We’ve found that there are some new challenges this year in getting mail delivered to many of our client’s email subscribers. Here’s a summary of some new things to watch out for…

New Gmail Features. If you’re a Gmail user, you might have noticed Google’s new tabbed inbox.

Everyone of course wants to be in the primary tab, but if you’re sending email to large subscriber groups you’re probably winding up in the promotions. If you’re not using a reputable service and carefully making sure all subscribers opt in, you might even be in the spam folder.

Rumors abound about how to tweak your email headers, title, message, coding, sending schedule, etc in order to get your email in the primary tab. But, the best confirmed practice is to ask your subscribers to move your email to their primary tab. Assuming that they want to get your emails and they signed up for your service, they’ll be happy to do this.

Email sender authentication is much more important than it used to be. MSN and Hotmail have tightened their controls in the last few months, and Gmail is now sorting mail as we’ve described above with the new tab system. SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is most likely going to be the easiest and most reliable method for email senders to provide sender authentication. This is a simple addition to your domain name record that indicates what services are authorized by you to send email on your behalf.

Beware of spam traps. Depending on how you acquire subscribers, you might be setting yourself up to be tagged as spam as soon as you send your first mass email. This article from Mailchimp describes how businesses that register users for their email list using pen and paper with manual data entry can decrease their deliverability by accidentally introducing mistyped email addresses into their list. Use an online sign-up app that requires new subscribers to double opt-in. That way you’ll avoid sending your messages to mistyped email addresses by requiring positive confirmation of each address before you send.