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Help with pictures in Emails

Posted on 2007-07-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-07
As a marketing effort, we recently added a picture to users email signatures. Today a person reported that a customer wasn't receiving our emails and found them stuck in their SPAM filter.

My questions is, is there a way to get around this so our emails don't get stuck in SPAM filters?

Thanks a bunch in advance!!
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Question by:nicolepemble
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war1 earned 256 total points
ID: 19557340
Greetings nicolepemble !

Many spam filters send emails with links to Spam folder.  It you do not have a link in your email (like a picture link), then it is less like spam filter will send to Spam folder.

Best wishes, war1
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by:Corcoran Smith
ID: 19557566
also - how have you done these images? Just edited the signatures using Word?
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 248 total points
ID: 19558619
The simple answer is don't use an image in your signature.
If that image is 5k, then every time you send an email with that image, each email is at least 5k. Send 100 emails a day and you have used 500k, that is about 150mb per user per year.
If you simply include a link to the image files, then you will be flagged as a spammer, as that is a spammer trick.

Simon.
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by:upul007
upul007 earned 248 total points
ID: 19562797
Had to do the same for our marketing team and had a nightmare of a time with flyers some time back.

As Sembee and War1 pointed out, your emails are bound to get flagged if you link to or embed images on emails.

What you could do is to use flyers/promotional material in the form of attachments (prefereably as PDF files, converted using the lowest compression) and attaching these to emails. That's what we finally had to do due to getting listed as sending spam. The corporate logo was removed entirely off the email (and then some staff added the logo as a PDF which was pointless).

Again bandwidth usage will need to be monitored or scheduling will need to be done.
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by:Corcoran Smith
Corcoran Smith earned 248 total points
ID: 19563510
have a look at www.redearthsoftware.com -- they have a 'disclaimers' bit of software which plugs nicely into exchange 2003; you can make "proper" html email from there; though if you're currently being flagged as a spammer, that might not be entirely useful.  the other consideration is that when you're sending from exchange, that your server is getting proper reverse DNS and domain names to reduce the appearence of you being a spammer?
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Author Comment

by:nicolepemble
ID: 19566620
Corcoran - yes we use Word as the advanced signature editor and modify it using that. Just curious, if we weren't getting proper reverse DNS, wouldn't it result in a bounceback? How does this affect SPAM filters (does it tie into SPF)?

upul007 - Do you know to what degree email was getting tagged as spam? Our sales & marketing VP loves this signature idea so we may be fine knowing only a small percentage is getting flagged, but if alot are that is a different story.

Is there a general rule on SPAM filters that say if a picture is over a certain size (pixels or kb) it is flagged as spam?

Thanks for the help guys!
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by:Corcoran Smith
ID: 19566951
nicole - in your SMTP virtual server; in the advanced setting, you have your server name (probably server.domain.local).  you can also add in a masquerade domain here, which 'should' be server.domain.com .  Your ISP can then change your connection name from (using zen in the UK as an example) "88-95-102-182.zen-adsl.co.uk"  to your correctly named masquerade server name.  likewise, whoever hosts your DNS, add a corresponding A record which points to the public IP of your exchange box.

that way - everything ties up and you're much less likely to be perceived as a spammer.  If you're feeling up to it; check out that software; it's pretty neat (and no, i'm in no way affiliated to redearth)

:)
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Expert Comment

by:upul007
ID: 19572668
It depends on what kind of spam filter / database is in place. If it is one where there is a general usage among domains, none of them will get the emails. We had issues with domains on godaddy.com, some Chinese and European domains. It was at a travel agency and most of our clients were from Europe. Also your target audience will also paly a part in the classification.

Cannot give an exact percentage as once we noted that this was hapenning, the entire concept was discarded. Plain text and attachements sent instead.

If you embed the image, you may also get to know that instead of the image, gibberish end up in the email as well. Some of the clients wont get the email and no notification to you either.

We were sending 2500 flyers a week. About 500 used to get returned due to different reasons. Note that some SPAM filters may not be set to give a notification and just drop the email.

It adds up to more work for your IT support.  You can give it a test run for about a week to see the cost benefit ratio (or rather effort and gain).
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