Internet Marketing Blog

The Internet Marketing blog of Mike Merz, Internet Marketing consultant, in regards to what's hot ... and what's not, in the world of Internet Marketing.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Dori Friend ( Winds Up In The SPAM folder?!?!

My dear friend, Dori (no pun intended ..;), owner of, makes a living helping folks get their email through the SPAM filters ... so when I read her latest newsletter (she identifies the problems, AND offers spot on solutions), I had to share. ;)

Dori sez ...

Yeah, I was pretty upset when my emails starting bouncing awhile ago. But then, figuring out the Spam Filters is one of those things that you just have to keep on top of ‘cause the monsters keep growing warts.

So (drum roll, please) here are two NEW things I have found that are keeping email from getting where you want it to be:

1) Links in your email.

We knew that too many hyperlinks would often trigger the Spam Filters, but now even ONE can do the job.

What kind of hyperlink can do this, you ask?

Affiliate links.

Affiliate links are the major cause of this growing problem. Those hyperlinks squeal "ADVERTISEMENT" just about as loud as a pot-bellied pig caught in a drain pipe. OUCH!

And, they can be as innocent as well.

I normally don't hide my links when I am an affiliate for someone and am recommending a product (remember the AudioGenerator Campaign?) I am very open about it; therefore, I would lay the whole fat link right there in my email.

No more!

I’m putting the link on my website as a redirect or plain link. So this is an example of what you will now see from me, and I also recommend you doing the same.

instead of…

Another reason for this is that many Spam Filters are getting even tougher, and they want to see that the link in the email matches the "FROM" field in your email’s address.
Here’s an example of matching "FROM" address and link inside email...

from address: dori@

Here’s an example of a non-matching "FROM" address and link inside email...

from address: dori@

I just did something, and I wonder whether I got through to everyone. I sent this from my ISPwest email address (my "real" ISP) because of the second problem I am going to talk about in a second.

This is a test to see *how* tough it has gotten. My real ISP is innocent enough, and I think the email will probably get to all my readers. At any rate, this is what it looks like:

from address: dorifriend@

It will be interesting to see if I get caught for that. If you’re reading this, chances are that it got through. Please let me know!

Now, on to problem number two.

2) Your "FROM" Email Address.
This started a couple of months ago, actually, and has just gotten worse. Some shady person out there create a worm that harvested email address off the Internet and then sent emails to other harvested email address "from" what appears to be other harvested email address. Whew!

What this means is, if you have your email address listed on your website somewhere, you have probably been getting a TON of email with compelling subject lines, with just one line of text inside and usually an attachment on it.

No problem, I thought; I have a great "delete" key. But when I started to get this kind of email FROM MYSELF, meaning from my email address and I hadn’t sent it, I realized the lid had blown off the beans.

Because it appears that my email address is sending these erroneous emails, guess who is now blacklisted!

Yep, that’s right: ME!

Well, the email address is being blocked by MSN, Earthlink, Yahoo AOL, and about a hundred other ISPs who have filters that scan spam email, analyze it, and then come up with their own barometers of it.

And sorry to say, all of us who have email addresses on the web are now residing in the belly of the beast and there is NOTHING you can do about it except get rid of that address and put another one up on your site using a GIF, JPEG, or PICT image. Or do what I do ‘cause I’m lazy about creating images: Use the word "at" instead of "@" in your address. For example, mine looks like dori/at/

I think most folks understand that it is an email address, and for now, harvesters aren't targeting the /at/ group.

Now, for that WAY controversial "Do Not Email Registry."

Unless you have been in a cave for the last six months, you know all the flack that has been flying around about this thing. I think Paul Myers did the best job of explaining why this was a dead fish that nobody wanted.

You can read his post here:

And the verdict is... NO REGISTRY!

At least for right now. Within hours of the FTC's announcement, grassroots organizations started their lobbying efforts.

So like always, stay tuned. More will be revealed ;)



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