Does the spam policy apply to mail sent through other servers?

Our Terms of Service requires our customers to follow our spam policy rules even when sending mail through other companies’ servers. That’s because those messages can still affect the reputation of our own servers.

If we receive complaints about non-conforming messages sent through other servers, or if non-conforming messages you send through other servers affect the reputation of our servers, we’ll treat those exactly as if you’d sent the messages through our servers. This is necessary because spam reputation blacklist operators may list the IP addresses of companies associated in any way with any domain name that generates complaints. In particular, companies can be listed for hosting websites that are advertised in spam messages.

In practice, of course, messages sent through other servers are less likely to prompt complaints to us, or to affect the reputation of our servers. In some cases where the messages aren’t blatant spam, it may not come to our attention at all, although you’re still likely to damage the reputation of your own domain name.

If your domain name gets a bad reputation because you sent non-conforming mail through other servers, that will probably cause legitimate mail you send through our servers to be treated as “spam” by other companies. If that happens, we can’t fix that for you. In fact, we’ll prevent you from sending any mail through our servers if the use of your poor-reputation domain name makes other organizations think we’re associated with a “spammer”. And if anti-spam organizations list our servers because we’re providing hosting for your site, we’ll terminate your hosting service, too. This may seem unlikely, but it has happened in the past.

Because of all that, it’s best to follow the rules no matter what service you send mail through. Doing so gives you an ironclad defense against spam allegations. It also maintains the high reputation of your domain name, which will affect all mail you send.