How to Fix Godaddy: 552: Message rejected for spam or virus content

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The Short Answer

The short answer to this question is, leave Godaddy (link to official forums, over a year old). I’m not saying this out of spite or any distaste for Godaddy, but it is an ongoing issue that has only affected them. Furthermore, they are the only ones that can resolve it.

What’s the problem?

To explain what’s going on here, first we need to explain how mail providers combat spam. Typical spam filters use a point system to determine how reputable an email is. These points affect whether or not a mail is viewed as reputable enough to be delivered or not. Mail that meets this threshold for trust is typically delivered, and mail that does not is typically either marked as spam or treated with additional scrutiny.

Examples of Things that Build Trust

  • Properly configured SPF Record
  • DKIM Signed Email
  • Reputable SMTP Sender
  • Reverse DNS name matching name of sending Server

Examples of suspicious traits

  • No SPF Record, or sending from unlisted server
  • Coming from a SMTP Server with a history of bad behaviour
  • E-mail never received from recipients domain

Now, typically the goal of e-mail administrators is to build as much trust as possible in the eyes of the receiving mail server. Typically e-mail admins will go to great lengths to maintain deliverability.

The GoDaddy Problem

This all started a few years ago, when Godaddy actively decided that they could not fully control the amount of fraudulent spam e-mail coming from their servers. As a result, Godaddy was blacklisted as a mail provider on the major mail blacklists. Although they are no longer being fully blacklisted, all mail from Godaddy is immediately treated with suspicion. That means that unless your mail is otherwise perfectly trustworthy, just being from Godaddy is enough to have your mail marked as spam.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re e-mail will be marked as spam every time, but it does mean that a certain number of messages will depending on how the receiving providers spam filter is configured.

What’s the Solution?

Leave Godaddy for mail. Godaddy is definitely not bad for a lot of services. We use them for SSL Certificates, Domain Registration and DNS. That said, we actively move as many clients away from Godaddy email hosting as quickly as possible. These issues can strike at any time, and can cripple a business.

My recommendation is definitely either Google Apps or Hosted Exchange. We’re a Fort Myers IT Consulting Company certified to provide both of these services if you need a consultant.