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Avoiding Spam Traps


Have you ever had an email bounced or go undelivered, if you haven't you probably don't send many emails. There are so many factors that go in to sending a successful email that we obviously can't cover them all here but a little information goes a long way so we will focus on a few tips to help avoid false positives. False positives are email messages that are erroneously identified as spam.

Of course an email can be lost or destroyed at any one of the servers it has to pass through to reach its destination, but spam filters are responsible for up to 38% of undelivered email messages. A study by Assurance Services tracked delivery performance by 12 major ISPs, these ISP's accounted for 60 percent of the addresses in a typical business-to-consumer mailing list at the time of the study. Your address book may vary. The average false positive rate per ISP was 17 percent with a low of 4% and a high of 38%.

Test addresses to see how well your own messages are going through. Then test your messages to identify potential problems before sending.

You can test addresses by watching bounce messages, signing up for email accounts on major ISP's and doing test deliveries and use return receipts for single or low volume mailings.

Test delivery by checking your IP Address, usually an 8-12 digit number in to the blank space marked Spam Blacklist Lookup" at DNSStuff.com (scroll down the page). This checks your IP address against several block lists and let's you know if you are listed on any of them.

You can test your email messages ‘spammyness’ by using a content checker like the one on Mail Tester, a free email content checker. You can download your own copy of MailingCheck, a free, stand alone content checker that offers a spam assassin score for your email.

The days of having to avoid words like free, enhanced, etc. in your subject line are supposed to be over, but it can’t hurt. Use your real name and email in the ‘from:’ fields as well as avoid hex encoded URLs, capitalizing entire sentences and excessive punctuation. Forming your email content like traditional business correspondence with a salutation, content and closing may help as well.

These tips may help you deliver more legitimate email and avoid the spam traps.

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