Free deliverability best practices

Free cares about your sending reputation as well as respecting their resources when making filtering decisions. It is important to send relevant content to their customers to keep complaints low, engagement high and to stay off of their internal blacklist. While following their best practice guidelines doesn’t guarantee inbox placement, it greatly increases your chances for success.

Best practices

  • Use opt-in consent methods. You may also see benefits sending to Free by implementing a confirmed opt-in (COI) consent method which requires a subscriber to click on a link to confirm their intent to receive your email.
  • Send only relevant email to subscribers they choose to receive to keep complaint rates low.
  • Practice good list acquisition and hygiene to help reduce the likelihood of sending to Free spam traps.
  • Respect Free’s resources. Although they do not publish connection and throughput setting guidelines, keep a close eye on your SMTP logs or Delivery Status Notifications (DSN) for messages indicating too many connections or recipients.
  • Don’t open connections to their servers without sending email as it makes those connections unavailable to other senders. This may be perceived as spammer behavior or a denial-of-service (DoS) attack.
  • Do not use the Sender Verify method in an attempt to identify the validity of an email address. Free sees this as potential spammer behavior or a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. It uses a lot of their technical resources, which affects their ability to deliver email to their users.
  • Ensure your email system is not configured as an open relay.
  • Remove unknown users after one bounce. Sending to a large number of unknown users will be perceived as a dictionary attack and cause your IP address to be blocked. Senders that have success reaching the inbox consistently keep their unknown user rate below 1%.
  • Authenticate all email with Sender Policy Framework (SPF).
  • Be careful about using autoresponders as it may be perceived as a denial-of-service (DoS) attack.
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