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False Positive Needs A Check

A high rate of 'false-positive e-mail filtering' prevails among primary e-mail providers, such as Gmail and Hotmail, according to Lyris Technologies, an 'e-mail marketing solutions provider'. False positive refers to e-mails that are wrongly classified as spam by e-mail filtering processes. The 'false-positive e-mail filtering' rate with Gmail showed an improvement with a decline from 44% in 2005 to 2.97% currently. It also went down for Hotmail from 23.4% to 18.2% in 2006.

The increase in false positives among ESPs (Email Service Providers) is accompanied by the industry's win in fight to reduce the volume of spam. As ESPs become efficient and careful in detecting spam, it will lead to decrease in filtering of relevant e-mails that sometimes get wrongly identified as spam mails.

As stated by Dave Dabbah of Lyris Technologies, marketers need to be more aware of the factors that filter e-mails incorrectly. For instance, Dave says e-mail from Nordstrom about ladies' shoes, unless it was a prank, might not arouse as much interest in him.

From April to June this year, more than 57,000 permission-based, marketing e-mails were regulated. These were delivered from 57 different non-profit and business institutions to numerous e-mail accounts at 39 ISPs in Europe and US. The e-mails represented a variety of legitimate marketing and publishing messages, such as e-mail guides for dining, shopping and cultural events, newsletters and journals for yoga and wine takers. Also messages campaigning online sale of perfumes and skin care, electronics and swimwear were taken into consideration.

European ISPs experienced a low 'false-positive filtering' rate of about 0.75% compared to US ISPs with an average of 3.28%. The higher rate in US is because of high rates achieved by two ISPs there namely 'iwon.com' and 'Compserve.com'. Moreover, US ISPs' stricter rules in filtering e-mails for spam have resulted in high 'false-positive filtering'.

E-mail marketing solution providers invest lot of time and effort to help customers understand and follow good principles of e-mail marketing. Also, ISPs should bear their share of responsibility to ensure correct delivery of e-mails, said Andrew Robinson of Lyris UK. This way, effective electronic campaign can be maximized from both ends.

Related article: Flaws Detected in Yahoo Music Jukebox

» SPAMfighter News - 07-10-2006

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