Will the message be caught by spam filters?

There are many different spam filters for many different mail services. The key players to watch for are Microsoft Outlook, any of the web based email software Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail etc and perhaps custom mail filters installed specifically for customers like SpamAssassin. Most spam filters use a variety of different rules to determine if a message is legitimate or spam and it goes a lot further than just searching for "Viagra" or similar.

Some basic rules to follow:

  • Use images sparingly and never use them to include text. Most spam filters check images for text as this is a well known way to try to get a spam message through.
  • Avoid obvious spammy content like "buy now" "free this and that" etc. No one word in sales terms will get you marked down as spam but filters look at the message as a whole and work out relevance. Certainly avoid keywords that relate to any sexual aid, weight loss or pornography.
  • Include plenty of text content. Often spam filters will assess a message based on how much real text content there is compared to images. The lower the text to image ratio the more likely it is to be marked as spam.
  • Spam filters don't work on a single element. They weigh up negative and sometimes positive factors based on the above (and more) elements until your message will tally up with an overall score. If that score breaches the figure used to define a spam message, your email will be marked as spam and treated accordingly. Just because you may be marked up for one element does not mean your message will be treated as spam.
  • The best method is to keep testing. Get yourself an email account with each of the big players, also if you can get yourself a copy of Microsoft Outlook and send your message to yourself first. If it comes through on some or all of the email accounts that you wanted then you can send. If not, tweak your message based on the above criteria and try again. Create yourself a test group and add the test email addresses into it. Then send a campaign to that group. Its easy to resend by clicking the re-send button next to each address on the main statistics page.
By Tom Collins
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 15:40
Catagory: Spam
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