That Kill At Least When It Comes to Spam Filters
by Alexandria K. Brown, The E-zine Queen
spam. It's terrible not only for those of us on the receiving end,
but for those of us who SEND e-mail.
of irritating junk has unfortunately interfered with legitimate
e-zine publishers, because we're caught in the anti-spam crossfire.
If you publish any type of e-mail publication, there's a likely
chance that your e-zine is NOT reaching a portion of your readers.
Why? Their Internet service provider (ISP) or e-mail program uses
a spam filter.
programs search for words and phrases that are typical of spam and
assign each incoming e-mail a "score." If your e-mail
has too many of these words and phrases, you receive a high score,
and you may be blocked.
TOP 20 "KILLER"
WORDS/PHRASES YOU MAY BE USING
While there are other words that will cost you more "points"
than these do (e.g. sexual phrases), here are the most common "trigger"
words and phrases that you may be using in your e-zine:
2. cancel at any time
3. check or money order
4. click here
6. dear friend
7. e-mail marketing
8. for only ($)
9. free (including toll-free)
10. great offer
12. increase sales
13. order now
14. promise you
15. risk free
16. special promotion
17. this is not spam
18. to be removed
WHAT'S A PUBLISHER
You have two choices when it comes to beating the filters. One is
to avoid using these words and phrases altogether. I've found that
hard to do. For example, in a recent issue, I discussed how to use
your e-zine to increase business. Unfortunately the word "increase"
cost me a fat 1.4 points in SpamAssassin, one of the most popular
choice is to disguise these words and phrases in clever ways by
inserting keyboard symbols within them and/or replacing a letter
in them with a symbol. The trick is not to make it too cryptic
you want your readres to be able to understand what you're saying.
For example, in my e-zine, I use "fr*ee" for free.
While some spam
filters pick up on this trick and penalize you for doing it by adding
onto your score, I've found that the points this tactic costs you
penalize you much less than using the words and phrases themselves.
It's not a perfect solution, but it's working for now.
It's a great idea to test how YOUR e-zine stacks up before you send
it out. The good news is you can do this for FREE.
tells you how your e-zine ranks in Spam Assassin. All you do is
copy your e-zine text and paste it into the box on their site. They'll
run your free report and e-mail a copy to you. It usually arrives
The report will
tell you exactly which words are costing you points. Usually you
should only be concerned if your score is over 5 points. If so,
you can either delete those words or disguise them, as I mentioned
I test each
issue of my e-zines in Content Checker before I publish them, and
often I'm surprised (and relieved) that my score is low. That makes
me a happy publisher. : )
Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brown, The E-zine Queen, is author of the award-winning
manual, Boost Business With Your Own E-zine. To learn
more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit
her site at http://www.ezinequeen.com.
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