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  1. #1

    Emails marked as spam. Should I stay or should I leave?

    I decided to create a new thread because it isn't about IPs. It's about moving to another web host or just dealing with the problem at hand.

    Anyways, I have accepted the fact that if I stay with my current provider, my emails will temporarily be marked as spam. They say that it's because the IP has never been used before to send email. True or not, I've accepted that reason.

    My managed provider and I have done everything in our power to fix it (switched IPs, IP/email configuration, WHT suggestions, different domains, etc) but it is what it is. Both my managed provider and I know that it's the new IP, so please do not question my business reputation, my domains, the email contents, etc.

    My question is: Should I stay with them and work through this unfortunate ordeal or should I move elsewhere?

    Thanks.

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  4. #4
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    Certainly move. This seems to be giving you altogether too much heartburn.

    Time to try a new venue.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    I have done everything in our power to fix it (switched IPs, IP/email configuration, WHT suggestions, different domains, etc) but it is what it is.
    IMHO, with the exception of possibly "WHT suggestions", everything you mentioned seems to me to be more of a reason your mail will continue to get marked as spam.

    Pretty much everything you listed is exactly what a spammer does to avoid getting on a blacklist. If you don't want your mail to be thought of as likely spam, then don't do things spammers do.

  6. #6
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    It's totally possible to get marked as spam without even being in an IP blacklist- do some basic research first. It could just as likely be your fault. Make sure you have rDNS set, that your domain name isn't in SURBL or DBL, that DNS on your domain isn't screwy, that you have a valid SMTP banner, on top of the IP blacklists that mxtoolbox will show you.
    Corey Northcutt | Northcutt
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  7. #7
    This is the first time I purchase a dedicated server, I have not gone live with my business site, my emails are not spam, I've only sent a handful of emails, my managed provider is doing all the configuration, but it is somehow my fault.

    Northcutt Consulting and Lightwave Networking, for reasons beyond my understanding, blame me. Fair enough.

    @quantumphysics and srfreeman: Thanks for your posts.

  8. #8
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    Did you try running it through spamassassin and seeing what it says?
    Paste your email (including headers) in a .txt file and run spamassassin -D < /path/to/email.txt

    Alternatively, give me a link to a test e-mail of you (including headers) so I can have a look what would cause it to be marked as spam.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Snel IS View Post
    Did you try running it through spamassassin and seeing what it says?
    Paste your email (including headers) in a .txt file and run spamassassin -D < /path/to/email.txt

    Alternatively, give me a link to a test e-mail of you (including headers) so I can have a look what would cause it to be marked as spam.
    I send them via MS Outlook. I sent one yesterday with header "Email to test my [username] hotmail, yahoo, gmail accounts" and message "This is en email to test see if these providers will mark this email as spam. From Myers" My host did exactly the same thing, with the same results.

    I appreciate your post, but I don't need to run this through spamassassin to know it's not spam.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    I send them via MS Outlook. I sent one yesterday with header "Email to test my [username] hotmail, yahoo, gmail accounts" and message "This is en email to test see if these providers will mark this email as spam. From Myers" My host did exactly the same thing, with the same results.

    I appreciate your post, but I don't need to run this through spamassassin to know it's not spam.
    I'm sure it isn't SPAM, but spamassassin will tell you everything that is bad or negative about your e-mail.
    Something simple as an invalid PTR or SPF record will cause a lot of false positives.
    Perfectly legal and personal e-mails can, caused by a combination of small issues, be marked as SPAM.

    It's always wise to regularly check your e-mails to make sure the clients receive it, just to be sure.

  11. #11
    You're right. It doesn't hurt to try.

    So I ran spamassassin with one of the emails that our web application sends, and I got a bunch of text in my command prompt. Is there anything specifically I should look at?

    Thanks.

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    It's hard to tell without seeing the log. Could you post the results (you can edit anything personal or related)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    You're right. It doesn't hurt to try.

    So I ran spamassassin with one of the emails that our web application sends, and I got a bunch of text in my command prompt. Is there anything specifically I should look at?

