(The original version of this article was first published on the Mp3 Backing Trax website circa 2006 – 2012)
As I’m sure you can imagine, we don’t employ a little man to sit in front of a computer 24 hours a day waiting for a backing track order to come in so he can send out an email with download links! The email we send you containing the download links for your purchases is sent automatically from our download server, that’s how we can offer “instant backing track downloads”, even if it’s 2 a.m. in the morning.
Unfortunately your email providers spam filters can sometimes mistake the email from our web server and think it’s spam/junk mail. Some email providers use supposedly “clever” systems which are able to detect when an email has not been sent by a “human” person. These types of systems can detect when an email has been sent automatically by a “machine” (and our download server is a machine). Because most spam email is sent by machines, not humans, your email providers filters then wrongly assumes that the download email we sent you is junk mail.
This is why some emails from us will get through to you without any problem, yet others (especially those with download links) get caught up in your email providers spam filters.
To complicate things even more, many customers have their webmail connected to their Outlook Express program running on their local computer, so the spam filter that caught the email isn’t even on their local computer, the email is actually sitting on their email providers mail server and they can only access it by logging in to their webmail at their email providers website. And it get’s worse…
Some customers have a spam filter running on the email program on their computer (eg Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook etc), so their emails are being filtered twice. Now there’s two spam folders they need to look inside to find the email with the download links, and it could be in any one of them!
So what can you do?
Well, now that you know why your download link email isn’t in your inbox, let’s try and sort out your emails filtering systems so that you can receive our download link email. Below are instructions on how to whitelist the most popular types of email programs to allow emails to get through to you.
If you use a PC based email program (such as Outlook Express, Mac Mail, Microsoft Outlook etc) as well as web-based email , please see your email programs help files for adding us to your address book or safe list. Due to the increasing amount of junk mail nowadays, all emails sent to you go through your email providers mail server first. Their filters scan the email first, then decide whether to deliver it to your inbox or not. This is why you receive some emails but not others.
Your email provider filters your emails based on the words and content in each email, not just based on who sent it. So if, for example, someone sends you two emails, it’s entirely possible that your email provider will deliver one of them to you but not the other. It’s quite common for your email providers filters to mistake legitimate emails for spam. Generally the higher the level of filtering on your email account, the more mistakes the filters will make.
*Note – A collegue of mine who lives in Middlesex, England had email problems every time he sent an email to anyone containing the name of the town where he lives. Email filters picked up on the last 3 letters of the word “Middlesex” so whenever he tried to send an email WITH the word “Middlesex” in the message, it got blocked. When he sent the exact same message WITHOUT the word “Middlesex” in the message, it got delivered! This is just one example of the many mistakes email filters can make.
For instructions on how to whitelist (i.e allow) email addresses to get through to you, see the WHITELIST INSTRUCTIONS below. We will most probably need to send you the email again AFTER you have whitelisted our email address, so remember to let us know after you’ve completed the whitelist steps below.
(alphabetically by Email Provider)
Below, I’ve listed instructions on how to whitelist (i.e allow emails) for the most popular types of email programs. If you use a PC based email program (such as Outlook Express, Mac Mail, Microsoft Outlook etc) as well as web-based email , please see your email programs help files for adding us to your address book in addition to the instructions below.
*Important – If you run in to any difficulties following the whitelist instructions for your particular email provider below, please don’t worry – email providers update their email systems all the time so they may have changed their methods of whitelisting since the list below was published. See your email providers help file for the most up-to-date instructions in whitelisting or safe lists.
Go to keyword: Mail Controls. Select the screen name we’re sending your MP3 Backing Trax emails to. Click Customize Mail Controls For This Screen Name.
Open your latest MP3 Backing Trax e-mail. Click the Add Address button (on the right) to add to your “People I Know” list. Alternatively, you can just send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and that will add us to your “People I Know” list automatically.
To do this:
Open your latest MP3 Backing Trax e-mail. Click the Reply button (it’s in the top right corner). A new email window opens with the wrong address in the “Send To” box. Replace the address in the Send To box with: email@example.com
Click Send Now (in the top right corner). Even if the e-mail you send doesn’t get through to us, the act of sending it does the job of putting us into your “People I Know” list.
BT Internet is now operated by Yahoo Mail. See Yahoo Mail below.
If MP3 Backing Trax is filtered, from the spambox, click on the white “W” icon on the left column of the mailing. When the pop-up window comes up, simply click the Add to Whitelist button.
Alternative whitelisting methods:
Click on the White List button. Add: firstname.lastname@example.org to the bottom of your existing list. Click the Submit List button.
