But it’s Not Spam!

spamA question I often hear from people has to do with why their emails often end up being marked as spam by the person they send it to. Determining spam is a difficult situation these days. It’s very hard to determine if an email is truly informational or is intended as marketing spam.  There are many software solutions that help make these determinations for people, and often times these solutions are outside of the control of the individual user.  Sometimes email sent to you is going to be marked as  spam even though you normally would want to see them. You are even absolutely sure you never marked them as spam, but they continue to fall there anyway. This can be a result of a server being used for your mail account trying to determine spam from a blacklist compiled by others or even from others in your own company marking the sender as a spammer.

Here is a great article I found on how this happens.  It’s important to understand that once this occurs, it is often difficult to reverse.  This is why I always advocate using a separate email address for any marketing correspondence you send.  This protects your primary email address from ending up caught in the quagmire of spam and junk mail filters.

You should also understand you email clients spam or junk mail features so you know how to unmark an email as spam that is incorrectly filtered.  This process is different for every mail client but basically consists of going to the spam or junk mail box on your computer and selecting a command in the mail client menus that tells the software the email is not spam.

For example, in Microsoft Outlook, you would do the following:

To mark a particular message as not junk, follow these steps:

  1. Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 5.09.42 PMIn Mail, click the Junk E-mail folder in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.).
  1. Right-click any message that you want to mark as not junk.
  2. On the shortcut menu, point to Junk E-mail, and then click Mark as Not Junk.

The process is quite similar in Apple Mail.  For Outlook express.  Take a look at this article from Microsoft for more details.

[stextbox id=”alert” caption=”A couple other comments about spam”]

If your looking for an email address to use that has a great spam filter associated with it, try a gmail address.  Google has great spam filters that are very accurate and a gmail address is available for free.

If you are a Mac user overwhelmed by spam, consider a program called Spamsieve.  Spamsieve runs in conjunction with Apple Mail and provides a great deal of configuration ability in determining spam.  With a few days of training it can eliminate 90% of the spam from your mailbox automatically.