    Thanks.
    Above the contents of original file, you should see something like this:
    X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.5 (2008-06-10) on
    xxxxx
    X-Spam-Level:
    X-Spam-Status: No, score=0.0 required=5.0 tests=none autolearn=ham
    version=3.2.5

  14. #14
    X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.3.1 (2010-03-16) on PRMD-PC
    X-Spam-Level: *
    X-Spam-Status: No, score=1.6 required=5.0 tests=MISSING_DATE,MISSING_MID,
    NO_RECEIVED,NO_RELAYS,SUBJECT_NEEDS_ENCODING autolearn=no version=3.3.1
    This is the result.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    This is the result.
    Those are some small things that could be fixed, but they are no reason that your mail should be marked as spam.
    The IP address is not listed at http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx either?
    And are you sure the IP address resolves in a proper rDNS, which in turn resolves to that exact IP address? (and matches the server name)?

  16. #16
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    vmhatup;

    You may be fighting a loosing battle with the free email providers.

    Since the free email addresses are often used to sign up for potentially spam producing items (most everything these days), I am sure that you are going to find many users with their free accounts setup like my hotmail account.

    1) It is set to "Exclusive" so everything sent to it (I have no white list for that account) is marked and sent to the junk folder.

    2) it is set to "Report" all junk mail (in effect, everything) which apparently (hopefully) creates the blacklist for Microsoft.

    Simply hitting one account like this will/should relegate any further mail from you to the free system's junk folder.

    The people that actually use the free accounts are used to looking in the junk folder and don't automatically delete.

    I, long ago, decided on a policy of not doing online business with those who insist on only using free email addresses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    Northcutt Consulting and Lightwave Networking, for reasons beyond my understanding, blame me. Fair enough.
    The intent was to help you not waste time, not to blame.. from what you told us, you certainly couldn't rule out a problem on your end. I would think you'd appreciate that if it prevented you from having to change providers for no reason.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    I, long ago, decided on a policy of not doing online business with those who insist on only using free email addresses.
    Did you see any impact to your business in making that change? We've considered doing that as well but haven't done it.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Did you see any impact to your business in making that change? We've considered doing that as well but haven't done it.
    RE: Policy of not doing online business with those who insist on only using free email addresses.

    Yes, Certainly, for the better. It is more professional and seems to be appreciated by prospective clients.

    It reduces the problems brought on by doing business with clients that have something to hide and makes communication with clients so much better.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    Both my managed provider and I know that it's the new IP, so please do not question my business reputation, my domains, the email contents, etc.

    My question is: Should I stay with them and work through this unfortunate ordeal or should I move elsewhere?
    It sounds like your managed provider has worked extensively on this issue with you. You should stay and you should thank them. Fact of matter is, IPv4 is indeed depleting. New IP assignments from ARIN are either "dirty" IPs that have been given back or new IPs that have never been used and have zero reputation. The way ISPs deal with incoming mail these days - both scenarios above will have issues with delivery for awhile and you just need to work through them. Switching providers because of this issue may resolve your issue - but, its also possible you may end up in a worse situation. It is a crap shoot right now. I would say zero reputation is better then a previously dirty IP - but, more then anything - good support is better then anything else. There is nothing your provider can do to fix this and there is nothing you can do to avoid these sorts of issues right now. You will need to build up a good reputation for your IPs.

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    Do you guys realize its the 21st century now?
    Nobody uses ISP provided email addresses anymore, almost everyone uses gmail and the other free providers.

    What will happen is they will go somewhere else, or figure out how to use that ISP email they have never used, just to signup with you and probably never check that email again.

    You want to block 90% of your customers or make them jump through hoops to signup with you? Good luck with that.
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  22. #22
    I agree Host Ultra - not doing business with people because they use hotmail or gmail or whatever free ISP is not the right solution - and frankly, its not smart. But, this is a different conversation altogether then what the original poster is asking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Host Ultra View Post
    Do you guys realize its the 21st century now?
    Nobody uses ISP provided email addresses anymore, almost everyone uses gmail and the other free providers.

    What will happen is they will go somewhere else, or figure out how to use that ISP email they have never used, just to signup with you and probably never check that email again.

