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If I deviate from normal layout of e-mail, is the risk higher that a number of e-mails never get delivered because they are treated as suspicious?

Posted on 2016-07-24
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Last Modified: 2016-07-30
If I deviate from normal layout of e-mail, is the risk higher that a number of e-mails never get delivered because they are treated as suspicious?

A while ago, I encountered this happening for the first time that an e-mail I had sent was never delivered. I have never had this problem with Gmail before, only with my company e-mail.

When this happened for me in Gmail, I didn't use the initial greeting phrase and no concluding phrase, just wrote a message straight off. Could this have anything to do with that my e-mail never was delivered? However, there are many occasions I have never used an initial greeting (although almost always a concluding phrase), and my e-mails have still been delivered.

Sometimes there is an exchange back and forth in the same e-mail thread in my Gmail, so I don't feel any need for using initial and concluding phrases on those occasions. But if there is a risk that e-mails never get delivered I might need to use those phrases after all.
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Question by:hermesalpha
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 60 total points
ID: 41726475
in Gmail, I didn't use the initial greeting phrase and no concluding phrase, just wrote a message straight off

So long as there is a subject, and a To: line (email address) it will go.
I have sent test messages from Gmail that way and they have arrived fine.

The content will be examined in the spam filters, but plain text should work.
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by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 95 total points
ID: 41726479
There are lot of changing keywords and markers for SPAM, so you never can be sure about false positives (non-SPAM classified as SPAM).
Using a personalized phrase helps. The more unique content, the less the probability for getting SPAM flags set.

Whatsoever, "not getting delivered" is prohibited. Either a mail gets delivered, or it does not - and then you are required to get informed about the failure.
If a mail is delivered, it can get some visible or hidden SPAM markup flags (e.g. in the subject or email header), or sorted into a Junk/SPAM folder or similar, but never dismissed. If the mailbox owner deletes it, or it gets deleted after a while without getting read, it is the mailbox owner's responsibilty, not yours.
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 95 total points
ID: 41726728
Sorry but Gmail and Hotmail and AOL are known to simply drop email messages they don't like.  No bounce message back to the sender at all.
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by:Qlemo
ID: 41726745
As said, such actions are illegal, at least in the EU - cannot tell for the US. Silently suppressing of mail delivery is a form of censorship. That, of course, doesn't make sure it does not happen "accidentally" ;-).
Mail is also a confirmed document exchange method, with all that brings with it, including delivery protection by law.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 41726773
Spam is also 'illegal'.  If a message appears to be spam by whatever standards they are using then it would not receive any protection as a legitimate email.  Since spam is considered to be the majority of the email that is sent, it is not surprising that much of it is simply dropped.  I suspect that will be true in the EU also.  Any message that conforms to known spam is probably dropped.
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by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 95 total points
ID: 41726816
No. Dropping is never legal. Seizing for legal matter is, and that's something different. If you think something is illegal, you are not allowed to confiscate and destroy. But we've gone astray.

Hong Kong with (mostly) Chinese jurisdiction is different. Censorship might apply, and is legal in China. So that part of my statement is probably moot for the Asker. I didn't see the OP location while on mobile ...

Back to original question: The likelihood of a message with SPAM makes it more likely to be classified as SPAM, of course. But there is no guarantee. Unless you request delivery and reading confirmation, and get them back. Not getting confirmations is no sign of not being delivered, though - it might be suppressed, and is optional anyway (every system may refuse to send confirmations).
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 95 total points
ID: 41726833
Microsoft does not agree with you.  https://mail.live.com/mail/junkemail.aspx

Here is a troubleshooting article from Google.  https://support.google.com/mail/troubleshooter/2920052
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Jambon316 earned 250 total points
ID: 41726887
these  emails that fail the scl  threshold score so badly that Microsoft deletes would still be traceable though. the message was sent from a server and received by another server...so it will all be logged.

Also to fail the sql score by enough to get the mail dropped completely, it would have to be a mail of gibberish or random characters.

your question about whether you need to adhere to a specific message style, no, you can write what you want.  spam filter scores are more concerned with bad / missing / deceptive  links In email.


also your email domain will more than likely be on a spam blacklist before emails start getting dropped. you can check your domain on mxtoolbox.com.
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Author Closing Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 41735828
Thanks, what Jambon316 said sounds probable, especially in combination with what John Hurst said that he has tried sending without initial greeting and a closing and the e-mails get through. And when this same thing happened with my company e-mail (with domain .com.hk for Hong Kong) I always used initial greeting and a closing. It happened about 6 times.
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