I am a small business owner here to share ideas and get insights on email marketing. Everyone gets spam and we all hate it however i don't spam on behalf of any 3rd party only advertising my services to a list of targeted and qualified leads that I've developed over the course of several years. I'd say for the past 2 years I've seen my deliver-ability plummet to less than 5% on the server level and have tried it all, from MailChimp, IContact & Constant Contact to making sure my OWN email server is bullet proof with SPF & DKIM, reverse DNS matching and unsubscribe headers, etc, etc... Even with all of that i'm getting nowhere. I've been investigating my bounce backs and even if my emails arrived in the spam inbox i'd be content in knowing a user can delete or just disregard my message but at this point i'm not even making it to the users box i'm getting blocked on the server level by service providers like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Godaddy, NetSol & many more. Today i'd say the majority of my business contacts have migrated their email services to one of the BIG GUYS and they've all implemented one or more of these spam blocking software's like CloudMark, SenderScore & possibly others i'm unaware of. If we all played on the same field i'd understand but the fact is Fortune 500 companies pay Cloudmark & SenderScore and all these more advanced email filtering businesses a good deal of money to bypass their filtration systems. I myself receive on average over 200 spam emails a day and can't wrap my head around them paying to play and a legitimate business owner whom abides by all spam CANN act laws getting hit hard and having no alternative. I've been observing and trying to understand the system and potentially finding how to bypass here are my findings: a) IP Reputation (Both client & Server) -- on average the majority of my emailing are getting blocked on the server level by IP Address and generally it will be both the email client's IP Address & the Server's IP. Even setting up a mail client on the server did improve my deliver ability for 1 mailing then i'm back to zero. I'd say there are rules that after X amount of connections are made from the same IP your server is getting greylisted or put on a blacklist. b) Domain Reputation -- After having changed my servers IP, I found that the domain is also getting added onto a list of sorts. I'm generally always sending from the same domain which is my own business and is a legitimate .com that links back to my business website. c) DKIM, SPF, DMARC, ReverseDNS Records -- From the start i've always complied with all the DNS (list of advisable things to do) making sure my SPF record is properly configured, setting up DKIM signing on my email server and testing to make sure cert files match on my DNS & most recently setting up DMARC and ensuring noone else is sending from my IP/Domain and bringing down my reputation. d) Unsubscribes -- For any users whom have unsubscribed to my distribution list, i've always taken great care to respect their wishes and immediately deleted them and never emailed them again. I always include a link to my site and even people whom just reply with delete or unsubscribe in body/subject won't receive an email twice from me. e) Emailing Frequency -- I'm not emailing the same list twice everyday, on average i'd say for ever 100k emails sent it rotates between different states on a monthly basis. f) Emailing Speed & Connections -- I've played around with how fast my software should be sending and making connections, between 1 per second vs 1 per minute to make sure i don't get flagged by greylisting for too many connections. Overall this has made no difference in my being blacklisted. g) Email Body/Subject Fingerprinting -- I've read about algorithms that look at the body and subject of the email to identify if the same content has been received at other locations within the network in a specific amount of time and toggling a flag. This could be true it sounds a bit far fetched but who knows. h) Qualified leads & Distribution Lists -- I'm not purchasing lists from some random person I've personally created my own lists of people I know need my services, off course within my scraping process there is room for error but i'm not emailing completely random people I know these are qualified leads that need what i'm selling. Not that this matters as i'm not even getting past the recipients email server. i) Looking Back -- I've been riding this horse for quite some time and can tell you since the immersion of cloudmark and sendscore and all these more intelligent spam filtering software's have come to light my deliver ability has drastically dropped. Before I'd get blacklisted in a few places and that was pretty much it, and even with that i'd say i was getting deliver-ability rates of about 30-40% 3-4 years ago. Today it's more like 3-5% I'm thinking today in order to get proper deliver-ability on a legitimate marketing email to a qualified target i'd say you need a software that can cycle through different IP's per email sent with some sort of domain masking in order to bypass the domain/IP greylisting and arrive at the users in/spam box. If anyone else has some knowledge they can contribute or idea's i'd love to hear them. Or if you have a magic code let me know.