While at a speaking engagement yesterday, I had a couple of people ask me how to avoid spam filters. I am always hesitant to answer questions like these because I am not one to employ tricks. Spam filters are also constantly changing in an effort to combat spammers. Instead of advocating tricks, here are a handful of thoughts to help get your email to recipients. The point with each one of these ideas is to simply avoid what sets spam filters off, as opposed to employing tricks to get around them.
- Avoid sending HTML emails: Emails that contain links, graphics, and HTML code are one of the biggest triggers that filters use to identify SPAM. If you are set on using HTML email, be sure that at the very least, your first correspondence is in plain text. In the first email, request that the recipient add you to their safe list or address book.
- Avoid sending attachments: For most filters, attachments equal computer viruses or trojan programs.
- Avoid overly aggressive or ambiguous subject lines: Subject lines that are in all caps or contain exclamation points are often identified as SPAM. Overtly generic subject lines do the same.
Other places to watch out for include common SPAM words and phrases both in subject lines and in the body of the message. Do some research for yourself. Never be convinced by those who guarantee you they can get around SPAM filters. If they can one day, the likelihood is that they won’t the next.