Amazon SES Blog

DKIM Troubleshooting Series: Deliverability Considerations

Hello and welcome to the last entry in the Amazon SES DKIM troubleshooting blog series. So far, we have seen various technical problems that appeared between us and properly signed emails, and we also saw how DKIM helps protect our domain from various impersonators. We will now see whether DKIM can also improve our deliverability (the likelihood that our emails will arrive in our recipients’ Inboxes as opposed to their Spam or Junk folders).

Why are my emails still getting to the spam folder, even if I am properly using DKIM?

Ok, we have set up proper authentication, but now we need to focus on a new problem. Our emails are still arriving in the Spam folders of our customers for a major ISP. We cannot understand what’s wrong. Wasn’t DKIM supposed to prevent that?

DKIM is a great way to show ISPs that the emails we send actually belong to us. It also helps ISPs differentiate our traffic from other emails originating from the same IP address, by associating our email with our domain reputation. This way, we’re giving ISPs the opportunity to decide whether to place our emails in the Spam or Inbox based on our domain reputation regardless of the actual originating IP address.

What DKIM doesn’t do, however, is influence our domain’s actual standing with ISPs. By signing the email, our domain took responsibility for its content. If that content is unsolicited, for example, and the recipient clicks the "Report Spam" button, then we will be in trouble, and so will emails originating from our domain. Alternatively, if we are sending a high-quality email which is gladly accepted by our recipients, our good (domain) reputation will follow across outgoing IP addresses.

We start reading the Amazon SES Email Sending Best Practices whitepaper and discover the different building blocks of developing a rock-solid sending reputation. For example, we can start by analyzing our high complaint rate and investigating what we can do to reduce it. This is no longer a matter for this blog post though…

This seven part blog post series covered the most common issues we notice our customers having when they set up EasyDKIM with SES. We hope to have shed some light on details of this process that are more obscure on first sight. If you haven’t found the answer to your problem here, if the suggestions in these posts don’t work for you or if you just want to say hi, we invite you to post on the Amazon SES Forum and ask any questions you may have.

Happy sending and thank you for using SES!