    You want to block 90% of your customers or make them jump through hoops to signup with you? Good luck with that.
    Down boy, I certainly realize it is the 21st century.

    Given that it is the 21st century, how do you feel if you get an email from doctorjones(at)hotmail.com or yourbanker(at)gmail.com?

    Businesses today would certainly want to communicate using a return address that identifies their company. Just like a snail mail address that resolves to a mailbox provider in a strip-mall raises suspicion, so does a free email address.

    If you need the $5 from the free email user that can't fess up to who and where they really are, you are welcome to it. Bottom feeding is not my style, nor is it the impression I want to leave of my business.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    I agree Host Ultra - not doing business with people because they use hotmail or gmail or whatever free ISP is not the right solution - and frankly, its not smart. But, this is a different conversation altogether then what the original poster is asking...
    The OP's issue has to do with only the fact that emails are being sent to junk folders of free email providers.

    Discussion of free email providers would seem to be on topic.

  25. #25
    Your provider has been working with you in trying to get this resolved when it really isn't a problem they caused. As has already been mentioned if you move you risk getting IPs which are also have no reputation, or worse a bad one. It also looks bad for your domain to have your mail server changing so frequently. It seems like your provider is trying to do the right thing, I would stick with them and work through the issues.

    That said, if your mail is getting a very low SPAM markings in most providers and spamassasin, etc. you are on the right track. Fix what few things are causing any ranking, and get it down as close to a 0 score as possible.

    And if you are setting up a board (I am imagining something similar to Craig's list et al) why not just mention to the person posting to be sure and check the spam folder? I see this all the time for services which are sending automated messages. I don't think it will ever be possible to guarantee 100% delivery to the Inbox on every possible combination of email provider and client.

  26. #26
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    From what I've understood from your previous thread and your update in this one, it looks like you've exhausted all your means to getting your IP issue resolved with your current provider. It's time to move on and give another provider a try. I certainly wouldn't just "deal with it"...
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  27. #27
    Thanks for all your replies.

    This is the reason why this hotmail issue is so important to me: We will soon be going live with our free classifieds site in the Dominican Republic, which as you may know, is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with a very high unemployment rate. People don't have jobs and much less are they going to have private domain names. Understandably, for many, the only options are free email providers.

    I understand that the provider has done everything possible, but my question is: if I end up moving to another provider, how can I be guaranteed that this isn't going to happen over there also? That's my main concern. If I'll have this issue with any provider, then I'd rather stay with my current one and work with them.

    For me and anyone else starting a new email-intensive business, the issue would be resolved if somebody could tell me, without doubt, if an email from a clean IP will be marked as spam. From what I've seen, there's no clear-cut answer for that. So what's the point of moving to another provider?

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    The OP's issue has to do with only the fact that emails are being sent to junk folders of free email providers.

    Discussion of free email providers would seem to be on topic.
    I think the point is being missed. The discussion is actually about reputation of IPs - nothing more..

    The fact that free email providers ALSO use IP reputation to decide how to filter email means nothing really - other then the fact that in this particular case, the original posters issue is with hotmail. I 10000% assure you that all major ISPs and many corporate mail environments use the exact same rules as hotmail does in this case - hence, the issue is nothing to do with free email services. Eitherway, suggesting companies do not work with or deal with free ISPs is no a viable solution. Having said this, users of free email services or those services utilizing their own end user reporting filtering protocol need to be made aware of the potential ramifications of doing so.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post

    I understand that the provider has done everything possible, but my question is: if I end up moving to another provider, how can I be guaranteed that this isn't going to happen over there also? That's my main concern. If I'll have this issue with any provider, then I'd rather stay with my current one and work with them.
    moving to a new provider will absolutely not ensure that this problem will go away. it may in fact end up being worse. There is also the possibility this has nothing to do with the IP or its reputation

