In our modern digital age, we rely on email more than ever. We use it for business and personal communication, shopping, sending files, getting notifications, to sign up for virtually every online service we access and to allow others to contact us through our website or social media. Email is accessed frequently throughout the day from our computers, tablets and mobile phones.
While there’s no question that email is a necessary and useful tool, it comes with one major downfall – email spam. You know what we’re talking about – the messages that clog up your inbox with offers you don’t want or schemes to steal your personal details. If you’re using email for business you have the added frustration on having to filter through hundreds of irrelevant messages to find communication from your actual clients, running the risk of missing an important lead and reducing efficiency in your communications.
Rest assured, there are ways to significantly minimise the spam that comes into your inbox and to deal with it once it’s there. Keep reading for our top 5 tips on stopping spam from clogging your inbox.
Train your Spam Filter
Regardless of the email provider or program you are using, it likely already has some form of spam filter. These filters work by sifting out any email they detect that may be spam and holding it in a separate folder so it’s out of your main inbox but still available for you to review.
The trick with these filters is that they work much more effectively with a little training. Providing your email program with some feedback on how it’s doing with detecting spam, including what it’s getting right and what it’s missing, allows the logic behind the filter to become smarter and more efficient.
In your email program you should see an option to mark an email as spam (this varies slightly from program to program but should be available in your main inbox). Mark any emails that have slipped through to your inbox as spam so your email program knows to filter them out in future. Likewise, you can also go into your spam folder and mark any legitimate emails as not spam so you don’t miss any important messages.
Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists
Block Email Addresses
While unsubscribing is an option on legitimate marketing emails where you have provided your email address, you may find that a majority of your email spam are unsolicited messages.
Spammers and scammers utilise bots to scrape the web as well as purchasing lists of email addresses to build databases of contacts, they rely on a hit and miss approach of sending a high volume of emails to a large number of email addresses in the hope of hitting on an unsuspecting recipient.
You’ll often receive a series of emails from the same sender so use your email rules to block specific email addresses. You should also take care not to have your email address visible on any online profiles you have as this makes it easier for your address to be scraped, increasing the likelihood of more spam.
Use Captcha on Contact Forms
If you’re a business that relies on having your email address displayed on your website in order for customers to contact you then hiding it entirely may not be an option for you. A contact form can be a good option to prevent your email address being scraped directly, but forms can generate a lot of spam submissions.
To reduce this, make sure your contact form has an email captcha set up on it. Captcha works by ensuring the form is being entered by an actual human rather than a bot, preventing automated form submissions which are the source of most email spam.
Use a Spam Filtering Service
If you have a managed hosting plan (like the hosting packages offered by practiceedge), then you likely have the option of a professional email spam filtering service. Industry standard spam protection filters your email though self-learning technology that is constantly adapting and updating to recognise and manage spam emails before they hit your inbox, meaning that you won’t even see them.
While the automated filtering does a pretty good job, spam filtering services also offer a number of settings that can be adjusted including blacklisting email addresses, domains and IP addresses and whitelisting approved contacts so you get the balance right for your email management.
Follow these simple tips to eliminate email spam and free your time to focus on priorities! For more information on emails or to discuss your digital marketing strategy, contact practiceedge.