Junk email (“spam”) is part of your everyday online experience. Email triage is necessary to prioritize your day, but it’s highly unproductive having to sift out obvious and obscure spam messages.
You will never be able to eliminate 100%, but there are some savvy things you can do to significantly reduce it in your business. It just requires an investment of some time and a little money.
- Do not display your email address anywhere on your website. Instead, use a Contact Us form.
Rationale: Bots crawl websites scraping email addresses and add them to junk mail lists.
- Consider a spam suppression service.
Rationale: Professional service providers are continuously upgrading their methods to block unwanted emails from known sources.
- Set expectations with your employees and establish a clear Email Use Policy in your workplace.
Rationale: If you don’t spell out what is/isn’t acceptable, someone will do something careless to compromise your efforts.
Spam Suppression Tools
It gets a bit tricky to make sure the right emails are delivered. You’re often dealing with three applications:
- Your email service provider likely has some basic junk mail detection and filtering.
- Your desktop email application (i.e. MS Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail) has junk detection and filter settings.
- Your spam suppression service (i.e. Postini, SpamArrest).
I’ve used Postini in the past and now for my current business. It seems to work fine. As with any spam suppression too, it takes awhile to build your white list of domains and/or email addresses, as well as the ones you want to block. You’ll be busy the first few weeks. But that’s also a good time to start unsubscribing from lists you generally ignore anyway.
It still requires daily due diligence to make sure nothing important is being held. Each morning I get a summary email of what’s been quarantined for review. If you already pay for Google Apps for Business (formerly Premium) account, Postini is included.
SpamArrest works a bit differently. Initially, every inbound email sent to you gets a verification email to identify the relationship before the original email is delivered. This weeds out the spammers. But doesn’t ensure you’ll get mail from automated newsletters you belong to. So you’ll still have to spend some time uploading your approved contacts and email sources.
I hope you find this helpful. If you’ve had success with a worthy alternative, please add your suggestion to the comments below.