Select Cloudmark | Options… from the Cloudmark SpamNet toolbar in Outlook. Click Advanced. Go to the Whitelist tab. Click the Add button. Type:email@example.com
You will need to add our From address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to your Gmail Contacts List. Click Contacts along the left side of any Gmail page. Click Add Contact. Copy and paste our From address, email@example.com into the primary email address dialog box. Click Save.
If you are already a Customer but our e-mails are not getting through, make sure that the e-mail has not been mistakenly marked as Spam. Click Spam along the left side of any Gmail page. Check mark the box next to our e-mail and click the “Not Spam” button along the top.
Log in to your hotmail account at http://www.hotmail.com and go to:
Options > More Options > Junk Email > Safe and Blocked Senders > Safe Senders
Type firstname.lastname@example.org and add to your Safe List.
Next, go to:
Options > More Options > Junk Email > Filters And Reporting
Make sure “later” is selected and “immediately” is deselected.
*Tip – if at any time you do find an email in your Hotmail junk folder which shouldn’t be there, click ‘Not Junk’ to avoid having e-mail from that same source sent to the Junk Mail folder in the future.
Click the Addresses tab.
Make sure ‘Accept Mail From This Address’ is selected under Receiving Options.
Uncheck ‘Display in People Picker’ under Other options.
Click Friends from the toolbar.
Click Tools, then Blacklist & Friends.
Click Add… on the right, the Friends list side.
Make sure Plain email address is selected. Type: email@example.com
Click Friends from the sidebar.
You will need to add our From address, firstname.lastname@example.org to your Thunderbird Address Book and configure your Junk Mail Controls to white list your address book.
Add our From address into your Personal Address Book. Click the Address Book button. Make sure the Personal Address Book is highlighted. Click the New Card button. This will launch a New Card window that has 3 tabs: Contact, Address & Other. Under the Contact tab, copy and paste our “From” address, email@example.com into the Email dialog box.
White list your Personal Address Book. From the main drop down menu, select “Tools -< Junk Mail Controls…” This will launch the Junk Mail Controls window that has two tabs: Settings and Adaptive Filter Under the Settings tab, update the “White Lists” module by selecting Personal Address Book from the pull down menu and then check mark the box next to “Do not mark messages as junk mail”. Click OK.
Initially, the automatic junk mail detection for incoming messages might not be very accurate and you should check your Junk folder to see our e-mail have been mistakenly detected as junk. To prevent this from happening in the future, you need to mark our e-mail as not junk. Do this by right-clicking on our e-mail and choose “Mark -< As Not Junk”.
Netscape Mail Web-Based Email has no filters and spam protection. Therefore, you can enjoy our e-mail’s without doing anything further, because it will not be mistakenly filtered.
Check your ‘Probably Spam’ folder. If you see that firstname.lastname@example.org was incorrectly filtered out, select it, and click the ‘Move to Inbox and Mark as Not Spam’ button.
You will need to add our From address, email@example.com, to your Safe Senders list.
On the Tools menu, click Options.
On the Preferences tab, click Junk E-mail.
On the Safe Senders tab, click Add.
In the Add address, copy and paste in our From address firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the Junk E-Mail Filter accidentally catches our e-mail, you can simply add our From address, email@example.com to the Safe Senders list, and no future e-mail from us will be inspected by the filter. The instructions are outlined above in our New Customers info (above).
Add the following entry to your user_prefs file, which is found in the .spamassassin subdirectory on your web/mail server:
Save the user_prefs file or move the updated copy to your .spamassassin subdirectory. If you have no user_prefs file in this subdirectory, create one:
Click the Configure button. Go to the Known Senders tab. Click Add under ‘Known Good Senders and Recipients’. Type: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Filters from the sidebar. Click the Approved Senders tab. Click Add Filter. Type: email@example.com under Address.
Choose ‘Full Email Address’ under Address Type.
Select Email Domain.
Select Spam Inspector, then ‘Manage Friends List’ from either the Spam Inspector toolbar or from the Outlook menu. Make sure Email is selected under ‘Add a New Friend’. Type: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the >> button.
Follow the Trusted link under > Authentication Lists. Enter the email address: email@example.com Click Add.
Click on the SpamPal system tray icon with the right mouse button. Click ‘Add to Whitelist’ from the menu. Type: firstname.lastname@example.org Click Add.
Select File, then Configure.
Go to the Friends category. Make sure Active is checked.
Type: email@example.com on a line by itself in the entry field. Click OK.
