I send out an e-newsletter every Monday evening. It goes to about eight thousand subscribers in 70 countries.
Automated anti-spam filters hate people like me. I send newsletters by email that contain suspect words, such as "pen?s" -- which appeared in a sentance reading "...open something...". Too clever by half.
But today I got fed up, and I am declaring that automated spam filters must die! A server blocked my e-newsletter from arriving at a subscriber's Inbox at wgriffiths-glass.co.uk for the following reason:
reason: 550 Error: So you think you can hide a URL in your spam? Think again!
(When you read upFront.eZine, you can tell that I make no attempt to hide URLs -- hyperlinks -- in the e-newsletter. Indeed, the point of the e-newsletter is to provide many, many URLs.)
Anti-spam programmers must think of themselves as really, really clever when they write contempt into their messages. Considering the poor job they do, I think a dessert consisting of humble pie should be ordered up.
reason: 500 Mail appears to be unsolicited -- send error reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
Another thing that doesn't work: sending codes to get around spam blockades. Sometimes I get an email back asking me to enter a code number or word to confirm that it is a human sending the email (as opposed to a dog, I s'pose). If the system works, why do I have to reconfirm every week?
Even worse is when a support email address is provided, where I can apparently appeal my spam status. Problem is, my appeal gets bounced back as spam. It's a lose-lose situation.
There are blacklist Web sites that pretend to collect domains that send out spam. I think we need to blacklist servers that falsely block legitimate email.
Telus.net Doesn't Git It
That goes for my IPS, Telus.net, whose personnel understand that I send out 8,000 email messages every week at roughly the same time, but are powerless to prevent their automated software from blocking my account after about 1,500 are sent out.
Their solution? Send the emails slowly enought to fool the automated shutter-downer.
How slowly? They don't know.