How to Run an Email Spam Test with GlockApps

How to Use Inbox Insight

Ensure Your Emails Reach the Inbox to Improve Your Email Marketing Performance

Deliverability issues can be the difference between your email marketing success or failure. In order to achieve better inbox placement, our Inbox Insight tool will rate your email from 1-100 and show you exactly where your emails land in your recipient’s mailbox: Primary Inbox, Promotions Tab, or Spam Folder.

Anyone can use Inbox Insight, regardless of what email service provider you use. This tutorial will show you how you can test your email campaigns and find any deliverability issues before you hit Send:

1. How to Create an Inbox Spam Test

2. How to Understand Deliverability Report

3. How to Fix “Waiting for Data…”

4. Useful Resources: How to Troubleshoot Email Deliverability Issues

How to Create an Inbox Spam Test in 7 Steps

Log in to your GlockApps account.

Go to Inbox Insight at the left side.

Click Start Spam Test -> Start Manual Test.

MailChimp Users: Connect your GlockApps account directly to MailChimp by following these steps.

Follow these quick steps to complete the test and get a deliverability report:

1. Select spam filters.

GlockApps can run your email through SpamAssassin, Barracuda, and Google Spam Filter. SpamAssassin and Barracuda will return the email spam score and a detailed report about how the score was calculated. Google Spam Filter will show whether or not your email was considered as spam and phishy.

2. Select Email Service Providers.

Among email service providers, you can choose business and free ones as well as select the providers of particular locations.

We recommend using all the available providers and spam filters so that you get a thorough insight into your email deliverability.

Click Next.

3. Select the folder to save your test and report to. 

By default, the test is saved to the root Home folder. In the menu, you can click New Folder and create a new folder to save the test to. Folders allow easy sort tests for your convenience.

4. Add a note to the test. 

It’s not required, but a brief description written in the Note field can help you differentiate between the tests if you test the same message more than one time. 

To ensure the validity of each URL (excluding the unsubscribe link) in your message, GlockApps conducts a thorough check. It even goes the extra mile to extract target URLs if you use redirects and scrutinizes the domain in the target URL against domain blacklists, which include Spamhaus DBL Domain Block List, involvement DNSBL, and SURBL multi (Combined SURBL list). 

Additionally, GlockApps may follow the unsubscribe link if you use a very specific anchor text and unsubscribe a seed email address on your list. To prevent this, disable the link checker.

Click Create.

6. Copy-paste the ID string in the email content.

The ID string is unique for every spam test. It helps our system link your email placement results with your test.

Copy the provided ID string, open the message in your email service provider and paste the ID in any place in the message Subject line or body. 

7. Send the message to the seed list.

Click Download to download the seed list as a TXT file. Or click Copy and copy the seed list in clipboard.

If your email service provider allows you to create a new mailing list or group, you can import the seed list in that group and use the same list for multiple tests.

Be sure to choose a separator for the email addresses on the seed list based on the format supported by your email service provider (semicolon works in most cases).

Send the message to the seed list.

Click View Report.

In order to get the most accurate results, send your test email the exact same way you would email your recipients. It’s important to reproduce the same conditions (ESP, email software, email account, email content, etc.).

How to Understand Deliverability Report

The results start showing almost immediately. In some cases, there may be a delay with showing the report because email service providers may take some time to deliver the messages. 

Your email message will undergo several checks during the deliverability test. When the test is finished, the testing results are presented in three tabs: Deliverability, Content Analysis, and Action Steps.

Deliverability

Under the Deliverability tab, you can see these details:

Email Placement Results

Inbox rate – the percentage of the messages delivered in the Inbox of the seed email addresses;

Tabs rate – the percentage of the messages delivered in the tabs other than the Primary Inbox, for example the Gmail’s Promotions tab;

Spam rate – the percentage of the messages delivered in the Spam folder of the seed email addresses;

Missing rate – the percentage of the messages, which were not delivered to the seed email addresses (they could have been blocked by the ISP or have not been sent by your email service provider).

Sender IP Reputation

Sender Score – the score given to the sending IP address based on the sending history behind the IP. The sender score is calculated from 1 to 100. The higher, the better. The score is impacted by a lot of factors such as the number of sent emails, spam trap hits, filtered emails, rejected emails, user complaints, etc. You can go to senderscore.org to see more details about the IP sender score. 

Sender Authentication – results of the email authentication checks: DKIM, SPF, rDNS, and HELO to IP. Click an arrow next to each item to expand the details.

IP Black Lists – results of the IP address check against the popular public blacklists. If the IP is listed, click the arrow to view the report. You can use the “Go to Blacklist” button to open the blacklist website where you can do the IP lookup, read about the blacklisting cause, and find removal instructions.

