Monday, September 19, 2011

Emails to Hotmail lost

I manage the newsletters/email list for a non-profit organization. The organization has it own website and mail server hosted on a shared server with a hosting company. We use phplist to manage the organization's email list. Everything was working fine and email subscribers were receiving emails from our mailing list.
One day, we noticed that users who have subscribed with a hotmail or windows live email id stopped receiving emails. We checked our mail logs and confirmed that the mails were transmitted and there was no bounce back from the hotmail service.
After some research I found out that we were not alone and several folks using shared hosting had mail delivery issues with the hotmail/windows live service. Apparently Microsoft's spam filtering mechanism thought our email was spam. Doing a Google on the above issue turned out quite a few posting with plenty of Microsoft bashing.
I decided to followup with Microsoft and opened a support ticket. While on the support site I came across the guidelines page that lists the guidelines for proper delivery of email to Hotmail/live accounts. Basically you have to create Publish Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record for the domain the email will be send from. Here is a good reading on SPF.
Submit a SenderId ticket to Hotmail from Submit new Sender ID Records to Windows Live Hotmail.
Once your submission is approved, the emails from your domain will be delivered to the Hotmail users.


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