What use is a Spam Filter?

38197-spam Over the last few years I have noticed a trend. On occasion, it goes something like this. Someone contacts me for some reason and so I respond to them. Three days later I get an irate email asking why I didn’t send them ‘that thing’, ‘forward that link’, ‘email that password…’ etc.

I then suggest they check their spam filter as I had done what I said I would do.

After that I get one of two responses. First is, ‘oops, sorry, there it is! In my spam filter as you suggested’

Or… ‘Don’t be silly, it isn’t my spam filter…’ After which we go around a few times only to discover that it was indeed their spam filter.

So I ask, what use is a Spam filter if you need to check the spam folder for mail that may have been mis-tagged?

I get spam and it is annoying. In fact my email address is nearly 15 years old now so I guess it’s on pretty much every spam list around. And yes I get the emails about the ‘genuine fake Rolexs’, about ‘the lottery I have won’, the ‘$15m I have inherited’, those ‘little blue pills’ and all the rest. And I manage to delete them as fast as they come in. Around 10 to 50 a day. This is a chore, but only a small one. And it’s no chore in comparison to discovering some important communication has been lost due to an over zealous spam filter. That is a disaster.

Since I send some of my emails via a good email service, I am warned about some trigger words that spam filters may block. Consider that you may get a genuine email from someone using these words. Maybe its feedback on your script or a DVD screener, or ideas on budgets or casting… How would you feel if your spam filter consigned that communication to the dustbin without even asking you. Here are just a few words that will get a spam filter all fired up…

amazing stuff
email marketing
free offer
promise you
serious cash

Those are just of few of the VERY WORST words or phrases you can use which could end with the email snared in a spam filter. The keyword list goes on and on.

So I suggest, don’t allow your future to be in the hands of a computer programme. Switch off your spam filter, accept you will get junk mail, delete it as it comes in, and never miss an important email again. Remember, our business is a GREAT DEAL about who you know, networking and staying in touch.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author


5 Responses to What use is a Spam Filter?

  1. Oli Lewington December 6, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    My Dad’s old work spam filter once disallowed an email because it had the word “Scunthorpe” in it.

    Takes a while, but if you look closely you’ll get it. ‘Over-zealous’ appears to be the appropriate word…

  2. Chris Jones December 6, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    That’s hysterical pal! Yep I had a few when I first tried a Spam filter and it became obvious very quickly that the whole solution was useless.

  3. Lucy V December 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Hey, want to hear a NEAR DISASTER – the spam filter nearly destroyed my marriage! (Well we weren’t married at the time, but still).

    Anyway… I had a massive argument with Mr C, my beloved bloke. I was thinking about splitting with him, he’d been such a grade A c*** (long story).

    Anyway, I had to go away on a course for four weeks. I told him not to contact me the first week, cos I wanted to think about our future. He reluctantly agreed. I sent him a text at the end of the first week and said I was OK to talk now.

    Anyway we talked on the phone and we kind of resolved stuff but he says to me, “I’ll send you an email, to explain more.”

    So I waited for his email…

    … and waited

    … and waited

    … and waited

    All weekend this went on! No way was I going to phone him and beg him for this email, HE COULD GO TO HELL.

    Then on the monday I noticed on my spam folder (1). I click on it. It’s the email from Mr C! He sent it about ten minutes after the phone call. SERIOUS GUILT. Subject heading: I LOVE YOU.

    I made him wait all weekend! I never told him about my error until about a year ago, lol. I merely rang him up and said, “I love you too.” He was so relieved he said, “let’s get married”!!!


  4. Chris December 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Great story Lucy and illustrates the point beatifully.


  5. Steve Turnbull December 7, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Steve wrote: “Or use GMail, which has never got it wrong for me. I too have several very long serving email addresses and used to get hundreds per day, until I consolidated them through GMail. Now I get one or two a week because it filters out the rest. Plus you can (if you want) make GMail use your existing incoming and outgoing servers so you keep your existing address. I think that’s a pretty good deal for zero cost.”

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