How to improve email alert deliverability.

The website can send out many different types of email alerts (and texts, but that’s a different post). As third party email services (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) and internet service providers (Comcast, Verizon, etc.) try to cut down on the volume of spam their servers have to deal with, they have been tightening the restrictions on the types of email their servers will accept.

In order to maximize the deliverability of the emails that your website sends out to users, the following should be done. You may not have to do all of these steps, start with one, see if it helps, and if it doesn’t move on to the next step.

  1. If your website uses an IP address (a bunch of numbers with dots) instead of a domain name, get and use a domain name. Register it yourself at for $10/year or Valued Websites can provide it (and own it) for $25/year.
  2. Set all your email alert From addresses to come from the same domain name as your website. Don’t have it come from @gmail as it’s obvious to everyone that your website is not gmail. This includes the order form and contact form auto-reply Send To’s. This is probably the most important step you can take. You may need to get third party email accounts. *
  3. Have your domain name registrar set (or reset) an SPF record that will include the IP address of your web server. In your admin click on Settings and in the instructions area it should contain your server’s IP address (if it’s not there Contact Valued Websites to find out the IP address of your web server).
  4. Use a third party SMTP service.

* If your website uses a different domain name than your regular email accounts, if someone were to reply to an email alert coming out of the website, it wouldn’t get delivered to anyone. In this case, contact Valued Websites to create forwarders from website email accounts to your real email accounts.