How do you spam test your outbound email?

James Altemus
If you're using an antiquated CRM that doesn't incorporate spam scoring, what do you use to test your campaigns to ensure that they won't be flagged? We are in the middle of a support case with our CRM provider over email from our CRM (both individual email and campaigns) being flagged as Spam/Junk by key providers, like Gmail. The CRM provider is blaming our email content, and we're pushing back saying that 1) we use their "do's and dont's" guidelines for avoiding spamming, and 2) it is the method the CRM is using for email communication, which involves email address masking, which is causing the problem. I've run a couple of our templates through sites like and, and to date none of our templates have scored high on any of them.
Brandon McNett
Great topic....can't wait to learn how everyone else does it....this is a big topic for us right now. What CRM do you use?
James Altemus
Every time I mention a vendor on here I seem to get calls from that vendor. For now, lets just say that we're using a legacy CRM vendor.
Chris K Leslie
James, I've bene fighting that same battle and getting nowhere. Everyone seems to want us to use their products but they arent even close to offering the kind of support something like Mailchimp provides. Because of that I've moved all marketing email out of the CRM and into mailchimp and handle only the transactional (low volume) emails in the CRM.
Shawn Ryder
We at Dealer Engage ensure that the SPF records are set up properly and work with dealers on their subject line to minimize potential spam...
John Sokol
We work with dealers on reactivating unsold leads as well as marketing to active customers through email. The big 3 ISPs - Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail (MSN,, have become incredibly sophisticated. The only true spam testing that works is to setup seed accounts for the ISPs you are having challenges with and sending tests. We have seen Gmail flag the following elements regularly: Dealer domain, call tracking numbers and certain disclaimer copy. Sending domains/emails can also be an issue. ESPs like Mailchimp are ok for your best customer lists, but they police their systems and will kick you off their platform if you get too many spam complaints, unsubs or hard bounces. The other thing to understand is there is no such thing as 100% inbox placement. Gmail will route a certain percentage of emails to junk. We utilize a content testing tool that can identify problems with your emails called Send Forensics. It will help ID problem content and potential infrastructure issues, but no solution is bullet proof. What matters most to the major ISPs is the engagement levels of your emails by your prospects/customers. Typically this means 20% open rates or higher and low complaint/unsub rates. You can overcome content issues if you have great engagement. Engaging content is the new paradigm. Best, John

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