More and more people have started using spam filters. Unfortunately, those filters sometimes block innocent e-mail. I am against spam, but legitimate newsletters like the one you publish shouldn't be blocked. Know how the spam filters analyze e-mail, and outsmart them.
Ways to Get Blocked
Spam filters give e-mails demerits based on rules. When e-mail gets enough demerits, the spam filter thinks it is spam. Following are common rules adopted by many spam filters.
- Being listed on black lists.
If your e-mail server's IP address is on black lists, your e-mail gets big demerits or immediately gets blocked. You can view some black lists at:
If yours is listed, ask your host and get a new one, now!
Please note that the e-mail server's IP address may be different from your Web site's IP address. Also, if you use one of the list hosting services, see if that service's IP address is listed.
- Mentioning spam laws.
Only spammers do this, so don't do it.
- Including a disclaimer.
You don't have to tell your "opt-in" subscribers why they receive your newsletter.
- Using e-mail software listed on a black list.
Such as: jpfree, VC_IPA, StormPost, JiXing, MMailer, EVAMAIL, IMktg, and Outlook Express.
- Using words or phrases often seen in spam e-mail.
I made a list of common spam phrases. You can see it here . Avoid using them as much as you can.
- Using ALL CAPS words and too many punctuation marks (??, !!, **)
- Having more than 50% of HTML tags and using certain Java Script.
- Including unsubscribing information.
You'll get demerits, but don't omit unsubscribing information. It should be in every issue. Try not to use the words "unsubscribe" or "remove." For example, say "to stop receiving" instead of "to unsubscribe."
Test Your E-mail
It's impractical to familiarize yourself with all the latest filtering rules. It will take tremendous time. Instead, send your e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org by the same way you would send to your subscribers. You will get the free report back in a few minutes. The only requirement (very important) is you must put the word "TEST" (in all caps) at the beginning of the subject. If the subject is "Weather Report," change it to "TESTWeather Report" (without quotations). Otherwise you won't get report back.
© May, 2003