Friday, February 10, 2012

Alert: 550-"JunkMail rejected (Spamcopy, Spamhaus)

The most absurd thing happened to me this week which I thought I’d share.

None of us like spam, but lately I’m seeing the techniques used by email services, such as Hotmail, are rejecting emails that aren’t spam. Here is what appears to be happening.

You sign up with an email service provider (could be your ISP) and you send an email. You may have been using the service for years with no problems. Then for some unknown reason the emails you’re sending are rejected as spam. I’ve seen this happen to my business clients as well as quite a few others, including myself.

What is happening is you’re using a email service to send your emails and those email services are shared with others. Someone else using the service sends spam, but they may not even be aware they’re doing it, because their computer may be infected. The address of the mail server is then blacklisted by one of the spam filter companies such as Spamcop, Spamhaus, or the service Hotmail uses. You then go to send an email and it gets rejected as spam. The recipient never sees the email so doesn’t know you’ve sent it.

In business the problem is you may end up with an irate client and lost business because their mail server is rejecting your valid message. A business trying to work with you may lose business because you think they’re not responsive. In this situation make a call to the client. If the information is important, ask for a different email service.

This is an example where the solution causes just as many problems as the original problem.

The irony of all this is, in a recent test I sent an email to myself and the email was rejected. This is just plain silly and is likely to lose the hosting company my business if it happens too often. It means emails sent to me may be getting rejected and that could be losing me business.

If you are using Hotmail as your business email service I’d seriously suggest you should move to another service. I’ve frequently seen Hotmail reject emails when there has been no issue with any other service.

For those receiving bounced emails with messages rejected as spam when you know they aren’t, hopefully this will let you know what is happening. In most instances I’ve found if you wait 24-48 hours and resend the message it does get through. So if you can’t contact the person, resending the email is better late than never.

Kelvin Eldridge

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