August 11th, 2006
Two guest columns in as many days! Let’s spread some e.politics love and hear from my old friend Phil Lepanto over at Connections Media, who has some excellent tips for making sure that your advocacy messages don’t get caught in a spam filter:
As we enter the crunch time for 2006 primary elections and as the 2006 generals start to heat up, there are probably a lot of campaigns that are really only now getting started with focused email campaigns. A challenge that faces every campaign is getting past Spam Filters. I don’t have hard numbers, but I’d guess that the second most profitable internet business behind online pornography is “email marketing,” or spamming for hire.
Your readers should know about the resources available to them at Spam Assassin. They list out the things they scan email for to determine whether it is spam. If you can compose email that doesn’t trigger their software, you’ll probably get past other spam-blocking software as well.
Remember, there is a never-ending battle between spammers and spam blockers. A campaign typically doesn’t have the time or the resources to win every battle. There are two basic things a campaign can do to help them get past the blockers. The first is to use the resources above to make sure their email doesn’t trigger anti-spam software. The second is to encourage users to “white list” the campaign into their email box.
A great example of this strategy can be found by signing up for the Cirque du Soleil Cirque Club. They give explicit instructions to folks that sign up for the Cirque Club on how to set their email clients to allow Cirque Club email.
Thanks Phil! And kudos for being the first to mention porn in any form on this site — we held out for a month, which is damn near miraculous, I tell ya.