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How to Avoid Spam Filters

Your organization relies on the smooth flow of communication between members.  If your emails are being blocked or identified as spam it creates a disconnection in your organization and important details may be missed.  Email clients now feature automatic spam filters that rate every incoming message according to certain criteria to determine whether or not they are spam.  While it isn’t possible to predict every factor a given email client uses to mark spam, it is possible adopt some best practices to help avoid having your organization’s messages blocked or relegated to the junk folder. The items below outline some of these best practices when it comes to your ClubRunner communications.

Know What Spam Sounds Like

Spam filters check the entire content of your message.  While nobody is actually reading your organization’s emails, the filters do go through and detect certain phrases and wording they regard as spam. The filter’s analysis is largely based on what the client’s email customers have identified as spam in the past.  If the filter find your message reads too much like previously identified spam mail, they will mark it as spam as well.

For example, let’s consider the following legitimate email:

“Our Rotary Club is on the verge of an important breakthrough!! Over the last decade we have raised almost $800,000 from the community to help pay-off the outstanding mortgage on the recreation center. We just need to raise another $15,000 by end of this year in order to set our fundraising record!! If we manage to do this, the state charity fund will match our 2015 donations dollar for dollar and invest that sum back into much needed community improvements. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some of our tax money back?! Our town needs this money and we need your help!!! TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE HISTORY!!!!!

Clearly, this message is an important one for the club. Unfortunately, the email contains a number of elements that would cause it to flag many spam filters.  It contains references to large sums of money, a mortgage, and “money back.” It ends with an urgent appeal for help.  These are all items that might cause an email to be filtered as spam message. That’s because these words and key phrases are often placed in mass mailed ads or phoney appeals for help.  Packing them into a single message makes it all the more likely the message will end in the junk folder.  To prevent this from happening, avoid sounding like an ad. Skip the sales pitch language whenever possible.

Know What Spam Looks Like

Your words aren’t the only thing that gets your messages marked as spam. The appearance of the email can also trigger the spam filters.  Things like brightly colored fonts and even excessive use of exclamation points and upper-case letters can cause them to react. The spam filters also look behind the visible text and images, at the source code of your message. If your email is formatted with poorly written HTML it might be flagged as malicious code. If your content contains a lot of images without supporting text the filters might also flag it. This is because scam emails often contain textual information in the form of an image file, to avoid textual spam filters. 

 

Creating Filter-Friendly Content with ClubRunner

Email filters are more likely to identify a content heavy bulletin with images and links as spam.  It is possible to create a plain text version of the bulletin, which provides access to the entire bulletin content without images and text formatting.  Once you have created the plain text version of a given bulletin, it is automatically sent to users whose email clients cannot render HTML messages in lieu of the full version of the bulletin.  To create the plain text version of you bulletin simply click on the ‘Text Version’ button at the top right of the bulletin editor. This will take you to the Bulletin Text Version editing page.

 

Related Links
How Do I Handle Blocked Emails?

How Do I Handle Blocked Bulletins?

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  1. David H.

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