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"Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Spam Filters"

By Rosalind Gardner
Posted Thursday, December 9, 2004

How to make sure your newsletter gets past the spam filters and to your subscribers.

You've likely been plagued to some extent by junk email that unscrupulous marketers send indiscriminately to millions of email accounts. Unfortunately, the more Internet marketing you do, the more spam you'll be deleting from your Inbox. I've had as many as 300 uninvited emails show up in a single day. That's more than frustrating, it's maddening!

Fortunately, more and more ISP's are fighting back by using spam filters to lessen the amount of junk that reached their customers. From that perspective, spam filters are a welcome addition to the Internet world.

Although I'm thrilled that filters cut down on Inbox garbage, and save time anddelete' finger overuse; they also present a potentially serious problem to honest email marketers.

If your outgoing messages aren't reaching your ezine subscribers, that means they're not getting what they signed up for, and you're losing income. That's a problem.

For example, until recently, my Net Profits Coach eZine messages had a fairly consistent rate of undelivered messages, between 1.3 and 1.5 percent. Over the last couple of months however, I noticed that the number of 'undeliverables' was slowly but steadily increasing .

One may think that 1.3 percent isn't too high a number, and not worth your concern. However, if you're the one 'percent' eagerly anticipating the arrival of your favorite ezine which then doesn't arrive, that number takes on a much larger meaning.

When the NPC's percentage of undelivered messages reached an all time high of 2.6, and hundreds of subscribers missed out, I knew it was time to tackle the problem.

Fortunately, my answer was close at hand.

The best way to avoid getting caught up in the filters, is to use a list server that incorporates a spam analyzer to check your messages. Both Aweber and Ken Evoy's Site Build It! use the Spam Assasin(tm) technology. Spam Assasin(tm) is a scoring system that instantly lets you know whether your ezine message might be filtered. The analyzer goes through your message and then returns a report that displays key areas that might be caught in filters.

Most ISP's using the Spam Assasin(tm) software allow anything with a score under 5 to pass through. Aweber's autoresponder service flags messages with scores over 5 by highlighting them in red. The red flag is linked to a list of terms and phrases that the software found objectionable, giving you the opportunity to refine your message and reduce your score.

Using the analyzer made such a difference to the NPC's rate of undeliverables. I was able to get it down to 0.6 percent, and I know that if I pay more attention to avoiding spam-type phrases, that number will go even lower.

So, are your messages reaching your customers, or are they getting caught up in spam filters? Don't sweat great drops of blood over your hard work and then let it become cyberspatial flotsam. Use an analyzer.

As the old saying goes - the mail must go through!

About the Author
Rosalind's amazing Internet business success story has been profiled in Secrets to Their Success, Six Figure Income and numerous other publications. Learn how you too can can build a lucrative eBusiness, by reading her entertaining, informative and hype-free newsletter, the Net Profits Coach, available at: (


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