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A Deliverability Parable: School District Loses Telecom Bid to Spam Filter

Haven't we all heard the story before? School requires public bids submitted by e-mail only, e-mail spam filter kills best bid, school spends extra $250,000, school enjoys lawsuit and embarrassing publicity.

Have we mentioned that deliverability is a real bear?

It's only getting worse.

If it can happen to a business communication, you know it can happen to "Please Donate to Save The World". There are a lot of reasons e-mail might not reach its final destination. Keeping abreast of the red flags a popular application like SpamAssassin uses to judge messages is well worth doing if newslettering is in your job description.  Really, take a look.  You might be surprised what pisses off a spam filter.

(This story has a few red flags of its own. "Long distance" could trigger the spam filter, that's been a danger phrase for quite some time ... but it didn't affect any other bidders? Nobody thought of this issue in a telecom bid? (Maybe this one also went out of his way to point out that the phones would be available to "hot teens" ... you know, summer school students ...) The school seems more keen to blame the guy submitting the bid than contrite or embarrassed about losing his bid and dropping too much coin. So perhaps it's good old-fashioned bid-rigging or plain-vanilla incompetence or a misleading sour-grapes spin from the guy who didn't get the contract. Still, the cover story is a perfectly plausible -- and if you're e-mailing, chilling -- scenario.)

(Via Fark.)

Topics: Marketing