Avoiding Spam Filters

It’s virtually impossible to guarantee that every email you send will reach its intended recipient - regardless of your list’s source.

This is because firewalls, ISPs and other email virus protection methods have many different criteria for combating illegal spammers, some being more zealous than others.

helps you by being transparent about the origin of the mail it sends. Protection systems often check up on senders by performing a ‘reverse look up’ to see if the originating server can be identified. Unidentifiable servers, or those with a bad reputation, are frowned upon. can also integrate with your organisation’s own email accounts if needs be - this allows you to send from your own email address.

In addition, you should encourage your recipients to add you to their address books. Some of the bigger email providers, such as Yahoo, allow users to block by default mail from anybody who isn’t on their address book. Many users will simply forget this when they sign up for a mailing, so it’s a good idea to remind them in as many ways as possible.

Technical matters aside, follow these steps to help stop your emails being misinterpreted as spam;

  • Avoid large graphics, or a high proportion of graphics to recognisable, plain English text that can be scanned by a spam filter.
  • Don’t use lots of different colours for text and links.
  • Don’t include an excessive number of links relative to the number of words in your email.
  • Avoid suspicious subjects. Aside from the obvious, words such as ‘free’, ‘special offer’, etc should be avoided as much as possible, as should lots of exclamation marks - they’re beloved of spammers.