    For me and anyone else starting a new email-intensive business, the issue would be resolved if somebody could tell me, without doubt, if an email from a clean IP will be marked as spam. From what I've seen, there's no clear-cut answer for that. So what's the point of moving to another provider?
    here is the issue with EVERY mail service that utilizes end user reporting as a mechanism of determining which mail is spam and which is not. End users will often simply report an email as spam vs unsubscribing to a legitimate mailing they have subscribed to. This is not just a hotmail issue, many large ISPs utilize a similar system (ie comcast, at&t, aol, etc). It is not a reasonable solution to simply not do business with these people. However, with this sort of filtering in place, where end users directly control where your mail ends up (ie inbox or spam bin) - then you can easily end up in spam bins, even with clean IPs, even with IPs with excellent reputations and even if you arent sending a single spam message out. This is simply how end user reporting based spam filtering works. Your only real options are to have unsubscribe links clearly and prominently displayed at the TOP of the message - and/or a very clear message about why the user is receiving the email and how to stop receiving it. After that, you can also ask your users to specifically flag the email as "good" or "not spam" - and especially if it ends up in their spam bins. Lastly, I would spend some time and get on providers safe sender lists and ensure you are enlisted in a reporting feedback loop if they have one available

    hope this helps..

  30. #30
    Thanks for your reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    moving to a new provider will absolutely not ensure that this problem will go away. it may in fact end up being worse. There is also the possibility this has nothing to do with the IP or its reputation
    What is this other possibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    here is the issue with EVERY mail service that utilizes end user reporting as a mechanism of determining which mail is spam and which is not. End users will often simply report an email as spam vs unsubscribing to a legitimate mailing they have subscribed to. This is not just a hotmail issue, many large ISPs utilize a similar system (ie comcast, at&t, aol, etc). It is not a reasonable solution to simply not do business with these people. However, with this sort of filtering in place, where end users directly control where your mail ends up (ie inbox or spam bin) - then you can easily end up in spam bins, even with clean IPs, even with IPs with excellent reputations and even if you arent sending a single spam message out. This is simply how end user reporting based spam filtering works. Your only real options are to have unsubscribe links clearly and prominently displayed at the TOP of the message - and/or a very clear message about why the user is receiving the email and how to stop receiving it. After that, you can also ask your users to specifically flag the email as "good" or "not spam" - and especially if it ends up in their spam bins. Lastly, I would spend some time and get on providers safe sender lists and ensure you are enlisted in a reporting feedback loop if they have one available

    hope this helps..
    I understand your point: I can mark an email as JUNK by clicking on the 'Junk' button. I have no problem with that.

    But the first email sent with this ip from MY Outlook to MY hotmail account is being marked as spam. If the IP is indeed clean (as the provider states), then there are only two reasons for this: IPs that have never been used for email will be marked as spam, or the IP has negative reputation and I don't know about it. At this point in time, those are the only two reasons.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    Thanks for your reply.

    What is this other possibility?

    I understand your point: I can mark an email as JUNK by clicking on the 'Junk' button. I have no problem with that.

    But the first email sent with this ip from MY Outlook to MY hotmail account is being marked as spam. If the IP is indeed clean (as the provider states), then there are only two reasons for this: IPs that have never been used for email will be marked as spam, or the IP has negative reputation and I don't know about it. At this point in time, those are the only two reasons.
    you may be right, but, it may not be that simple. your domain may be flagged and the IP it is associated with may not matter (user reporting systems have started using this to avoid spammers - not saying you - from simply changing IPs)

    eitherway, just do a quick check on your IP is on any major blacklists

    http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

    if it is, then the IP may be "dirty" and you have some work to do to clean it up

    if its not on any serious RBLs - then its either reputation based, user reporting or both

    hope this helps...

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    Businesses today would certainly want to communicate using a return address that identifies their company. Just like a snail mail address that resolves to a mailbox provider in a strip-mall raises suspicion, so does a free email address.

    If you need the $5 from the free email user that can't fess up to who and where they really are, you are welcome to it. Bottom feeding is not my style, nor is it the impression I want to leave of my business.
    I wasn't going to address this but, alas, I have to.

    Do you have any idea what the average monthly salary over there is? Do you know how much a medical doctor makes over there? Do you know how much it costs to purchase and host a domain over there? Your statement only tells me that you don't.

    And regardless of that, I own a domain, and my main email account is my yahoo account. I know tons of professionals that use hotmail, yahoo, or gmail. You'd be surprised how many doctorjones(at)hotmail.coms exist.

