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Deliverability FAQ:

How do I use Amazon SES with Interspire Email Marketer?

If you want to use Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES) with Interspire Email Marketer, you may do so by enabling SMTP support for your Amazon SES account and then entering in the STMP details at Settings -> Email Settings in your Email Marketer control panel.

Please see Amazon’s article for full details: Using the SMTP Interface to Send Email.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Request production access – Until you are granted production access to Amazon SES, you will only be able to send email to verified email addresses.
  2. Verify your sending email addresses – when creating a contact list in Email Marketer, the email addresses you put in for “List Owners Email”, “List Reply-To Email”, and “List Bounce Email” all need to be verified sending addresses with Amazon SES, or your emails will be rejected.
  3. Set up SPF and Sender ID for each email domain you wish to send from. This will help you get better deliverability.
  4. Check your Amazon SES sending limits – Amazon limits the number of emails per second you can send, as well as the number of emails you can send in a 24 hour period. In your Email Marketer control panel, go to Settings -> Email Settings. Set the “Max Hourly Rate” to be a bit slower than what is allowed (ie, if your max is 1 email per second, set this to 3500 rather than 3600. If it is 2 emails per second, then 7000 rather than 7200… (this is recommended by Amazon on their Improving Deliverability page)) Email Marketer has no setting to restrict the number of emails it sends in a 24 hour period, so you will need to manage this particular limitation of Amazon SES outside of Email Marketer (you should be able to increase your limit quickly with Amazon if you follow their guidelines). max emails per second –> max hourly ratemax emails per
  5. Create your SMTP Credentials – this will give you the Amazon SES SMTP server details to put in Email Marketer in the next step.
  6. In your Email Marketer control panel, go to Settings -> Email Settings.
  • For SMTP hostname, use: “ssl://”.
  • For SMTP Username and Password, use the credentials that you created in the previous step.
  • For SMTP Port, use: “465”.
  • Enter your own email address in “Send a test email to” and click “Test SMTP Settings”.
  • If you see: “A test email has been successfully sent to the email address…”, then you are almost all set. If you get an error, see our Troubleshooting Tips section further below.
  1. Monitor your Usage Statistics – Keep an eye on Amazon’s statistics to make sure you stay within their limitations for your account.

This should get you up and running. Please see Amazon’s SES Developer Guide for more details.

Troubleshooting Tips.

When you use “Test SMTP Settings” from Settings -> Email Settings, if you get the “554 Message rejected: Email address is not verified” error from Amazon SES, then do the following: Go to Users & Groups -> View User Accounts. Then click “Edit” on your user. Be sure to put an email address that is verified with Amazon SES for the “Email Address” field and hit Save. Your test emails will now be sent from a verified email address with Amazon SES.

If you get an “Unable to connect to mail server: Connection timed out(110)” error when testing your SMTP details, this means your webserver is not able to talk with Amazon’s SMTP server. Most likely this means port 465 is blocked on your server or software/hardware firewall.

Please upload this code to your server and load in your browser.


$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>25);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>2525);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>25025);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>80);

$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>80);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>587);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>465);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>995);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>993);

$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>465);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>21);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>8025);

$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>25);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>26);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>940);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>8001);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>2525);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>80);

$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>23);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>25);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>26);
$ports[] = array('host'=>'','number'=>2525);

foreach ($ports as $port)
    //$connection = @fsockopen($port['host'], $port['number']);
    $connection = @fsockopen($port['host'], $port['number'], $errno, $errstr, 5); // 5 second timeout for each port.

    if (is_resource($connection))
        echo '<h2>' . $port['host'] . ':' . $port['number'] . ' ' . '(' . getservbyport($port, 'tcp') . ') is open.</h2>' . "\n";


        echo '<h2>' . $port['host'] . ':' . $port['number'] . ' is not responding.</h2>' . "\n";


You should see the following in the results: () is open.

If you see “is not responding” instead of “is open”, please troubleshoot this with your webhost.

What is a split test? How do I use split tests with my emails?

Split tests can be used to compare different versions of the same email campaign based on open statistics or links clicked statistics. So, if one version has been opened more then any other; it will be declared the winner. Your winning email can then be sent out automatically or at a scheduled time of your choosing. Following is a simple step-by-step guide for judging and delivering the most popular version of your email campaigns.

  1. From your Interspire Email Marketer account, navigate to Email Campaigns > View Split Tests > Create a Split Test
  2. Enter a name for your split test
  3. Select which email campaigns will be compared against each other
  4. Choose which method of testing to use
    • Note: Move your mouse over the help icon for more information
    • If you use the “Find a winning email and show me the results” method, the winning email campaign can be scheduled by you whenever you want. Alternatively, after testing a percentage of the list, you can have the winning email sent out after a delay.
  5. Click Save & Exit or Save & Send

Whenever you decide to send the test you will be able to choose which contact list it will be delivered to.

