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Email metrics

How many emails do YOU get each day? How many of them are unsolicited bulk emails that you throw away without evening opening them, or have your server reject? A long time ago, I wrote a PHP script that gives me a quick traffic graph looking back a number of weeks so that I can spot a changing pattern / sudden spam flood at just a few clicks. See here. ((PHP Programmers - the page also give you the source code of how we do this if you want to adopt a similar tactic))

Our emails are filtered by "Spam Assassin" which is an open source product supported by our ISP. By using a shared server, updates that are applied to spam assassin (such as data tables to help it recognise new forms of spam) are automatically added in to our account and we don't have to employ a staff member to do regular updates. However, we have tailored a preference file so that certain people and certain words in the subject line are always allowed through - "White listed" in the jargon. We've also set the preference file up so that it errs on the side of caution - emails that it suspects to be unsolicited and bulk but if doubtful about still get forwarded to us.

To give you an idea, around 1400 emails were received and rejected automatically by our server computer in the last 24 hours. An additional 900 or so were NOT rejected but were forwarded to one or more of us - that's the four of us, plus a couple of customer and family accounts. (The sample graph may show a different story as it's from the live site!) I'm guessing that in all that, I get a dozen or two emails a day from customers and contacts that I need to answer, plus about the same number of internal emails and perhaps 20 to 40 standard notifications and a handful of personal messages. That's why it's so easy to miss the odd important one and it will get worse as we start getting hotel booking enquiries in volume; I expect many people who are not "techies" to use very poor titles.

There's no easy way to avoid missing the odd important email - I nearly missed a quote request on Monday as the subject line was the name of the company who wanted training and at first glance I thought it was a suggestiion that I invest in their stock. So the headlined, non-personal email addresses on our main web site that people should use for a first contact send to four members of our team and everyone does a quick check - a series of saftey nets if you like.


But at the end of the day ... Dear Customer, dear contact ... if you email us and we don't reply within 24 hours, please write again. Your email and your business IS important to us.
(written 2006-09-20, updated 2008-09-15)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G909 - Well House Consultants - Spam, Spamming and Spammers
  [4520] No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others! - (2015-09-29)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4135] Introducing your product to Well House Consultants - single, personally tuned email please - (2013-07-08)
  [3946] Moving from a warning system to a control system - PHP, forum spammers - (2012-12-07)
  [3912] Sand to Arabia, Coals to Newcastle or Woodburners to Russia - (2012-11-04)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3661] Keeping forum and blog comments clean - (2012-03-19)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3352] World Trade Register - Certainly NOT worth 2985 Euros. - (2011-07-09)
  [3316] Twitter Phishing Trips ... and a great new alert service - (2011-06-04)
  [3190] What do the following web sites have in common? - (2011-03-03)
  [3166] Well house is strong - confirmed? - (2011-02-11)
  [3016] The legal considerations of your web presence - revisited - (2010-10-26)
  [2884] Hotlinked images onto adult material sites - (2010-07-23)
  [2697] Email metrics and filtering - (2010-03-28)
  [2398] Websitemediasolution and a goldfish called Carl Johnson - (2009-09-06)
  [2276] Who is Marc Schneider of Multilingual Search Engine Optimization Inc - (2009-07-10)
  [2179] Offers that I can refuse - (2009-05-12)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2019] Baby Caleb and Fortune City in your web logs? - (2009-01-31)
  [1978] From spam to mod_alias - finding resources - (2009-01-05)
  [1817] Marc Schneider is still having email trouble - (2008-09-30)
  [1763] Co-operating to save, yet we dont - (2008-08-21)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1115] Unexpected visitors to our site - (2007-03-22)
  [1037] Impact Engineering and Backscatter - (2007-01-16)
  [495] More spam - a success story - (2005-11-13)
  [417] Telephone Preference Service - we're registered - (2005-08-17)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [338] OO techniques are hard to teach - (2005-06-06)
  [276] An apology to Mr Boneparte - (2005-04-11)
  [268] Information request forms, cleaning up spam - (2005-04-05)
  [259] Responding to spam - (2005-03-27)

P410 - Perl - Automated Email Answering
  [2235] Sending awkward characters by email in Perl - (2009-06-12)
  [2232] Why sendmail one way, and pop3 the other? - (2009-06-12)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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