ICT Services 4 Education


Schools Generic Email Best Practices

Avoiding your email becoming SPAM or Blocked/Blacklisted


Your emails are scanned by bots before they are delivered to your recipient, they monitor and analyse the email. They score your email depending on what’s in the content, the subject and the recipient along with where it’s come from and the configuration of the relaying servers in the middle of your emails journey.

There are no magic keywords to stop your email being delivered to the spam folder or being blocked/blacklisted. To minimise the risk there are a few rules to follow as listed below.

• Try not to send to too many email addresses at once, 15 email addresses max

• Try not to BCC too many people in your emails, 15 email addresses max

• Don't use HTML forms in your emails

• Watch What You Say

  1. Don’t over use “ALL CAPS.” When emphasis is needed, use a maximum of one word per sentence in all capitals, never a whole sentence. The bots will see this as “shouting”
  2. Think about the subject line – don’t make it appear too “spammy” e.g. “OMG!!! Check this out!”
  3. Limiting the use of risky words and phrases throughout your email that could be identified as marketing or illegitimate

• Sometimes little things, like overloading your email with images, could result in immediate blacklisting

  1. Try to balance the image to text ratio
  2. Don’t use images that are linked from the internet, save them to your computer first
  3. Make sure that the image size is small, not more than 30kb is recommended
  4. If you do use internet images make sure they come from credible services or websites you trust
  5. Make sure the image you are using is free to use and not copyright

• Run your email through rigorous testing, including whether you’ve accidentally embedded a virus in it (it happens more often than you think), such as a malicious picture or link from a website

• Make sure your anti-virus software is working correctly and is current


Newsletters and general information are commonplace in everyone's inbox, but if you send a newsletter to a large number (15+) of email addresses you shouldn’t use your email client, such as Outlook; if someone on the mailing list reports the newsletter as spam to different authorities they can blacklist your email address. If you do want to send a large amount of emails we recommend you use a third party application such as MailChimp, Get Response, Sparkpost, ActiveCampaign, AWeber or Emma.

If your messages are being blocked, look closely at any SMTP error codes coming back from the mail servers it may give you a good indication as to why and send the detail to us at ICT Solutions and we will attempt to address the problem