Note: you should be concerned about the IP blacklisting issues if you send from a dedicated IP address. Shared IP addresses are beyond your control. You may want to inform your email service provider about the IP blacklisting problem in order they can troubleshoot it.

Domain Black Lists –  results of the domain check against the domain blacklists. Important! GlockApps checks the target domains used in URLs in the message content. 

If the domain is listed, click the arrow to view the report. Use the “Go to Blacklist” button to open the blacklist website where you can do the domain lookup, read about the blacklisting cause, and find removal instructions.

Spam Filters

The results of running the email through the spam filters are presented in this area.

For Google Spam Filter, the possible results are Spam/Not Spam, Phishy/Not Phishy. No more details about why the email was classified as spam and/or phishy are returned by the filter.

Barracuda and SpamAssassin give numeric scores. The lower, the better. Click the arrow next to the filter to see the details about what affected the email spam score.

Email Providers Delivery Report

The statistics for the email placement results are grouped by the location of the seed email addresses. In the collapsed view, you can see the general email placement rates for each provider group.

You can expand each area manually by clicking the arrow at the left side or use the Expand All button to get all the details on the screen. In the expanded view, you can see the email placements rates for each provider and for each seed email address individually.

Clicking on the three vertical dots at the right side brings the menu with the Header and IP Details options.

Select Header to view the message headers. You may need the headers when troubleshooting email deliverability issues with an ISP.

Select IP Details to see the report of the IP blacklist check. When the message is sent from a shared IP pool, which is a typical scenario with the majority of email service providers, GlockApps checks each IP used to send the message to the seed list against blacklists. In the IP Details report, you can find the check results for the IP address, from which the message was sent to that particular seed email address.

Content Analysis

In Content Analysis, you can find the information about the message size, images, and URLs if they were used in the email.

Email Information

Here is the size of the plain text part, HTML part, and the total message size. 

Total Message size includes email headers and embedded content. It’s typically bigger than the raw size due to MIME overhead and base64 encoding of binary attachments (causing files to be about 137% larger).

Images size – the size of all the external images linked to the message, not counting embedded images.

Image count – the number of all the images (embedded and linked) used in the content.

Link count – the number of URLs used in the content.

Images

The following information about the images is displayed:

Preview – shows the image used in the email.

Status – shows whether or not the image was loaded correctly.

URL – URL used to insert the image in the email. 

Redirects – the number of redirects for the image URL.

Alt – alternate text for the image if it’s available in HTML.

Size – image size.

Response time – the image URL response time.

The following information about the URLs is displayed:

Anchor Text – anchor text of the URL if it’s available.

Status – shows whether or not the URL opened correctly.

URL – URL used in the email. 

Redirects – the number of redirects for the URL.

Size – size of the web page the URL leads to.

Response time – the web page response time.

Action Steps

If the test reveals any issues with deliverability, sending infrastructure, or content, GlockApps provides recommendations on how you can improve your test’s results. We recommend that you read the recommendations and take the suggested steps to improve your email deliverability.

Menu Bar

At the top of the report, there are three options with additional functions:

Email Preview

Click it to open the message content. You can choose to see the raw message code by moving the cursor to the right. Click Download to download the raw message code including headers as a TXT file.

Seed List 

Click to get the test ID string and the seed list. You may need to get the ID and seed list again if you want to re-send the same message to the seed list after noticing undelivered results in the report.

Share

 Click to get the URL of the shareable report. You can open the shareable report in the browser or copy the URL and share it with anyone who doesn’t have access to the GlockApps account.

How to Fix “Waiting for Data”

There are two main reasons why you may not receive a deliverability report after clicking the View Report button. 

  • You forgot to add the ID string to your email. In this case, GlockApps cannot associate the email with the test.
  • Your email system or email service provider did not send the message to the GlockApps seed list.

In both scenarios, a failed test displays an empty report that says “Waiting for data…”

Troubleshooting Tips:

1. Delete the failed test.

Put the check mark in the box next to the test and click Delete. The credits used for the test automatically returns to the balance.

2. Re-use the failed test.

Click on the “Waiting for data…” title, click Seed List, copy the ID string, and paste it in the message.

Resend the message to the seed list using your SMTP server or email service provider. No credit is taken out of the balance if you use the same test again.

Read more:

How to Test Email via Proxy Email Address

How to Automate Email Testing

Useful Resources: How to Troubleshoot Email Deliverability

AUTHOR BIO

Julia Gulevich is an email marketing expert and customer support professional at GlockSoft LLC with more than 15 years of experience. Author of numerous blog posts, publications, and articles about email marketing and deliverability.