April 7, 2013

SPAM is a Dirty Word

photo: Gwen's River City Images

I really hate the word SPAM. For me it usually means a sudden sick feeling in my stomach that has nothing to do with the unwanted visual of canned luncheon meat.

Clicking that SEND button on a newsletter is the last step in a meticulous process. It’s like that little high we get from checking an action item off our to-do list. One thing done and onto the next.

So when that SPAM checker pops up flashing ‘FAILED’ with a BIG RED X, I start feeling sick because I know I've got extra work ahead of me. (It doesn't actually flash and it’s not really so big, but that’s the way it seems to me when it happens.)

My first reaction is "D*mn!" But of course the SPAM checker is there to help us, not hinder us. It helps make sure our newsletters get delivered and don't end up in SPAM folders. Still, I feel like shooting the messenger.

There are a multitude of reasons that a newsletter can fail a SPAM check. The combinations and frequency of certain words and phrases will be triggers. The solution is usually not as simple as using a thesaurus to find alternates. You can't change the title of a book or re-write a direct quote, for example.

Another reason your newsletter might fail a SPAM check is because a hyperlink you've included leads to a blacklisted domain or IP address. This is usually more straight forward to resolve by deleting the link - unless it's your own domain or IP address, of course.

A SPAM checker is one of the advantages of using a bulk email service. It’s also one reason to use a company like us to manage your email campaign for you. We get that sick-to-your-stomach feeling so you don't have to.


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