August 2002 Newsletter

Getting Your Email Newsletter Through

**** The 4specs Perspective

Are getting a lot of unwanted email? Call it what you want, the number of unwanted emails has increased significantly. More any more ISP's, companies and individuals are blocking emails that appear to be junk. Your email newsletter may not get there, and you will not know it. And, conversely, you have many options on stopping junk emails from entering your email box.

But is the email junk? SFGate - June 17, 2002 - reported:
"Last December, AOL bounced back early-admission notices from Harvard University that the filter had deemed to be junk."

You need to be sure that your newsletter gets through to your users - through the spam filters. That is why we recommend not sending out emails as blind carbon copies as they are quickly stopped, and using an email merge program. See the past two month's newsletter in the manufacturer's area:

Stop your unwanted junk emails. The reverse side of getting your message across is to stop unwanted messages from getting into your email box. Large ISP's and companies can use a service like BrightMail ( Purchased by Symantec ), but that is expensive for a small company or individual. There are several new programs available that will filter emails for you. Typically they fall into two categories

1. Delete the spam as it enters your email box:
These programs check your email box and delete the mail before you check. I have been using CleanMyMailbox.com for the past 2 months. In July, it filtered 1,200 messages and stopped 1,000 from needing to be downloaded or seen. Realizing just how many junk emails I was receiving has changed my perspective on junk emails. There have been a few wanted emails blocked, so you need to keep an eye on the deleted folder. Once approved, future emails from the same person will get through. $12 per month, with a free trial period.
[link no longer available - 09/2010 - I would look to use Google Gmail for Domains as the best alternative today. Free for up to 49 mail boxex]

2. Identify and filter the spam so you can filter them from your inbox:
Deersoft has a filter program for Windows 2000/XP and Outlook that will tag all suspected emails and permit you to filter them to a hold folder or the deleted folder. There is a UNIX version available for tagging at the mail server called SpamAssassin. The primary disadvantage of this technique is that you still have to download the message from the email box, which can be a problem on a dial-up connection from a hotel while traveling. $30 to purchase the program.
[Link changed, now part of McAfee]

There are several other email services that I spotted, but have not tried out. These programs hold your email and send a request to the sender to register before the program will send the message to your email program.. Most spam senders will not respond. These are different variations on the theme, and the intent of all is to stop unwanted email.
Choice Mail: http://www.digiportal.com/
Choice Mail also has a nice description of the email problem and their solution. The program can also be tried for 14 days before buying.:
http://www.digiportal.com/support/choicemail/onlinehelp/ChoiceMail.pdf

There will be many more programs like these to control emails as unwanted emails are only going to get worse in the future. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

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Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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