On Friday later afternoon my telephone rang. On the other end was a frustrated client that some of their email was sitting in their Spam folder. They said these are legitimate emails and after they were marked as safe, but the next email still ended up in the Spam folder.
This is common and I am usually asked similar questions weekly.
So how can you tell when an email is safe or marked as Spam? Over 99% of us use some sort a Spam filtering software, and Spam filters recognize Spam messages by analyzing message content for Spam characteristics. Sometimes these filters fail and mark legitimate emails as Spam. These emails are then sent to the Spam folders and are not seen by the recipient unless you view the Spam folder.
Actually – there are several factors that determine if your email is label as Spam. Most often you can tweak the settings of your Spam filters yourself or have your email provider adjust them for you. Some factors include:
-Emails Spam Score
-Your local Spam Filter software
If the email is originates from domain that is on a blacklist server, you can check this at MX Toolbox. Chances are real good that you will find the email in your Spam folder. Also – the email itself has a built in Spam Score. You can check this by opening the email and checking the email header or message details. Look for something like this:
X-Virus-Scanned: by amavisd-new at exmf022-nj-1.domain.local
X-Spam-Score: -1.199 <—– (this is what you are looking for)
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.199 tagged_above=-999 required=3 tests=[BOTNET_SERVERWORDS=-0.2, HTML_MESSAGE=0.001,RCVD_IN_DNSWL_LOW=-1]
The example above shows a safe email and I have my Spam threshold set to 3, meaning any emails that have a Spam Score of 3 or above will end up in my Spam folder. Most Spam filters either use a range or 1-10 or 1-100.
Because there are so many Spam Filter software programs out there it is impossible for me to guide you through adjusting it’s sensitivity. You will need to check your Spam software documentation or contact their technical support.
Note: In reference to Blacklist servers, there over 122 independent Blacklist servers out there on the Internet. If you find that a email domain is listed on one of these servers, you should notify the sender and have their IT support department get involved. It is difficult to get off of these servers and certain steps must be taken to correct the offending action that got the email there in the first place.
If you would like, we provide a Free Technical Assessment, this can be beneficial to new and startup companies that are not sure where to start.