For the past couple of years, I have spent eight to ten hours per week writing e-mail messages about problems with spam filters. I suspect that some of you are tired of reading my messages and articles about this problem.
In short, after spending thousands of dollars on bulk mail servers and after consulting with various industry experts, I must conclude that there is no way to guarantee e-mail delivery to 100% of the Plus Edition subscribers.
I send an e-mail version of the Plus Edition newsletter every week to every Plus Edition subscriber. Each e-mail message always leaves the bulk mail server I use. Each e-mail message always gets delivered to the mail servers of the recipients' e-mail providers. I can see this time and time again in the mail server log files. There is NEVER a missed subscriber in the sending.
Based on feedback received, however, I believe that 5% to 10% of those newsletters never get delivered. This 5% to 10% get blocked by spam filters in the receiving mail servers.
I have consulted with several "industry experts" and with the tech support departments of two major (expensive) bulk mail services. The people who are the most experienced with sending large amounts of e-mail tell me that my 90% to 95% delivery rates are higher than most of theirs! Nobody ever achieves 100% delivery, and some people are satisfied with a 50% delivery rate.
In short, e-mail has now regressed back to the level of old-fashioned "snail mail." I can take a letter to the post office, I can paste a stamp on it and I can place it in the mail slot there, hoping for delivery. However, I cannot guarantee delivery. That is beyond my control; the postal service employees are the only ones who can make that happen. After I place the letter in the mail slot, I am no longer able to make guarantees. I cannot even see what the postal employees are doing with the letter. An errant postal employee might even throw my letter in the trash.
E-mail is now the same. I can guarantee that I will send the message out of the mail server I use and I can even guarantee that it will be delivered to the receiving mail server. I can see all that in the log files and I know that it works 100% of the time. After the e-mail message is delivered to the receiving mail server, I can no longer see what happens. Indeed, that mail server may send the e-mail message to the trash.
Sadly, spam filters in the mail servers often trash legitimate e-mail messages, especially larger messages such as my newsletter. Deletion of a legitimate message is called a "false positive" Indeed, it looks like that happens 5% to 10% of the time for my newsletter, even more often for some other bulk mailers.
I give up. Starting today:
I am guaranteeing that Plus Edition subscribers can always read the current edition and the two previous editions online on the newsletter's web site at any time. Go to http://www.eogn.com and click on "Read the Plus Edition Newsletter (user name and password required)." That will always work.
I am guaranteeing that I will send the Plus Edition newsletter by e-mail to every subscriber every week.
Note: I am saying, "I am guaranteeing that I will send it;" but, I am not guaranteeing that you will receive it. Receiving the newsletter is not under my control. I can only control the sending.
If you do not receive the e-mail version, please contact your e-mail provider for assistance. They are the only ones who can tell you why you did not receive it. Most of the time, the answer will be "blocked by spam filters." However, you need to contact your e-mail provider to make sure.
- Dick Eastman