With Spam Blocking, Legitimate E-Mail Gets Stopped, Too

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In response to Des Cahill's article ("Your Legitimate E-Mail Is Getting Trashed," April 4), direct marketing professionals have an additional concern about e-mails mistakenly tagged as spam: messages from clients or potential clients not reaching DM service providers. This is most likely a concern for small creative firms or freelancers. We often use small or independent ISPs for e-mail and Web hosting.

My ISP does an excellent job with spam blocking. The downside is legitimate e-mail is sometimes blocked as well. In my case, I've had e-mails from an editor, a marketing directory and my local DMA organization be bounced as spam. My ISP technical support is great about getting e-mails authorized for me. But I have to know about the problem first. Since I love not getting spam, I've added a note on my Web site and outgoing e-mail signature requesting a phone call if a message is bounced back.

When I do get a call, I ask what the bounceback message says. System administrators sometimes get carried away and include rather unprofessional text directed at spammers in the bounceback message. The ISP management may not be aware of text added to bounce backs. Let someone - other than technical support - know that unprofessional messages are going out. Otherwise, your reputation may be damaged without you even knowing it.

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