    So if I'm a bottom feeder because I won't ignore people using free email accounts, then so be it. I'm a bottom-feeder.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    I think the point is being missed. The discussion is actually about reputation of IPs - nothing more..

    The fact that free email providers ALSO use IP reputation to decide how to filter email means nothing really - other then the fact that in this particular case, the original posters issue is with hotmail. I 10000% assure you that all major ISPs and many corporate mail environments use the exact same rules as hotmail does in this case - hence, the issue is nothing to do with free email services. Eitherway, suggesting companies do not work with or deal with free ISPs is no a viable solution. Having said this, users of free email services or those services utilizing their own end user reporting filtering protocol need to be made aware of the potential ramifications of doing so.
    No, the point is not missed, the entire discussion from the OP has pointed only to free email providers blocking his email and how he feels that he has been done wrong in some way.

    My decision to not do business with those that use free email addresses exclusively was inserted to point out problems that I have had with this group of users. I also note that experience shows that it will be near impossible to stay out of the junk folder of the free email systems (having nothing to do with IP reputation), concern with this would appear futile and IP reputation will shortly be ruined simply by dealing with these users regardless of the status in the beginning.

    The OP appears to be asking for clean clothes so he can go roll in the mud. What is the point? The service provider has been more than generous, yet the OP seems to want to make them out the bad guy - wrong in my estimation.

    The OP seems to have a need to deal with these users, IP reputation is really one of the smallest issues he should be concerned with. Though it has created a lively discussion, little has been noted about this type of usage being a prime reason there are so many tainted IP addresses.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmhatup View Post
    I wasn't going to address this but, alas, I have to.

    Do you have any idea what the average monthly salary over there is? Do you know how much a medical doctor makes over there? Do you know how much it costs to purchase and host a domain over there? Your statement only tells me that you don't.

    And regardless of that, I own a domain, and my main email account is my yahoo account. I know tons of professionals that use hotmail, yahoo, or gmail. You'd be surprised how many doctorjones(at)hotmail.coms exist.

    So if I'm a bottom feeder because I won't ignore people using free email accounts, then so be it. I'm a bottom-feeder.
    You really need to notice that professional misuse of these services and general lack of care has prompted government involvement and creation of many compliance standards. I am not the only one who considers it wrong.

    I am sadly aware of the number of professionals continuing to use these services, disregarding the consequences or compliance. The number of times I have heard something like "I can send the patient information using hotmail, it is just so convenient" matches very closely with the number of times I have heard something like "My identity was stolen online, dang that Internet".

    It seems that concern with the plight of those "over there" may be laudable but IP reputation should be very low on the importance scale when trying to improve their lot.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by srfreeman View Post
    No, the point is not missed, the entire discussion from the OP has pointed only to free email providers blocking his email and how he feels that he has been done wrong in some way.

    My decision to not do business with those that use free email addresses exclusively was inserted to point out problems that I have had with this group of users. I also note that experience shows that it will be near impossible to stay out of the junk folder of the free email systems (having nothing to do with IP reputation), concern with this would appear futile and IP reputation will shortly be ruined simply by dealing with these users regardless of the status in the beginning.

    The OP appears to be asking for clean clothes so he can go roll in the mud. What is the point? The service provider has been more than generous, yet the OP seems to want to make them out the bad guy - wrong in my estimation.

    The OP seems to have a need to deal with these users, IP reputation is really one of the smallest issues he should be concerned with. Though it has created a lively discussion, little has been noted about this type of usage being a prime reason there are so many tainted IP addresses.
    Honestly, you need to relax. If you read my posts, you will see that I agree - the poster needs to understand what is going on here and why. To outright determine which people you will do business with based on their specific @email.com may work for you, but, it is not a reasonable strategy for the majority of people and businesses. There is a happy medium - and yes, end of the day, people using free email addresses or those that come bundled with ISP services need to understand the limitations they face. But, we are speaking millions and millions and millions of legitimate users. You cannot just dismiss them. instead, this needs to be turned around on the free email providers and on the large ISPs - and that can only be accomplished by educating people. Refusing to do business with them simply makes you look like a fool and honestly, it doesnt help anything, as it validates the very same practices you are trying to get rid of.

