DomainKeys and Spam Filters at Yahoo Seem to be Broken, Why Not Fix It?

What? If Microsoft is Buying Us Why Shouldn’t They Fix Yahoo Spam Filters in 2008

I have gotten alot of questions about why Yahoo spam filters have gone nuts in 2008.

First of all when you set up DomainKeys on your server it will pass the DK test servers but will not pass the Yahoo servers.

To check this send an email to one of your Yahoo test accounts and then view the header. If DomainKeys passed at Yahoo it will say so in the header. It will also say “failed” if that was the case.

This can cause non delivery or just going to the spam folder. Most times it has been causing non delivery.

At Yahoo size does matter to email delivery

The second issue with Yahoo is that they appear to not verify messages over a certain size. When large test messages were sent to (100k or so), Yahoo would give a temp failure saying the DNS information could not be retrieved. The DNS query it needs to do does not change based on the size of the message. Those exact same messages all verified correctly against Gmail and other verification sites used to test our implimentation.

Not just size but how much

To my understanding Yahoo! has volume control filters at the gateway server level. The result, if an IP address sends more than a certain number of messages per hour to Yahoo!, once the threshold is reached, the message is tagged as bulk and sent to the recipients’ bulk mail folder.

There are 4 approches I would recommend.

Have Yahoo! white list the IP address of the mail server used to send email at their gateway server level. This may be a problem if the emailer uses a shared mail server.

Move to a semi dedicated server, it’s only $30 to $50 a month.

By my new eBook: Get it to the Inbox! Email Delivery 2008

Use the best email autoresponder which is white listed with Yahoo! to do your mailings for you.

The Bottom Line

Dont’ get me wrong when I say use an autoresponder ASP (application service provider) not ASAP. I use one for my mailing list, but mostly for the autoresponder capabilities. This DOES NOT solve the issues of sending your:

  • Sales replies from IPN scripts
  • Download notifications from IPN scripts
  • Refer a friend scripts
  • Your own outgoing personal email
  • Email sent from WordPress for readers comments

You still need to set your email server up properly.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 11, 2008 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Hey Chris,

    Nice summary of an unfortunate situation.

    I would put a small caveat on recommendation #2. If you are a very small provider and do not send much mail, you may not want to switch to a dedicated IP as you probably don’t have enough sending volume to build reputation.

    I see that you as with many others are an Awebber desciple. I have to say that I do not recommend people switch to Aweber as you will have to resubscribe all of your contacts on your list.

    Check out Icontact and take them for a spin. They are who I usually recommend to people who are getting into email marketing.