Message: previous - next
Month: September 2020

Re: [trinity-users] An eMail solution

From: Steven D'Aprano <steve@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2020 09:58:18 +1000
On Wed, Sep 02, 2020 at 07:09:50AM +0200, Thierry de Coulon wrote:

> Not always that easy. I have a domain, but my "private" mail often gets 
> considered as spam (mostly from monopolies like Google or Microsoft).

That word, "monopoly", I don't think it means what you think it means.

No email provider has even close to a monopoly. Gmail has just over a 
quarter; If you combine Apple's desktop and mobile, they have almost 45% 
market share; and Microsoft has barely over 12% market share.

It's not 1998 any more, Microsoft is not the Big Bad that they used to 
be, and Apple is not the plucky underdog. I find it ironic and a bit 
disturbing that you don't mention the company that comes closest to 
controlling half of all email share, Apple, but do kick the dead horse 
of Microsoft's non-existent email monopoly.

(One might make a case for MS still having a near monopoly on the 
desktop OS, but that is less and less relevant today as more and more 
computing is done outside of the desktop.)

I run an annoucement-only non-commercial mailing list that sends out a 
fanzine email to about 800 addresses once a month, and in my experience, 
the Big Bad in email is Yahoo and its partners Verizon and AOL. They are 
*incredibly* difficult to get email to if you are sending from a home 
server, even if you use an ISP as intermediary.

Hotmail is a distant second: they tend to put temporary blocks on IP 
address ranges due to abuse from any one address in the range, so can 
stop accepting mail from an entire ISP for days at a time.

(Ironically, I've never had that same bounce from an 
address, only I guess they're still running on different 
systems with different tactics for dealing with spam.)

But I've never had problems with delivery to Gmail, not in my private 
mail or in my mailing list.

In my experience, to maximise your chances of being able to get email 
successfully delivered:

* A static IP address for your domain is better than a dynamic IP 

* Set outgoing mail to go via your ISP's outgoing mail server, not 
directly from your machine. In postfix, that's "relayhost = <server>".

* If you don't have an SPF record for your domain, get one immediately, 
otherwise using your ISP could hurt more than it helps.

* If you can work out how to set up DKIM, do so. (I haven't done so yet, 
so this is more theoretical than my personal experience.)

* Throttle your sending! Nobody publishes the rate that will trigger 
their "this is spam" filter, so set it as low as you can possibly bear. 
(This obviously doesn't apply to mails you are writing and sending by 
hand, unless you queue them up and send out 100 at once.)

* Regularly clean out your receivers and remove addresses that bounce.

* Don't spam!!! (Goes without saying really :-)

And take a deep breath, because no matter what you do, you are at the 
mercy of:

- spammers that ruin the reputation of entire IP ranges;

- techies who bloke entire IP ranges;

- people who get their computers infected with malware;

- people who buy internet-enabled crap that invariably will become 
infected with malware;

- well-meaning but clueless management bots at Yahoo and other mail 

- real-time blacklists that have a zero-tolerance towards even the 
faintest hint of spam and will throw you on the list for even the 
tiniest offense, including sending from the wrong IP address;

- ISPs that don't understand their own mail system (I once had to 
explain to my ISP's **second level support** that their outgoing mail 
servers are not the same as the server they use for incoming mail);

- dumb keyword filters;

- not-so-dumb filters that learn spam as they go, epecially when people 
prefer to err on the side of throwing away legitimate mail rather than 
getting a single spam;

- and clueless and/or malicious end-users who click "This is spam" 
rather than take a minute to unsubscribe from mailing lists they no 
longer care about.

If Outlook is throwing out your mail, try setting up an SPF record.