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Struggling with Mailings and Spam Filters

The last weeks had been so busy that no time was left for blogging. I had some troubles with the last mailing of the Lunar Messenger newsletter Pisces: About 10 days after sending I received a flood of return mails: Besides the normal “mailbox over quota” and “blocked due to inactivity” there was a big bunch of mail rejections: Yahoo, for the first time, had considered all the addresses sent from as spam. They blocked the server address of my provider. I do the mailings manually, with no automatism: When I receive an e-mail asking for subscription, I include it in my Thunderbird mailing list, in different language groups and sub-divided into groups of 20 addresses. When sending, I mail about 60 a time and then wait a bit, so as not to create “mail bombs”. With now over 1.200 addresses, sending the newsletter takes some time.

But now with this blockage of several hundred Yahoo subscribers, it was the worst mailing situation I encountered in the 10 years I’m now doing the monthly newsletters. Days before the return-flood I noticed that friends with Yahoo accounts did not reply to my mails, and I received requests why I don’t answer them. So I found out that something was wrong. And then the mail wave came…

I contacted Yahoo, filled out the request form to “bulk mail senders”,  discussed with them, got all the technical details from my provider – but the Yahoo people said that they cannot give a free way for sending via my provider: I don’t have a fix “IP address“: With my internet provider, the server uses the same address for different accounts – a normal way to offer a cheaper domain hosting. My provider said, the only way would be to get a fix IP address of my own, with renting a virtual server. At first I did not want to in view of the costs. I discussed the matter with the web-team of my office, and they said there would probably be no other way.

In the meantime I realised that all the mailings I sent via group mailing lists of the WTT, where I do the coordination,  were not sent to Yahoo recipients world-wide. I opened a Yahoo mail account and saw that I can’t send mails to myself. I informed via the Yahoo account the list members with Yahoo addresses that I have difficulties reaching them. I sent several single mails to 5, 6 addresses each: After a few mailings Yahoo also blocked these mails. I continued with my gmail test account, where there were no problems…

Now I’ve signed a contract about renting the virtual server and wait for my provider to open it – I’ll use it just for the mailings. I very much hope that this is a way to cope with the blockages and that everything is cleared until the Aries newsletter… I understand Yahoo and that they have increased their protection walls against spam. But their policy creates higher walls also for people like me doing a free newsletter service on a non-commercial and absolutely legal basis.

Spam filters can cause turbulences in the smooth flow of electronic communication.

One Response to “Struggling with Mailings and Spam Filters”

  1. Glenda Piearson Says:

    I am so happy to hear that I will not miss any more of your postings !
    I kept wondering what had happened to your blogs, as I had not been
    getting them for some time, now. I use Yahoo here in the Midwest of the USA. Thanks for sending all the interesting information that you do and for the lovely photos too !

    All the Best… Glenda Piearson (*.*)

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