Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2004
If you haven't yet heard about the chaos that Spam Filters are currently causing for publishers, then I am about to tell you EVERYTHING you'll need to know on this subject. Many of our fellow publishers disregard the fact that Spam Filters DO in fact exist. For some reason just do NOT want to face the fact that, they are DESTROYING their businesses.
I write a column on Spam for DEMC small business ezine, so I do consider myself to be well educated on this subject. If you have any questions about what I am about to tell you, feel free to contact me at: (http://www.OptinFrenzy.com)
Now let's begin.
Spam Filters are EVERYWHERE online whether we like it or not they are. And they are becoming more dominant in all aspects of the internet, through ISP's, webhosts and the chances are, one person in three is using some type of a filtering device. They are inexpensive to purchase and so it makes it fairly EASY for the average "Joe" to buy one.
And chances are that your ISP or web host probably uses them and you are NOT even aware of it. Personally, I do advise that you contact them to ask them about it and ask them to REMOVE them from your account immediately. Now, here is why I suggest that you do this, Spam Filters are NOT 100% fool proof, in fact they have a tendency to block out your LEGITIMATE email. Anyone who tells YOU otherwise is in some serious DENIAL.
I've personally taken the time to test almost EVERY Spam Filtering program that there is currently available online. And what I saw was absolutely mortifying to say the least. I ran over 100 different types of emails and newsletters all through each system and 9 times out of ten, it resulted in being marked as spam. Needless to say, by the end of the day I was NOT impressed with my discovery.
Most of these programs are designed to target newsletters specifically, because they have the words "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" black marked. Meaning, that any peices of email that contain those two words are "marked" as being "SPAM". This is especially predominant in Spam Killer which is now owned by McAfee. They also LURE publishers into what they refer to as being "Spam Traps" (which they do openly admit -right on their web site), so they can create more filters DAILY based on ezine/email content. And YES, I did say DAILY!
Now that I've probably scared the wits out of you, here are a few things that you can do and they will require a bit of added work on your part.
1.) Make your ezine available in 3 different forms, if it at all possible. Email it directly to your subscribers, put it on an autoresponder and make it available online. My good friend jL Scott (owner of iCop) does this and it covers all of the bases to ENSURE your readers get your ezine. It'll also give you an idea of HOW many people actually read your ezine.
2.) Ask your readers, IF they have had ANY problems in receiving your ezine. If they have, start keeping a log of these instances, if your ezine has been marked as being spam through their email client ask them for a copy of it for your records. You MAY want to TRY contacting their ISP and try talking to them about it, ensure that YOU maintain your "professionalism" in doing so, as this could create problems for your subscriber. Advise ALL of your subscribers to contact their ISP's and ask them if they are in fact using filters on their email.
3.) Keep financial loss records that you've encountered because of Spam Filters. And remember everything is of a monetary value including your ezine.
Although there is no fool proof method of avoiding Spam Filters, there is currently a pending law suit against the creators of these programs. So if you do have a case or have proof that you have been filtered, falsely accused etc. I recommend that you go and file a report asap at: (http://www.e-crucible.org)
Article by Laurie Rogers Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved
About the Author
Laurie Rogers is co-author of the Ezine Resource Guide, (http://www.zineadz.com/erg.html) She is the owner of Optin Frenzy - a paid list building program for ezine publishers (http://www.optinfrenzy.com) You can obtain more of Laurie's articles at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org