Eight Ways to Tame Email Spam (and One Way to Make Sure You Don’t Miss Prospect Emails)

We all spend a huge amount of time working all those emails we receive.   Luckily, there are many ways to tame the task so you can free up valuable time to work on other things.  Here are eight ideas to check against what you’re already doing and possibly get a productivity boost:

1.       Some email addresses are spammier than others. 

If you are using info@yourdomain.com, or webmaster@yourdomain.com, you may be getting a lot of spam email along with real client leads.  Spammers will often find a list of domains and simply tack on info@ to make an email address that they add to lists they sell.  You can foil the spammers’ plans by simply using a lesser known email address such as service@yourdomain.com or support@yourdomain.com .  Cutting down on your email volume, even if your spam filter catches most of them will reduce your Outlook file size, save you time from deleting them, and save download time.

2.      Change out old email addresses. 

A few years ago, I finally had to give up and retire sandi@sandismith.com.  It was just too spammy, even with a filter.  I did this in three steps.  For about a year, I purchased SpamArrest, which is a challenge and response email service.  I monitored my email carefully and finally got all of my clients using my new email.  Step two was putting an auto-responder on the email address, showing clients where to get my new address.   The final step is deleting the email address for good.

3.      Use your web hosting spam filter.   

Your website hosting account almost always comes with a free spam filter that works just fine.  There are many ways you can set it up, including whether you want certain emails that score high for spam to be deleted or just moved into a special folder.  The trick is to make sure it’s not set too low so that it deletes emails from valid customers and prospects, otherwise you will lose business.

As a webmaster, I don’t see clients paying enough attention to this important area.   Once you have spent all that money on your website, make sure you can actually receive email from the email address that the webmaster lists on your website and that you know what a web inquiry looks like.  They often go into spam, and they are real prospects who need you!

4.      Prevent web contact from spam.

On your website contact page, you may have a form for clients and prospects to fill out.  If you do, you may also get annoying spam from robots, hackers, and especially disreputable SEO firms looking for business.   The answer is to have your webmaster install something called a “captcha,” which is where the person filling out the form has to fill in some random numbers generated in a graphic that displays.

5.     Change emails periodically and use separate emails for lists.

  • To protect yourself from WordPress blog spam, use Akismet
  • Hidden spam folders on gmail etc.
  • Rules in Outlook
  • Email addresses on website should be protected from scrapers by spelling them out “at”