Are Your Emails Getting Through?

    July 6, 2004

If sending email to a mailing list is part of your markting or business building strategy, you want to make sure your messages are reaching your audience. Are your readers getting your emails?

Due to the proliferation of sp@m, ISPs (your web access and email provider) have added content checkers to try to reduce the flow of unwanted mail. In principle this is a good idea. In practice, lots of sp@m is still getting through and many lgitimat emails, possibly including yours, are being blocked.

You may assume that since your content is lgitimat and because you only send messages to 0pt-in readers, your prospects and clients are getting all of your emails. But presently sp@m filters are blocking emails that include words such as:

– hre

– n0w

– lgal

– questi0ns

– lgitimate

– ordr

– bu1k

– chck

– mi11ions

– st0ck

– f0rm

– markting s0lution

– rmove

– opp0rtunity

– cl1ck hre

Even to send this article to the people who’ve requested it, I’ve had to write carefully and creatively to disguise these words to get them through the sp@m filters.

In an effort to eliminate junk mail, most email providers have sp@m filters in place, and, smart as these are, they don’t know you are not a sp@mmer if it includes what it considers to be suspicious words. Some filters automatically dump suspicious email into a bu1k mail folder, others block them entirely.

Chances are you don’t consider yourself a sp@mmer. You don’t blindly send mi11ions of emails a day to people who don’t want your information. You do respond to client inquiries and send information to people who request it. Even if you only send email to people who have double optd in for your ezine, you can have your newsletter or message labeled as sp@m if you’re not careful. 10-30% or more of your emails may be getting filtered by overzealous ISPs.

Usually, use of just one “offensive” word won’t get your email blocked, but repeat it or use it in conjunction with another “offensive” word and your recipients won’t receive your articles or notes.

I hate junk email as much as the next person. But if the recipient has requested your ezine or an email response, they should get it. In there effort to eliminate sp@m, the ISPs are beginning to infringe on lgitimat communication and commerce.

What You Can Do Review available lists of words that ISPs consider “suspicioius”. I’ve posted one list of some innocuous and common words that if used together or frequently can get your email blocked at:

Use one of the online content checkers to see which remaining words could create problems with sp@m filters such as: Ezine Chck Lyris

Where possible, replace “offensive” words. If you need to use a word like “markting” because it’s the best word for the job, you can get creative with, as I did above, but some sp@m filters block emails containing odd characters.

No strategy for getting by the ISP filters is foolproof, but every effort you make to eliminate potentially problematic words will increase the likelihood that the people who want to read your emails will get them. Take a minute to check your email before you send it and you’ll increase the number of people who read it and respond to it.

2004 In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

2005 C In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals,
small business owners and marketing professionals attract
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