A new security study by Cisco found that the volume and frequency of spam is growing… quickly, the study says.  Nearly 200 billion spam messages were sent each day in 2008.  That is nearly double what was sent in 2007.  That number is simply staggering.  Not only is the volume growing, but the messages are becoming more targeted to individuals as well.  These include not only the familiar pharmaceutical ads which are often caught by spam filters, but relatively new targeted emails called “spear phishing” messages look legitimate and often make it past the filters and into your inbox.

So what does this mean to legitimate email senders?  You can bet that the ISPs will continue to evolve their email systems to combat the sheer volume  of email, as well as add new filtering to combat these “spear phishing” emails.  The challenge for legitimate senders remains more than ever to implement best practices when it comes to sending email and to partner with the right companies to insure more email gets into your customers inbox.  You can guarantee that as spam volumes grow and become smarter that the ISPs will create even more complex walls to get through in order to accept your email. Email deliverability will suffer as a result unless you take the appropriate measures.

Here are a few things to consider over the next year to help you improve your email deliverability:

  • Authentication – get on board with implementing DomainKeys, DKIM, SPF and SenderID.  It is becoming a requirement in order to get your email delivered.
  • Throttle Your Mail Appropriately – Hurricane MTA Server provides smart delivery rules that follow the appropriate protocol for several dozen ISP domains.  Without following a specific protocol you risk long deferrals or potential blacklisting by the ISP.
  • Spread Your Mail Over Multiple IPs – Your IP address is like your social security number.  It is how the ISP tracks your email activity.  Breaking up your mail over several IPs will lighten the volume of email on a particular IP and raise less red flags with the ISPs
  • Email Frequency – nothing can effect you more than User Complaints about your email. If this begins to happen to you and you experience long deferrals look at the frequency that you are sending email to the same group of users.  Try throttling the frequency back and see if that decreases the amount of complaints you are getting.
The bottom line is that as spammers continue to find new ways of getting their email out, the more challenging the environment is for legitimate senders.  Email deliverability will continue to be the number one issue for companies leveraging email to reach customers and grow their businesses.  Doing nothing about it will have a drastic effect on the bottom line.