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Touchy spam filters

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday February 2, 2010 )

It’s quite amazing what will trigger some spam filters and send your communication to email hell.

I received a notification the other day stating my email didn’t make it to its destination – and this was the reason:

Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server has matched a filter.
Filter name: “KEYWORD= Blocked: jerk”
State: Purged

Either Forefront Security is a little too puritanical or the system administrator of that server is :). I believe it was triggered in relation to my mention of “knee-jerk”.

Go figure.

I can think of lots of other scenarios where the use of the word “jerk” is valid and not meant as an insult.

Filters are getting better, but they really still aren’t all that smart regarding intent and when you throw a human into the mix who is able to add “potty mouth” lists of their own – well, this is what happens.

The example above is pretty extreme – I can’t remember ever seeing anything quite like it. However, messages can be blocked, purged or spat back for all sorts of reasons and it can be particularly challenging in getting legitimate commercial email such as newsletters through without them being mangled or otherwise interfered with.

Do you run your mailings against an email filter first to see how they fare or perhaps try sending to services such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail before doing a live send to ensure they hit the inbox and not the junk mail folder (or worse)?

It’s certainly worth the effort as it can mean the difference between the success of an email campaign or utter failure.

Learn more about testing email campaigns against spam filters.

Find out more about the do’s and don’ts with spam filters in my article on email delivery issues


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