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Avoiding Apple Mail's Spam Filter

Using i-Emailer's Merge Tags To Avoid Junk Filters

AppleMail is the free email application that comes with every Apple. I use it on my Powerbook, and love it for its built-in spotlight search functionality. I can find messages I received months ago, by searching some of the most obscure keywords you can imagine (which is essential for me, because I only seem to remember the weirdest stuff).

Anyway, I was looking at Apple Mail's Junk Mail filter settings, and noticed this:
Screenshot of apple mail junk mail settings

Look at how Apple Mail tries to tell if you're a "friend" rather than "foe."

  1. If you're in the recipient's address book, you must be a friend.
  2. If the recipient has ever sent you a message before, you must be a friend.
  3. And here's the interesting thing for email marketers: If you know the recipient's full name, you must be a friend.

Collect First Names and Last Names On Your Signup Forms

If you're not doing it already, you should be collecting first and last names on your email marketing signup forms. If you setup a list in i-Emailer, the corresponding signup form always includes FNAME and LNAME fields by default. There are some people out there who claim that asking for too much on your signup forms will result in fewer people signing up. Here's what we think about that: if you've got good content worth reading, people will give you their names.

Merge FNAME and LNAME Into Your Campaigns

If you collect FNAME and LNAME data on your signup forms, be sure to actually use that data by merging it into your campaigns. Whenever you create a campaign in i-Emailer, the Campaign Setup screen asks if you want to "Personalize the To: field". Check the box, then enter the merge fields that correspond to your FNAME and LNAME columns in your database (just click the orange "mergetags" link for a cheatsheet, and we'll tell you exactly what to type into that field):
Screenshot of EmailLoop campaign setup

Merging FNAME and LNAME into your email campaigns is not a silver bullet to get you past spam filters, but every little bit helps. Besides, it's data that you're probably collecting anyways, so you might as well put it to good use.

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