My emails are being marked as spam. What is Interspire Email Marketer doing to cause this?

Any spam filtering that’s going on is always a problem with your server or content, not Interspire Email Marketer itself, so there’s nothing from a Interspire Email Marketer perspective that we can suggest.

Google doesn’t have a very restrictive spam filter so you can try sending emails to a Gmail account. If your emails are being picked up as spam by Gmail it would suggest a server issue on your end. Here are a few things you could try:

  1. Change the content of the confirmation emails
  2. Try a different web hosting provider (your IP range could be in trouble)
  3. Make SURE reverse DNS is on your server. Without reverse DNS, most spam filters will trigger.

I don’t seem to be receiving any emails from Interspire Email Marketer. How do I fix this?

If you’re testing Interspire Email Marketer and don’t seem to be receiving any emails, most likely there is a problem with your server.

Firstly, login to the Interspire Email Marketer control panel and go to the ‘settings’ option. From there, there is an option you can use to test the Interspire Email Marketer emailing system. If you still don’t receive emails when using that test, try sending to a different email account as your spam filter may be trapping the email.

Finally, if all else fails, upload the attached script to your server and run it from the browser. It will attempt to send a basic email to the address you specify. If that doesn’t work, then you will need to contact your web hosting provider to fix the problem.

I send an email campaign, but some contacts don’t receive it even though they receive a preview. What’s going on?

There could be a number of reasons for this.

  1. The contacts are subscribed as Text but you are sending a HTML email campaign. Check that the email type you are sending matches the contacts preference.
  2. A spam filter is picking up the email and blocking it from getting to their inbox. Although the preview may have come through, your email campaign may have had link tracking or open tracking on, which some picky spam filters will use to detect a possible spam email and block it. If unsure, test your next campaign by turning off link and / or open tracking.
  3. The email being sent is being bounced back for a particular reason. Check your bounce account for any bounce emails and see if any match the particular email address that is not getting delivered to. Check to see if there is any specific message or suggestion on how to fix deliverability.

You can also ask a systems administrator for the receiving domain name if they have received the email or if they can search their mail logs to see why the email wasn’t delivered.

I have a lot of mail being delayed at Yahoo. What is happening?

That is normal when you send to yahoo accounts.

They do something called “Grey-Listing” which means they always reject the first attempt to send an email.

The second attempt will work (which your mail server automatically handles for you, you don’t need to do anything to make it go through).

See for more information about how it works.

My emails never get to my test email address. What is happening?

Often the problem with deliverability can be due to you sending emails to your own server.

One way to test to see if your emails are actually being sent and received is to create some test email accounts on other servers and see if you can send an email to these accounts.

Sign up for a Gmail, a Mail account and a HushMail account. Once you have done this send your email campaign to them and check to see if your emails make it. If they do then there will be something not set up right with your mail server.

I don’t receive email campaigns that I send to myself. What’s going on?

The most common reason you don’t receive an email that you’ve sent to yourself is because of spam filters on your email account.

If you are using Yahoo mail or Hotmail, this is a common occurrence due to their very aggressive spam filters. Check your spam or Junk mail folder to make sure the email hasn’t been automatically delivered there.

Some mail accounts such as Yahoo mail can sometimes block an email but it won’t appear in your Junk mail folder or inbox. To work out what is happening, sign up for a free Gmail Account and send your email there. Gmail is a lot less aggressive with spam filtering and will usually deliver all emails. Gmail also has a spam folder so if you don’t see your email in the inbox, check that folder. Finally, if your mail is being flagged as spam, there are usually reasons for this, which can include your choice of words such as “Free” etc.

There may be an issue with mail sending on your server. Contact your web hosting provider to make sure mail can be sent from your server. Finally, if that doesn’t help, please post a support ticket and we’ll try and find out what the problem could be.

My Email Campaigns and Autoresponders seem to get sent to the Hotmail junk folder. What can I do?

Hotmail and other large email providers are placing very heavy restrictions and regulations on their incoming emails in an attempt to help stem the flow of spam emails.

There are a few things that you can do to help in getting your emails into the intended inbox:

First you can setup [email protected] and [email protected] email addresses for the main hostname domains on your server. By this I mean set up [email protected] and [email protected].

This will show to Hotmail and the others that you are accepting complaints correctly so that if the people do not wish to receive your emails they will be able to do something about it.