Prevent Your School’s Emails From Being Flagged as Spam

If you surf higher education marketing blogs often, you’ve probably noticed there are numerous posts focused on keeping your college or university’s emails out of the Spam folder. Many bloggers claim to have the “be-all end-all” method to shooting your emails spamstraight to a potential students/alumni’s inbox, thus increasing your overall email open rate. Not to be harsh, but some of these tactics can be hit or miss. However, we’d like to share a little known proven tip you’ve probably never heard of for keeping your emails far away from the Spam folder.

What is this magical tip?

To explain the process ahead, first we need to get slightly technical. Have you ever received an email from yourself? One you know you didn’t send but it shows it came from you? This is known as email spoofing. Sender Packet Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) work to prevent email spoofing by verifying the senders IP address and moving suspicious emails directly to the Spam folder. We’re only going to discuss SPF since DKIM is actually something you I.T. department would need to have a hand in.

Now if your school is sending out emails using Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or any other free email providers, your emails could be headed straight for the spam folder if these accounts do not have an SPF record. This also includes your Google Apps, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and Emma accounts.

Where do I begin?

Let’s start by verifying if each of your college or university’s email accounts have an SPF record.

To get started, visit then follow the screenshots below to check your organization’s SPF record.

Use MXToolbox to check your organization's SPF record.
The second step of using MXToolbos to look for SPF records.
Step 3 of finding SPF records set up for your domain.

If you’re using one of the email marketing service providers below, click the relevant link to create an SPF record:

Watch the video to learn more about SPF records and making sure your school’s email content does not end up in the Spam folder. If you have any further questions about SPF/Spam/or email marketing in general, please contact us.