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How to reduce the chances of Gmail dumping real emails into spam

this is a start

In other words, you need to add the sender into your Contacts.

It doesn’t always work… for example a lot of emails from my peter2000 address still get dumped into the spam folder by Gmail – presumably because some people keep telling google that I am spamming

So if e.g. you want EuroGA notifications (e.g. new posts on a thread) to reach you, you should add

into your Contacts.

Also, for mailings regarding fly-ins (we do only a few mailings a year), add

We will also stop future mailings to people who have not signed in for more than about a year. I believe that will also help with the spam mis-identification issue.

Other ISPs have different ways of identifying a “trusted sender”. For example Virgin UK has a specific config. Some others will whitelist anybody that you send an email to, which makes perfect sense.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter, I have you in my contacts (both your euroga and peter2000 addresses) but I don’t have the euroga notifications address. All emails from you and from the notification system are delivered correctly to my gmail mailbox and none lands in spam.

If we consider that gmail is similar to facebook though, it might be possible that they track my activity (namely opening all euroga mails and often following the links from them) and decide that I am actually interested in those, so they don’t mark them as spam ever.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

I thought you could just mark it as “not spam” and it won’t happen again for some time?

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

LeSving wrote:

I thought you could just mark it as “not spam” and it won’t happen again for some time?

Unfortunately not. It is very opaque how Google and others does with these hints. I’ve had emails that I subscribe to end in my spam folder for years on Gmail, despite my having marked at least 1000 of them as not spam.

Not being transparent is actually a key component of good anti-spam algorithms.

As of several years ago, the fight against spam has been most effectively working where a large ISP (say Gmail) or a commercial spam filtering agency (say Messagelabs – expensive but very very good) see many thousands or millions of emails arriving at their server, and then it’s trivial to spot the spammers.

Nearly all of them send out large number of identical emails, so while most of the emails (nowadays) come not from a single IP but from large networks of infected PCs owned by individuals and controlled remotely (“botnets”) they can be detected using signatures. And then you can just dump the whole lot – no need to assign it a spam score, etc. And I think everybody in the business is now doing this. I get reports from Messagelabs which confirm this.

So if you want to do a mailing, and you aren’t mailing millions, then waiting for say a minute between emails should work. I have found that a 60 sec wait is good and a 10 sec wait is much less good. This is interesting since real spammers do 100-1000 per second.

Unfortunately a lot of ISPs still look for the old stuff like keywords so the old favourite (vi*gra) is still likely to get your email dumped, which is stupid – especially if you are a doctor, etc. They also use stupid rules from a particular era e.g. a GIF attachment or a 3rd party URL is also suspicious. Also, when I do a mailing I see a bunch of returns which clearly show that somebody has just blacklisted the source, but often the blacklist expires by the time I go and check it.

I’ve had emails that I subscribe to end in my spam folder for years on Gmail, despite my having marked at least 1000 of them as not spam.

That is simply stupid and arrogant. As a user of a service you have the right to mark a sender address or domain as trusted, and accept the responsibility for that. Hence we use Messagelabs at work. We whitelist certain people whose emails we will always get (actually the email is still virus checked). As usual, you get what you pay for… but there are free ISPs which allow whitelisting of senders.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

All emails from you and from the notification system are delivered correctly to my gmail mailbox and none lands in spam.

That’s good; however, if a message was dumped, rather than just given a “spam score” and put in your SPAM box, you would never know

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

True, as long as I don’t talk with those people via different means. But I do and I don’t have problems with my contacts, i.e. they have never told me I didn’t respond to an email they sent. I don’t mean to say it is always like that, I just wanted to give thumbs up that the emails from euroga land where there should.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

achimha wrote:

Not being transparent is actually a key component of good anti-spam algorithms.

But this was about how you could tell the mail system what you do not regard as spam. That should definitely be transparent – alsp it’s not part of the anti-spam algorithm.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

But this was about how you could tell the mail system what you do not regard as spam. That should definitely be transparent – alsp it’s not part of the anti-spam algorithm.

Actually no. Otherwise spammers would use their own Gmail accounts to tell it that it’s not spam and thereby defeat the algorithms. In SMTP you also can’t know that an email really is from the sender, there are many ways to spoof that information.

Typically scoring algorithms are used. Many factors taken into account and a score calculated which if above a threshold means spam.

Adding the sender and marking a few examples as non spam is only a very soft input to Gmail, by far not enough to guarantee delivery.

Peter, maybe you should check out MailChimp which, according to them, prevents your e-mails from landing in the spam folder. It’s like the nr. 1 Newsletter / Mass-email distribution startup.
http://mailchimp.com/

LOLW - Wels, Austria
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