Electronic communications have revolutionalized the business world. The problem is that along with the faster communications that email makes possible has come the inevitable abuses of spam. Spam is by definition unwanted emails. And the typical email user both personal and business level can get dozens if not hundreds of spam emails each day. And no matter how much protection and filtering goes on, the marketers who create spam just keep on pumping it out.

The technology to stop spam has gotten pretty sophisticated. Some of these programs are called “spam filters” because they intercept spam emails and delete them or quarantine them to a special folder to be reviewed by the email owner. Its an automated process and the spam software must be smart enough to know the difference between good email and spam. So as you might expect, it gets it wrong from time to time. You know that because frequently spam slips through to your email box even with spam filters in place. So it is natural to assume that spam filters are also from time to time catching good emails and deleting or quarantining them thinking they are spam. And if that happens, it can be a big interruption to the normal flow of business.

As a business person, you need for your emails to get to your clients, partners and customers. There may be a crucial business decision to be made and if that email dies in a spam filter, it can cost you and your contacts business dearly. So the more we know about how to keep your emails from looking like spam, the better.

The best defense against seeing your emails get trapped is to work with your customer or partner on the other end so both of you add each other to the favored users list. This list is part of the spam filtering process. To use it, simply have your contact copy your email address into a special part of the spam filter that checks the favored users list and lets any email from that user go through to the email box.

But its not always possible to know you are a favored email partner particularly if you are just beginning your business relationship with the client. Most spam filters work from two parameters to determine if your email is spam. They work from a word list of suspicious words that are flagged as potentially dangerous and likely to indicate spam. Pornographic words or sales pitches that are most used in spam advertising campaigns will be caught and that email routed away from the recipient.

The second way spam is spotted is by formatting. If an email is unusually loaded with graphics or contains an attachment, it can be flagged as spam and end up in the spam filter forever. That is because most spam advertisers use very glitzy marketing methods to draw the eye of the customer. That means more graphics with lots of color. So spam filters look out for these common behaviors and take action accordingly.

To keep your email from getting caught in the spam filter, avoid using methods in creating your email that are suspicious to a spam filter. Avoid high graphics and html emails as they send up a flare to the spam filter to look closer. Review your email title and body as well to make sure you don’t accidentally use a word that might be construed as spam advertising. By staying on top of why spam filters isolate certain emails and not others, you are thinking ahead and outsmarting the spam software so your customers and you can use the powerful tool of email to do business.


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