    Just my $0.02

    cheers

  36. #36
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    Andrew;

    I am very relaxed. You seem to think I have something against someone, not the case at all.

    My business has to do with helping companies / professionals with large IT installations and requirements that include use of the Internet. Simply put, anyone in this market that insists on using only a free email address to communicate, raises a red flag.

    I have already stated that I have a use for free email addresses and that my usage and that of many acquaintances will certainly result in the blacklisting of domains and IPs of those who insist on trying to communicate with the free emails used. I get the feeling that many of the millions of users you speak of do the same - unsubscribe links have proven to be at least ineffective and at worst dangerous.

    I am not dismissing anyone, trying to help anything, trying to turn anything around, trying to educate anyone or get rid of any practices. I just point out that given current practice, IP reputation and doing business with free email addresses are like oil and water.

  37. #37
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    srfreeman,

    I am missing what you are saying about free emails. The point of them is that they are free right? For personal use.

    Say you work for a company and have a company email. Anything not related to company business SHOULDN'T be sent over company email since that belongs to the company and can be audited by the comapny right? Plus using company resources is bad so where should they conduct all the personal business they need to?

    Saying you can't accept free emails for many things is a huge mistake if your market is the general public not businesses.

    While I agree with your view that professionals like so many doctors and lawyers I know shouldn't be using free emails we at the same time advise them to move to hosted email which includes Google mail/Yahoo business email which is gmail and yahoo so I think the lines are blurred a bit.
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  38. #38
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    To the OP, since this is currently an hotmail issue, try this link

    http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx

    To note are the Sender IDs and rDNS. They also don't have a whitelist themselves but are partnered with ReturnPath so even if you're technically passing, the domain rep might not be high enough. In which case, you might have to consider going through the 'Email Certification Program'.

    Also check out the 'Junk Email Reporting Program'. That might give you a bit more feedback on why its being flagged as junk through their servers.

    http://mail.live.com/mail/services.aspx

  39. #39
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    544
    Coolraul;
    I am missing what you are saying about free emails. The point of them is that they are free right? For personal use.
    I have said that I choose not to do business with those that use free email addresses exclusively and that my personal free email accounts are setup in such a way that all messages are routed to the junk folder and reported as junk mail.

    It seems that requiring identifiable, domain based email addresses is an acceptable practice. Have you attempted to purchase an SSL certificate using only a free email address?

    It seems that reporting unwanted messages a junk mail has become a general practice since unsubscribe links have proven to be at least ineffective and at worst dangerous.
    Say you work for a company and have a company email. Anything not related to company business SHOULDN'T be sent over company email since that belongs to the company and can be audited by the comapny right? Plus using company resources is bad so where should they conduct all the personal business they need to?
    This is probably not the place to discuss employee activity but I would say that any attempt to circumvent the employer's security or compliance systems would seem to be bad.
    Saying you can't accept free emails for many things is a huge mistake if your market is the general public not businesses.
    My market is not the general public.
    While I agree with your view that professionals like so many doctors and lawyers I know shouldn't be using free emails we at the same time advise them to move to hosted email which includes Google mail/Yahoo business email which is gmail and yahoo so I think the lines are blurred a bit.
    Advising professionals to use anything less than compliant email systems, with signed provider agreements in place, for conducting their business is just wrong. Lines are very clearly drawn not blurred a bit.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,084
    Sorry I know this is derailing it but are you saying Google mail for business is not compliant? I mean the infrastructure as the only difference between it and gmail is the domain name.

    The OP's market is the general public so not an issue there.

    Every time I am doing business with a new company I use my gmail address as I don't want them looking up my name and calling until I have a chance to determine if I want to do business with them.

    I have even had a vendor just show up "he was passing by" and decided to stop in and drop off a pen and grab a coffee ... WTF!!??

    Please don't take this as an attack. I know you are knowledgeable and just trying to understand your take on this. My wife likes to remind me that I am not infallible (she is probably wrong but on the off chance.....)


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