Lesson 1

Arch Enemy #1 – The Spam Filter

How they work and how smart email marketers work with them to avoid the spam bin.

In this video:

  • The first of your tips that will help you avoid your emails getting caught and sent to the spam bin.
  • An overview of how spam filters work

Run Time: 5:56


I want to show you the inside of one of the commercially available spam filters that I use on a day by day basis, to check emails for my clients to make sure that they’re not making silly mistakes. And to give you an insight into how commercial spam filters work.

The basic premise is that every single email that is sent by you and other email marketers is checked for various elements before it is allowed into the receiving email company’s servers.

There are a number of commercially available spam filters available. And the first tip that I recommend for all email marketers is that you pay a little bit of money, and you send yourself your emails through one of the spam filters. It will save you so much time and hassle, You wouldn’t believe it.
This, as you can see is SpamTitan, you can go to spamtitan.com, and you can sign up for their service, it’s really easy to set up, they’ll take you through that. But what I want to do is just show you the inside of my reporting panel.

We’ll go through the columns at the top here so that you can see pretty much everything that I see.

So the date is self explanatory. This is where we get the dates of all of the emails here. And this second column, this is a message ID. So what I’ve done is I’ve partially hidden this, for various reasons that relate to security, and also the current IP address.

The way I’m looking at this is we can hover over this and we can see the countries. But what I don’t want to happen is the companies that are sending emails and having issues have their IP addresses necessarily exposed simply and effectively by something that I’m doing.

This next column is really, really important for you to look at, Okay. Essentially what we see here is spam with a number. Also “clean” with a number of whitelisted things that you can do within each account that you have yourself. And a bit further down, you might see things like “blacklisted”.  Let me just explain how this works.

All commercial spam filters work on a basis where you set a number. And when the checking is done, different things will apply different numbers, which get added up and if you go over a threshold, in this case, 5. (5 is and I need to just point this out completely default), if your email goes over this number then your message is marked as spam and is held within spam filtering site and it is not sent to your recipient’s email inbox.

Commercial companies would use services like this, Gmail would use the same kind of process, but not necessarily SpamTitan, and it will be the same with other companies.

All of the other email boxes that you’re trying to get your messages into will have some kind of spam filter like this that works on a scoring mechanism. So what we need to just be aware of is the score.

You can see here that if the threshold is five, this one is nearly a good email. This one is nearly a bad email simply by the score of the FROM address which is the email address that has sent the email to me.

These are the email addresses that I use and have filtered by SpamTitan and yours will be different. This column is the subject line just so that we can see what’s going on.

What I’m just going to do quickly is I’m going to pick on one email, let’s pick on the top one, Okay?

The subject line reads: “Send unlimited email to your list for life, no recurring fees ever.” I don’t know who it’s from, but I can see it has been identified as spam. What we do is we click on this box here, Okay. And If I move this to the centre of the screen, you can see that this is a web address. You can see who has sent that. It’s come to me, But what we’re going to do, we’re going to look at the source.

The important part that we want to focus on is this element here. Now while this is probably double Dutch to you at the moment, what I’m going to be doing is going through these various emails to explain at least 10 simple things that you can do on a day by day basis with your email marketing, to stop making silly mistakes, and to get your score down from over five to below five so that more of your emails end up in the inbox and not get caught in the spam trap.

I’ll See you in the next video.