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Apple deliverability best practices

Service integration largely affects Apple Mail deliverability. For example, campaigns sent to a recipient using Gmail as a backend to Apple Mail will be subject to Gmail’s spam filters. However, there are still a number of best practices you can follow in order to confidently send to Apple users. 

Best practices 

  • Send only to recipients who explicitly subscribed to the emails; do not purchase or rent lists or do email appends.
  • Include an unsubscribe link in all emails, and process unsubscribe requests as soon as possible.
  • Ensure emails are compliant with RFC 5322.
  • Keep the reverse Domain Name System (rDNS) updated for all sending domains.
  • Use consistent sending IP addresses and domains for bulk email, but do segment marketing and transactional email streams.
  • Use a consistent From name and address to clearly identify your brand.
  • Authenticate email with Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC).
  • Track temporary and permanent Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) errors from Apple mail servers and process them accordingly. Remove unknown users promptly.
  • Periodically suppress inactive or disengaged subscribers from the mailing list.
  • Never reactivate an email address from you unsubscribe list 

Filtering methodology

  • Filtering technology: Apple uses Proofpoint filtering technology. Senders can look up their IP reputation and submit information to Proofpoint. iCloud will accept mail and not deliver to either the inbox or spam folder; this is called accept and drop.  A sender will see a successful delivery 250 code in their log data but the mail never reaches inbox or spam folder.  
  • Reputation: Sender reputation is tracked using various mechanisms, such as IP address and domain reputations, content checks, and user feedback.
  • List unsubscribe: The mailto: option is recognized in Apple mobile devices using iOS 10 or later versions (iOS 11, etc). It is not supported on devices using versions prior to iOS 10. 
  • Whitelists: iCloud Mail does not offer a whitelist for bulk senders. 
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