Yahoo! Mail (also BTInternet)
Yahoo mail filters work on the Yahoo server so your emails are filtered by Yahoo BEFORE they arrive at your computers email program. So, if you’ve looked inside the spam folder on your computer and the email is not there, it is most probably sitting in your other spam folder on the Yahoo server:
Login to your Yahoo mailbox at http://www.mail.yahoo.com or your BT Yahoo mailbox at http://www.bt.yahoo.com.
Click Mail Options.
Click Add Filter.
In the top row, labeled ‘From header:’ make sure Contains is selected in the pull-down menu. Click in the text box next to that pull-down menu, then enter the address: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the bottom, where it says “Move the Message To:” select Inbox from the pull-down menu. Click the Add Filter button again.
If MP3 Backing Trax has been filtered to your “bulk” folder, simply open the
message and click on the “This is not Spam” link next to the “From” field.
Windows Live Mail:
If MP3 Backing Trax is being filtered, try adding email@example.com to your Address Book or Contact list. If this option is not available, try moving the message to your ‘inbox’ or forwarding the message to yourself.
If subsequent messages continue to be filtered, call or e-mail your ISP’s technical support and ask how you can be sure to receive ALL e-mails from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a Web mail system or email application not listed above, the instructions for whitelisting our address will depend on the specific email program you are using. If you access the help files, instruction manual or customer support, there should be instructions on how to do this.
*Note – In most cases, just by adding our From addresses email@example.com to your address book, safe list, white list or contact list will be sufficient. Our emails should arrive in your inbox now without any problems. If our emails are not getting to your inbox, then we suggest checking your spam folder, bulk folder or junk folder. If you find our emails in there, then you will need to find a way to inform your mail application that it is not spam. Most likely the best course of action is to select one of our emails and click on the Not Spam or Not Junk button, if available.
For more information about your particular email application, please visit the help section that is associated with your email application. In a worst case scenario where you cannot get your email to accept our emails and the download links are not getting through to you – no matter how hard you try to configure your email account spam settings – you will need to supply us with another email address where we can send the download links email to, preferably one that doesn’t filter your email.
How your email providers filtering system works
When someone sends you an email, first it arrives at your email providers mail server e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc. Their system filters it by scanning it and checking it for spam and viruses before they decide whether to deliver it to you or not.
If the email looks legitimate, your email provider delivers it to your inbox.
But, if their filters suspect that the email might be junk, they place it in a seperate “junk” folder where you can go in later and review it and decide for yourself if you want to receive it or not.
As it happens, email delivery actually works in a similar way to old-fashioned normal post, it just does it electronically. For example, if a friend sent you a letter in the post, the postman wouldn’t go to your friends house to collect the letter from him, then drive all the way to your house and pop the letter through your letterbox. Instead, your friend would drop the letter in to his nearest post box, the letter would then be picked up and taken to his local sorting office, his local sorting office would then look at the address on the letter and send it to your nearest sorting office, where your local postman would pick it up, put it in his sack, and deliver it to your house.
Email works in a similar way – emails do not go directly from the sender to the recipient even though it may look like that’s how it works. Here’s the process:
• The sender sends an email to you.
• The email arrives at your email providers web server to be processed.
• Your email provider checks it for spam and viruses etc (ie filter it).
• If it looks like a legitimate email, they deliver it to your inbox. If it looks like junk, they place it in a special “junk” folder where you can review it to check that they haven’t mistaken a legitimate emails for junk.
Generally, this system works well, but lately we are seeing many email providers who don’t always place suspected junk mail in your spam folder. Instead they delete some emails at source.
More than 80% of email nowadays is junk mail. Spam is such a masive problem that many email providers have gone one step further and now even filter your junk mail – placing some of the suspected junk mail in your spam folder and completely deleting others. This can have disastrous consequences for you. Emails placed in your junk mail folder can be retrieved, but emails that your email provider deletes at source cannot.
Not only can you NOT retrieve these emails, your email provider does not inform you that they have deleted them so you have no way of knowing they were even sent to you. To make matters worse, they don’t “bounce” your deleted emails back to the sender, so the sender doesn’t know you didn’t receive it.
You should seriously consider avoiding email providers who operate these types of filters. Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo and BT Internet are generally considered to be the worst culprits for using this type of filtering, but they are not alone – many other email providers are just as bad.
So without getting in to a controversial debate about whether your email provider is entitled, legally or otherwise, to interfere with the delivery of your emails or delete emails without your knowledge, at this particular moment in time it makes more sense to just help you work around the aggressive email filters that they are running on your email which block you from receiving the download link email we sent you.