(Image from Bad Astronomy)
Almost every delivery consultant, delivery expert or deliverability blog offers their secrets to understanding spam filters. As a reader, though, how do you know if the author knows what they’re talking about? For instance, on one of the major delivery blogs had an article today saying that emails with a specific subject line will not get past spam filters.
This type of statement is nothing new. The lore around spam filters and what they do and do not do permeates our industry. Most of the has achieved the status of urban legend, and yet is still repeated as gospel. Proof? I sent an email with the subject line quoted in the above blog post to my aol, yahoo, gmail and hotmail accounts. Within 3 minutes of sending the email it was in the inbox of all 4 accounts
I can come up with any number of reasons why the email ended up in my inbox, rather than being caught by spam filters as the delivery expert originally claimed. But none of those reasons really matter. The expert in question is spreading delivery lore that is demonstrably false. Emails with that subject line will get through spam filters. I even added an extra 4 exclamation points in the subject line.
Not all delivery lore is true. In fact, most lore involving “always” “all” “never” or “none” is not going to be true. Just because you read it on the internet, and because it came from someone claiming to know what they’re talking about does not absolve individual senders from critically thinking about the information.