On Oct 12, 2007, at 7:05 AM, Robin Becker wrote:

At present I have reduced the email to a textual format with an embedded textual link. So the email looks like

Your XXXX Document,
Thank you for your inquiry. below is a link to the brochures as requested, in Adobe Acrobat format. It includes the YYY Airport Hotel and other information which may be useful. We thank you for your query.
Your XXXX Document may be found here
http://host/path/aaaaaa- hrcc-20071012113659-20zi0rfoknv6gdi1w4bls0psd0.pdf
XXXX Sales Team

It could be personalised a bit more,

When you personalize that give the date and IP address of the request. Something like

  ... the brochures you requested at TIME from IP.

but is there anything at a system level that can be done to make emails less likely to be classified as spam?

The most crucial thing is the status of IP of the host sending the mail

  o Does it have a proper DNS PTR (reverse DNS) record?
  o Are you using SPF or DomainKeys to show that that IP address
    is authorized to send mail in the sending domain's name?
o Do you have working postmaster and abuse addresses for the domain you
    are sending from?
  o Do you have a static IP address?
  o Are you clear of any major blacklists?
o Can you demonstrate that every recipient really did request the mail?

Each of those are far more important than whether you attach a PDF. (By the way, say it's PDF or even Adobe's PDF, but not "Adobe Acrobat format".)

I assume that spammers try very hard and fail, so is this kind of email application effectively dead in the water before it starts?

Automatic mailing is fine. What is important is how the email addresses were acquired.

-j


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