Randall Rensch, Marketing Communication Concepts and Copywriting 

Are your emails being mistaken for "[SPAM]"?
Use this free analyzer before every bulk mailing.

As a pro copywriter, I work hours to make every word exactly right.
Then take 2 minutes to learn which ones get mail in trouble.

The Problem: Your content gets you filtered

The prevalence of spam does more than make recipients shy and skeptical. The anti-spam measures of large ISPs and free e-mail hosts (like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail) can really hurt legitimate online marketers. As a freelance copywriter myself, this is of serious concern to me. You, too?

The major gatekeepers all have filters that reject or discard plenty of legitimate mail ("false positives"). What they don't trash outright, they may toss into a Junk or Bulk folder, like Hotmail and Yahoo do.

And then, there are the spam filters that more and more individual users set up on their own computers.

Some filters check the sender's routing. Others check for technical characteristics. And still other filters check the actual content. If all these checks add up to too a high a score, your email risks being labeled "[SPAM]," or worse.

What's more, you'll never know your emails didn't get through. Because the last thing a filter should do is send a rejection notice back to the supposed spammer, which would only confirm the recipient's address.

How can you increase your chances?

You probably can't do much about your routing and some other technical things. But you can control your email's actual content, and tip the balance in your favor. Do it by using this simple software tool before each mailing. It's called SpamCheck.

The Solution: Run your content through the SpamCheck analyzer — FREE

Point by point, SpamCheck identifies the features of your particular message that could mung your mailing. (You might even learn that you should try sending from another Internet mail provider. You'll certainly learn about your content.)

Stop using silly abbreviations and crippling your copy over things that filters don't care much about anyway. Start testing your mail for things that they do.

Try SpamCheck now, simply by sending it a sample of your email. And, oh... It's free. This isn't just a trial. This is SpamCheck — you can use this tool again and again, no charge. So every time you send a mailing, run it through SpamCheck first.

Here's how...

STEP 1: Create your email using the same content and formatting you intend to send in bulk. (Technically, you don't have to be planning a mass mailing. SpamCheck doesn't care if you're mailing in bulk or one-at-a-time.)

Use the subject your direct mail will use, but add the word "TEST" to the start of your subject line (without the quotes, in UPPER CASE, no space after it) so that the program knows this is a test e-mail. (If the subject does NOT start with TEST, SpamCheck will think it's REAL spam and ignore it). Here's a sample subject...

SUBJECT: TESTFlower-Lovers Ezine #007: Peonies for the Yukon

STEP 2: Simply send the email you've just created, to this address:


You'll get a full, free report back (in seconds, perhaps a few minutes if volume is heavy) telling you how good or bad your e-mail is, from a spam-detector's point of view. It will itemize all corrections that you should make in order to stay out of the junk folders.

Incidentally, the emailed report is the only email you get as a result of this test. No spam.

How'd SpamCheck get so smart?

It's based on the techniques used by SpamAssassin filtering software. (It can't guarantee against all filters. My recommendation: Use SpamCheck to test for serious problems, give yourself plenty of headroom under its thresholds, and don't obsess — keep tweaking only if it will make a big difference.)

Why is it free? It's actually a standalone component of a much larger product called Site Build It!. They consider it a come-on. You can consider it whatever you like.

But by the way...

If maintaining your e-mail list and sending to it has become a hassle, there are several ways to keep the process from becoming a chore. Site Build It! (SBI!) is one of them.

Even that component is just a small bit of the Site Build It! concept...

Overall, SBI! is a system for building a well-founded business through a website that draws remarkable traffic. Its publisher (a client of mine) guarantees Site Build It! will make any small business succeed online... in a tenth of the time ... and at a tenth of the cost ... of cobbling it all together from other sources.

If that sounds interesting, you can learn more about Site Build It! at...


Randall Rensch, Marketing Communication Concepts and Copywriting