Is Your Ezine Being Zapped?
About a year ago I wrote an article titled 'WinningThe War On Sp^m'. Unfortunately, the war on sp^m isnot being won at all.
In fact, the problem is now so serious that sp^m isshaping up to be the greatest threat to onlinemarketing.
The threat comes not from sp^mmers themselves, butfrom the filters that are being used to block them.
These filters are hitting hard at the very core ofecommerce - Ezine Publishing.
Anti-sp^m filters operate at two levels: (i)client-side programs that reside on individualcomputers and (ii) server-side programs that ISPs areusing to block incoming sp^m.
The problem is that the filters are now so sensitivethey are blocking even the most innocent ofNewsletters.
For example, if your Newsletter contains the words'remove', 'unsubscribe' or 'click here' it willtrigger anti-sp^m filters in many of the programs thatare now being used by ISPs.
Your Ezine is zapped, deleted - and a large percentageof your s^bscribers will think you have stoppedpublishing your Newsletter.
What can you do about it?
Here are some tips to avoid sp^m filters:
(1) Post your Newsletter online and then email yours^bscribers to tell them that the latest issue is nowavailable online.
(2) In your Newsletter carefully avoid (both in thesubject line and the body text) all words that arelikely to trigger anti-sp^m filters. Use the fr^eservice listed at the end of this article - it willflag any words in your Newsletter that triggeranti-sp^m filters.
(3) Instead of saying 'to unsubscribe' (which is aphrase commonly found in sp^m), say 'If you no longerwish to receive...' or 'If you wish to leave thismailing list...' or 'To take yourself off thislist...'
(4) If there are trigger words that you simply cannotavoid, you can disguise them using carets (^) or othersymbols. The 'F' word would become fr^e and the 'U'word would become uns^bscribe.
(5) Include the word 'Newsletter' in the subject lineof your email - this will help the filters identifyyour email as non-sp^m.
(6) Avoid whole words in upper case. In manyNewsletters the headers are capitalized - this willtrigger the filters.
(7) If your Newsletter contains ads, scrutinize themcarefully - ezine ads, by definition, contain wordsfrequently used by sp^mmers.
Here is a fr^e service that will help you avoid sp^mfilters. Before you mail out your Newsletter, justsend a copy of it to the email address below with TESTin the subject line: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Within a few seconds you'll receive a report thatanalyses your Newsletter and gives you a score (0 to5=no problems 12-16=over the limit for most ISPs).
If you write articles, it's worth submitting them tothis test as well, together with your Resource Box(Sp^mCheck gave this article a score of 1.9).
Sp^mCheck is operated by Sp^mAssassin, a filter thatis widely used by ISPs - so this is a good test ofwhether your Newsletter will get through to yours^bscribers.
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