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Our previous developer wrote a basic aspx contact form for one of our hotel clients before leaving, all has been fine with it so far but when testing this week I noticed that although the email sent by the script was received without any issues at the hotel end - their reply to the email address i supplied on the form was marked as spam via my macs mail filter.

I should point out that the email address i used to test the form was a yahoo address which is added to my imacs mail account, when checking yahoo itself it wasn't in the spam folder and was displayed in the inbox as suspected. - it was only highlighted as spam (yellow color)on the imac. So hopefully I'm worrying about very little!

I'm hoping that the forms done its job by getting the mail to them so either just a fussy iMac which has a problem with their reply address or something else not related to the contact form itself.. If this is the case is there any advice i can offer them of anything they can add to the reply to stop it being spammed?


To clarify - the contact form sends a email to the hotel with the customers question and comments - this is received without issue. The issue appears to be when the hotel reply to the enquiry via the inhouse mail - their reply was spammed for me (mac only). The mx records for the email point to the previous domain and the site is hosted with us - the previous designer has control panel access for the DNs settings.

Update: having sent 5furtger tests from several different accounts - none were spammed. It appears to be an issue with the content on the initial email, as if I copy this into a completely separate blank email and send it to the same mac account it also shows up as spam. Is it still worth setting up the SPF thing do you think?

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The good news is that there's no problem with the webform. The problem is that your email client thinks that the email that it's getting back is SPAM. Resolving this is probably a good idea as if you are having the problem then the hotels actual customers may be having the same problem and they aren't seeing emails back which could potentially be costing the hotel business.

Fixing this will require figuring out why the SPAM is being put into the SPAM folder by your email client. One possibility is that it's because the email isn't being sent from an IP address which is listed as one of the approved IP addresses for the domain. Fixing this requires putting a specific DNS record in called an spf record. A quick Google search for "spf record generator" will point you to a variety of websites which can help you create the spf record. You'll then need to have whoever manages the DNS for their domain add the spf records to the DNS server as a txt record (they should know what that means and how to do that).

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Thanks very much for your help mrdenny, it's been a last minute nightmare that I found out by accident! – pablodance Mar 23 '13 at 8:13
Do just to be clear - if the web form has sent the form ok (it sends the form contents as a mail and inserts the customers address in the from field so the hotel can simply click reply from their email client as far as I know) this means the site/form all ok and the fault will likely be with all outgoing mail - and to make sure I need to contact the people that host the mail and make sure they have this record applied? Thank you very much for your help by the way! – pablodance Mar 23 '13 at 8:16
Also - to clarify. The address I used to test as a customer was my yahoo address - when checking my yahoo account the message appears in the inbox - not the spam box, but my yahoo account is also applied to my iMac mail and its here that the message is highlighted as potential spam, I notice that moneysupermarket emails act in the same way.. – pablodance Mar 23 '13 at 8:27
final question! If a spf id has never been setup - even when the mail and web server were on the same domain - does this mean that this problem could have been around for quite some time? Either way I'm onto trying to fix it - thanks very much for your advice.. – pablodance Mar 23 '13 at 9:46
Yes, could have been around. You quickly accepted the answer above and it's probably okay because SPF might do the trick. However, be aware that there are ton of other possible reasons why your client sees the mail as spam. If the problem persists you have to identify the exact cause why (and where) the mail is marked as spam. Is your mail client even responsible for the decision? Or is an intermediate mailserver responsible for marking the mail as spam because of some word filter or other things? So long, good luck. – Karma Fusebox Mar 23 '13 at 19:58

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