technician spoke with Barracuda’s support network to confirm what we suspected…the company was technically spamming everyone.
If you have bulk mail that must go out immediately, you can either bypass the Barracuda Email Security Service or use a mass mailing service designed for this purpose. If your mass mailing service does not retry deferred mail, Barracuda recommends configuring the service to deliver the mail directly to the Internet or relaying the mail through a fully functional mail server that can correctly handle deferred mail.
When an email passes through the spam filter, it is marked as spam, and thus not delivered. The upside to this is that in doing so, your domain doesn’t get blacklisted as being a spam operation.
The downside is that you will not get the email to the recipient.
It’s just not going to happen.
How do I prevent bulk emails from being flagged as spam?
Sure, you could disable your spam filter, but that is a HORRIBLE idea. If you turn off the spam filter, you could get blacklisted and then none of your emails will go anywhere. You’ll be much worse off if that happens.
However, there is a solution!
If you are planning to send bulk emails, you really need to use a mailing list service like Aweber or Constant Contact.
Note: I’m going to focus on Aweber, since that’s the platform that I’m most familiar with.
Aweber is a mailing list management tool. It’s web based, and there is a free version for people with smaller mailing lists who are just getting started.
You’ll be able to maintain a mailing list with opt-in capability (which is a must), see who opens the emails, and determine whether or not the recipient email is valid.
This video talks about getting started with the free version:
Who needs a mailing list service, anyway?
Great question! If you own a company and regularly need to deliver emails to a large number of outside email addresses (like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo Mail addresses), or if you run a blog and need to be able to send updates to your subscribers, then you need to manage your emails and make sure that your stuff gets read (and not just blocked or ignored).
Try Aweber for free today. You won’t regret it!