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- How Do Spam Filters Work?
- How to Get Through Spam Filters
- Anti Spam Filtering Techniques and More at Florida Independent
Email remains a top distribution channel in 2022 with 87% of B2B marketers making use of email to communicate.
Seventy-nine percent of business-to-consumer websites use email in marketing campaigns. And with 4.03 billion Internet users still using electronic mail, the medium is set to continue as a prime selling platform.
However, the rise in spam filters means messages don’t arrive in the inbox. In the worst cases, filters blacklist the sender, meaning all future emails get blocked.
This article explains how to avoid spam filters like a pro.
Discover how modern spam filters work and the reasons some messages get sent to the spam folder while others don’t. Then learn 5 ways to ensure your email content arrives safely for your customers to read.
Read on to learn how to avoid spam filters and make your email marketing campaigns more profitable.
What Are Spam Filters?
Spam is unwanted or junk email. The term stems from a famous Monty Python sketch where the customer had no choice but to have spam for dinner.
Junk emails plagued the online world for years. And with the rise of ‘zombie botnets’ in the mid-2000s, the problem only got worse.
Internet and email service providers (ESPs) decided to fight back and introduced spam filters.
Spam filters help detect unsolicited emails by catching them before they arrive in a person’s inbox. The software automatically removes them too, usually within 30 days.
But how do spam filters work? And how can you successfully deliver your email content?
How Do Spam Filters Work?
Spam filtering software uses technology called heuristics to analyze and detect unwanted emails.
Thousands of predefined rules assess factors like:
- Content – scans for words and phrases that are common to spam messages
- Hidden header data – examines the email header information for e.g. known spammer emails
- Rules-based filtering – specific rules set-up by an organization that checks against whitelists
- Blocklist filters – also known as blacklists that include blocked IP addresses
Whitelists are pre-approved email addresses while blacklists contain blocked emails. ESPs use these records to build a better picture of the ‘good vs bad’ guys.
However, the main bulk of the work uses heuristics and machine learning to assess whether an email is seen as spam or not.
Spam Filtering Using Machine Learning
Google’s Gmail service now uses AI and machine learning in its spam filters to block 99.9% of incoming spam.
Techniques like Neural Networks study how spammers bypass their systems. Filters then learn how to block those attempts in the future.
Spam traps also identify spamming threats.
ESPs create fake email accounts that trick spammers into sending unsolicited emails. If an email arrives, the sender’s automatically added to the blacklist.
But how can you be certain that your email marketing campaigns and messages will reach your customers?
How to Get Through Spam Filters
The advice given below doesn’t work if you plan to send spam emails. Spam filters are too smart for that.
Instead, use these tips to ensure your email arrives with a customer who actually wants to read it. If the content’s good enough, you’ll see your hard work paid off when they click through to read more.
1. Use a Reliable Email Service Provider
If you’re a small business wanting to send hundreds or thousands of emails don’t use Gmail or your ISP.
Google, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc. have strict guidelines when it comes to sending lots of emails over a short period of time. So who should you use for your email marketing campaigns?
There are several excellent email marketing services available, some of which are free to use.
MailChimp works with Shopify and Magento and allows up to 2,000 contacts at no charge. Constant Contact costs $20p/m for up to 10,000 contacts. And AWeber is free for up to 500 subscribers.
2. Incorporate Email Testing Tools
A spam email testing tool gives you a glimpse at what the spam filters see before you hit send. That way, you can identify any issues if the message gets flagged as spam.
Email testing tools keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of filtering systems. They also check for things like broken links and spam trigger words for you to change.
This should form an essential part of your email campaign arsenal.
3. Match the Sender Name With Your Domain
Ensure the sender email address matches your domain name when sending emails.
Spam filters pick up on false names, especially those that don’t tie with an existing domain. They also check the IP address and ‘from’ address and if they don’t match you could get flagged.
4. Check if You Are Blacklisted
Online tools like MXToolbox.com let you check if your domain is already blacklisted by email providers.
Use their free service and enter your web address. The system returns a list of blacklists and notes if you appear on any of them.
If you are, use the ‘Solve Email Delivery Problems’ option to fix the issue.
5. Manage Your Subscriptions
Regulations like the CAN-SPAM Act and Canada’s CRTC outline your responsibilities when it comes to sending emails.
Subscribers must consent before being added to your lists. They should also have the option to unsubscribe at any time. The unsubscription option should appear within the email message itself and failure to include it will mark it as spam.
Always be transparent and let your customers unsubscribe if they wish.
Anti Spam Filtering Techniques and More at Florida Independent
Spam filters help reduce unwanted emails but they also block content that customers want to see.
Use the anti spam filtering techniques above to see your marketing messages arrive in the inbox. Combining a sensible sender address with an email testing tool will increase open rates. And result in higher click-throughs.
Read more about how to beat spam filters in the Technology section.
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