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I created an email (either outlook or gmail) and sent some people emails. Later, when I tried to log into my email, I was given a notification that my account has been marked as a spam account. Does this mean that my emails were sent to the spam folder. How can I guarantee that an outlook or gmail account is delivered to its intended recipient without being in the spam folder? And is there a way of knowing afterwards whether an email was delivered to the inbox and not the spam folder?

Also, I'm sending legitimate emails. I'm not mass emailing anyone, I probably emailed five people and the content of the email included one link and several attachments. Is this why, and if it is, how can I overcome this?

  • This doesn't really sound like an IT security question as much as a "how does SMTP work and how to best manage it" question. – baldPrussian Jan 16 '18 at 20:58
  • @baldPrussian - Its not even how does SMTP work. Most spam filters are beyond SMTP. – Hector Jan 16 '18 at 20:58
  • The sender cannot know about the folder a message ends up in at the recipient's end. Doesn't deal with SMTP and not necessarily even with spam filters, since the recipient may have personal filters/rules. – user308986 Jan 1 at 8:41
  • This would be impossible to guarantee for many reasons ranging from email server hacking and email account access compromised to the mundane auto spam filtering or the intended person has someone that screens and possibly answering most emails received. – Steve Kinzey Jan 2 at 22:40
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How can I guarantee that an outlook or gmail account is delivered to its intended recipient without being in the spam folder?

You can't guarantee this. For all you know the sender has a filter to send all email from unknown recipients to spam. All you can do is follow best practices, avoid using IPs on known blacklists, make sure your architecture is fully standards compliant and hope for the best.

And is there a way of knowing afterwards whether an email was delivered to the inbox and not the spam folder?

No (unless you count making alternative contact to the recipient and asking them). The senders spam filter is configured by them. It doesn't have to acknowledge receiving the email - and even if it did it could lie.

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  • Thank ou. What do you mean to avoid using IPs on known blacklists? I'm using a VPN so i'm not sure if that is affecting it. Additionally, does the fact that I used links and attachments in my images something that matters? – user477465 Jan 16 '18 at 21:05
  • @user477465 - unless you run your own email servers you are unlikely to have to worry about blacklists. If using gmail the receiver sees googles email addresses. If you do run your own email server see rackaid.com/blog/email-blacklists. – Hector Jan 16 '18 at 21:21
  • e-mail blacklists are not necessarily the only evil. I run a mail server of my own, and it is impossible for a message sent from it to be delivered to any Gmail recipient because Gmail simply has such a policy of its own. – user308986 Jan 1 at 8:43
  • @Mikko - Emails from my personal domain running on a cheap VPS get delivered without issue. Are your MX records set up correctly? – Hector Jan 2 at 14:06
  • Yep. The mx records are alright but the domain per se is not in any active use. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, it does not exist. And you are still using a virtual service provider, I am using hardware in my house. – user308986 Jan 3 at 11:19

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