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Order confirmations being marked as spam

     
12:25 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi Guys,

I'm literally banging my head against a wall with the amount of my e-mails that are being sent back or simply trashed by free e-mail providers.

This morning I have received 10 e-mails asking if the order has gone through OK and I'm not even sure if my replies are getting through. It now seems Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and Blueyonder are not delivering my messages.

The AOL whitelisting looks impossible so I have discarded that as a lost cause. The others I am working with but so far to no avail.

Can anyone think of a solution as it is driving me mad.

For what is;s worth In have never sent an unsolicited e-mail in my life and receive no end of them everyday which makes it even more frustrating.

Thanks,
Craig.

1:32 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Are you with Tisacli?

I have just watched a report on BBC saying that there have been major problems sending emails through Tiscali for the past few weeks.

The report said that their email servers had been overwhelmed by spammers and that even if you do manage to send an email using their servers it is likely to be marked as 'spam' by Hotmail etc.

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

1:57 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is probably not the main problem, but it would be worth checking your shopping system for excessive emails.

I recently got four emails in 12 hours after a purchase, followed by two more when the item was dispatched, and another couple since. I don't think the merchant was intentionally spamming - but I'd understand if a few people reported him that way - and once you get reported a few times, the address is useless.

A lot of merchant software is sloppy; others are not so bad, but have so many (mostly useless) options that it seems they get set up badly. Worth a look.

2:20 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL all have a reputation for not delivering automatically generated confirmations (gmail I believe delivers them direct to the spam folder). I have come across reports of this from more than one company and have been affected myself when I used Hotmail.

I have no idea how to get around it but it is a well known problem and you are not alone.

2:23 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just to add, I know of one company that now forces all customers submitting on line fault reports to create an account so that they can log in and check the status if their email provider plays silly games.
3:22 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure that it's helpful to dismiss it as 'silly games' - many people receive thousands of spam on a daily basis, and it's not really surprising that some legit mails get miscategorized.

Much better to see it as a challenge, and look at (non spam) ways of getting the mail though.

If the Pony Express could do it, there should be a way ;)

4:24 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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RSndll,

Thank you, I am a Tiscali user, and use my e-mail account with them as an outgoing SMTP server as my host doesn't provide an SMTP server for e-mails.

Looks like I'm going to have to re send all e-mails I have been awaiting a reply from from a different account.

I do wriet the confirmations o they sound personalised rather than generated, but obviously the e-mail providers can pick up on e-mails being the same anyway.

Quadrille,

My customers receive one e-mail from Protx and one from me and that's it unless they reply to it to ask a question or I need to ask them about a discrepency or notify of an out of stock.

I hate receiving loads of e-mails those e-mails aswell.

6:01 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A lot of merchant software is sloppy

Perhaps you could elaborate on how an order confirmation email could be sloppy, this might help address this issue.

We sometimes have troubles with AOL customers, not as many with other free providers. But it happens now and then.

6:21 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I recently got four emails in 12 hours after a purchase, followed by two more when the item was dispatched, and another couple since. I don't think the merchant was intentionally spamming - but I'd understand if a few people reported him that way - and once you get reported a few times, the address is useless.

A lot of merchant software is sloppy; others are not so bad, but have so many (mostly useless) options that it seems they get set up badly.

Sorry, I thought I had explained it. As a customer, frequently get duplicate invoices, acknowledgements etc., often different; none have seen a human hand, so are clearlyt being triggered by payment methods, incoming emails, etc.

As I say, I cannot know whether it's poor software design, or poor setup in a particular case ... but, not unusual for off-the-shelf software, it ain't perfect.

It wasn't, however, a general swipe. I mentioned it specifically as such problems can in turn lead to other problems, like when irate customers report duplicates as spam, when they are not.

7:00 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Make sure the emails are coming from your own domain and you have an SPF record set up. Getting on AOL's whitelist is not that difficult - we have done it. Most of it is just common sense things that had already been done.

-Corey

10:25 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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SPF records are becoming increasingly important. Make sure the reply-to address matches the from address (at least the same domain). And make sure that the server where the email is being sent is listed in the SPF record for the domain in the "from address" of your email.