Lost: 200 emails gone missing. Last seen on the 25.10.2003

admin, 23 February 2012, No comments
Categories: Email Marketing
Tags: , , , ,

Sound familiar? Ever wondered what happens to those unopened emails that you see in your stats from your latest email campaign/newsletter? Yep, you guessed it-their mail servers are doing it for them.


This is what is referred to as a “False Positive”. It means that although the recipient has opted in to receive your newsletter, for some reason or another, the mail server’s filters have deemed it to be Spam and, in most cases deleted it, before the recipient has had the chance to give their verdict on whether it was worth opening or not.


In order to protect themselves (and presumably us) against the onslaught of unwanted emails, the servers have implemented filters, which are designed to stop Spam in its tracks. Of course there are bound to be some casualties – and in this case it is your legitimate correspondence.


There are four main things that happen when an email is filtered – depending upon which type of filter is being used.



    It gets delivered – it has been deemed not to be Spam.
    It gets deleted without notification to either sender or recipient.
    It’s deleted and the sender is notified via auto-bounce that the email address is no longer valid, even though it may be valid.
    It’s deleted and a blacklist is notified that the sender is a Spammer. So, let’s have a look at the types of filters currently in use:

Community: This is based on the community joining together and installing the filters, then reporting any occurrences of Spam. False Positive occurrences should be low, but in reality they aren’t. This is due to a couple of reasons: The first being the weed theory. What one person regards as a weed, another may regard as a flower. We all have different opinions. The other is that many people are now reporting once wanted email as Spam instead of unsubscribing.


Blacklisting: ISP’s generally use their own proprietary lists of known Spammers, created by themselves. Third party blacklisting companies also publish databases of Spam senders. False Positive’s are extremely high, as these third party blacklists have no accountability. In fact anyone can report an IP Address as a Spammer and do not have to qualify their reasons. Address recognition: Sender’s email address is in the recipient’s address book or the server’s/gateway’s acceptable list. Email senders must earn their position within these lists.


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