The fight against spam—we're all in this together

May 10, 2018

A series of recent unfortunate events surrounding email deliverability and spam have caused us to make changes in Top Producer® CRM, so if you send email from within Top Producer® CRM, this post is for you.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been waging the war on spam for years, trying to prevent the insidious spam from invading their customers’ inboxes.

Noble work indeed, but this war has left many casualties in the form of “false positives” (which just means when good email is marked bad). Legitimate, commercial emails are mistakenly sent to the dreaded spam folder when they should be taking the high road to the inbox.

Sadly, many Top Producer® CRM users have fallen victim to this. And when ISPs and anti-spam orgs detect too many false positives, and emails sent from that domain are being delivered to spam traps, it impacts the entire domain. Which is precisely what happened to us—the Top Producer®domain was added to a spam blocklist and we saw an increase in the amount of emails being marked as spam by various email applications. This is serious stuff and impacts each and every one of us.

What the heck is a spam trap and how do they work?

Good question—it’s one I asked too. A spam trap is basically an email that doesn’t belong to a living, breathing person. They belong to ISPs or anti-spam organizations to find people who buy lists or don’t manage their list properly.

Usually spam traps are recycled from inactive email addresses that may exist on your list. The email address belonged to a person at one point in time, but because they’re not using it, the ISP recycles it and sets a spam trap. These kinds of traps almost always appear in publicly-available data, which is used by people who sell lists online.

So if you frequently buy lists online, or don’t clean up your list often enough, you could (unknowingly of course), be affecting not only the delivery of your email, but the delivery of the tens of thousands of other agents that use Top Producer® CRM too. And we know you’d never want to do that.

So, how do we prevent this event from ever darkening our doorway again?

Just follow some best practices and we’ll wage this war together.

A plea before we begin: It took a lot of work for the Top Producer® team to get our domain back on track and decrease the amount of email being identified as spam for all of our customers. So please take special consideration and follow these best practices.

Simply put, we really are all in this together.

1. Repeat after me… I will not send more than 1000 emails a day from my Top Producer® CRM account.

Starting right away, each unique Top Producer® user will only be allowed to send 1000 mass emails per day. (This means that even if you have multiple accounts, you can still only send 1000 emails total per day.) Decreasing the volume of email sent through our domain will make us less likely to be identified as a spammer, but feel free to contact Customer Care if you have any questions or concerns.

This limit applies to any email sent from within Top Producer®CRM, including mass emails, individual emails, action plans and email activities. The grand total each day can’t exceed 1000.

And for the greater good of everyone involved, we will have to enforce this limit. Hypothetically speaking, if one were to ever go over it, we might have to suspend their account. (Sorry to bring out the big guns, but tough times call for tough measures.)

2. Beware if you download email lists or leads.

We can’t emphasize this enough—purchased lists can be ticking time bombs, just waiting to devastate your reputation and your fellow Top Producer® peeps too. These lists are often riddled with dead emails and spam traps.

So never get leads from sources you don’t know, and if you do download a list, check it out for weird email addresses (e.g. “1234dsds@domain.com”, noreply@domain.com”, etc).

3. Refresh your lists and remove stale emails.

Be sure to clear out stale emails (invalid or old emails you haven’t interacted with in a long time) on a semi-regular basis. As we’ve learned, stale emails can lead to spam traps, so don’t put them on action plans or send them mass emails. Instead, reach out to them when the Follow-up Coach bubbles them up so you can confirm their contact info before you take action.

4. Mind your Ps and Qs.

Spam filters pay attention to what you say, and while there are no magical words to improve deliverability, don’t use the risky ones (you know—free, promo, money, etc).

5. The war on spam is a constant and ongoing battle, so before you hit Send…

Always ask yourself “Would I think this was spam if I were on the receiving end?”

In the end, it all comes down to two things—your amazing messages reaching the coveted inbox, and helping your fellow agents in the process. Sounds like a win-win to me.

And if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-830-8300.

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