OK, so I'm sitting here filling out the little "sender verification forms" that get emailed back to me whenever I send out an email to my customers. You've probably seen them before - lots of companies like Earthlink, PeoplePC, etc. use them to fight spam. And don't get me wrong - I'm all for them. I think they cut down greatly on the amount of spam that's floating around out there.
Anyhow, I'm filling out these forms (and I get a lot of them - my customer database is over 20,000 records, so I send out a lot of emails a month, but they're all LEGITIMATE emails to customers)... and I get a message from one of them, "Spamarrest" telling me that I have reached my limit for the day.
Limit for the day? Apparently they impose a limit of 25 per day (the amount of verifications you can fill out). This, to me, is just silly. Why would you limit the amount of verifications I can process in a day. If I've just sent out a few thousand emails and have 200 verifications, I want to be able to sit down and do them all at once. After all, I'm taking the time to sit here and type all this crap in, right?
Anyhow, I click on the link they have for "Spamarrest Known Sender Program," thinking OK... now I'm getting somewhere. I'll just register as a known sender.
That form takes me to a CREDIT CARD FORM! They want me to pay to be able to verify more than a few emails per day. What nerve. $25 gets you 25/day. $100 gets you 100/day. $249 gets you unlimited. Whoo hoo!
This is completely silly and foolish. If any of you are using an Email provider that uses Spamarrest, I recommend you complain about this. Now I have LEGITIMATE customers missing out on LEGITIMATE business email, and it's the spam filtering company's fault.
Anyhow... I need to make this blog post worth your while (no sense checking in just to hear me complain about something). Here's what I use to combat spam: OUTLOOK MAIL RULES. I will be making a course on how to do this (they changed it again in Outlook 2007, but if anyone wants to see how to do it in Outlook Express, or Outlook XP, Email Me and I'll make a video for it sooner).
Anyhow, just tell people in your address book that they need to include some kind of tag in your subject lines or message bodies - I use [599CD] - and create a message rule to move any email with that tag in it to a special folder. Everything else left in your inbox is potentially spam. I look through mine once a week with a quick glance and delete it.
[This is also why it's important if you need to reach me that you use the Contact Me web form and don't just email me - you might just hit my trash.]
Sure, there are third-party spam filters out there, but mail rules work just fine for me.