I have mentioned my disdain for Shaw’s email at least once on this blog.
Today, I’ll write a bit on Shaw’s mediocre spam filter.
We manage a fully legitimate, opt-in email newsletter for a local retail chain. This client has a large (relative to the business size) email newsletter list. The vast majority of the email subscribers reside in the trade radiuses of their stores in the GVRD, Kelowna, Victoria, and Calgary.
By a slim margin over hotmail.com, shaw.ca email is the most popular email domain in these areas, at about 25% of email addresses on the list. The list subscribers is heavily female; however, I doubt that this affects the ratio of email providers by very much.
The point is that for a BC or Alberta merchant, your email newsletter effectiveness is highly dependent on Shaw’s hit and miss SPAM filter. We have a test shaw.ca email account, and subscribed to dozens of opt-in newsletters. For months we have built up an archive of all the items flagged as SPAM. And we’ve seen many, many, false positives. See the thumbnail at the right. Everything that I’ve highlighted in yellow is a false positive, in other words, they should not have been flagged as SPAM.
The Bay, Beyond the Rack, indulgeliving.com: Your emails are being flagged very frequently as SPAM at Shaw. I didn’t count, but well over 50% of your emails are being SPAM binned at Shaw. Many other firms get caught, though, less frequently.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any real secrets to sell you on consistently getting deliverability into the Shaw Inbox. We have tried a dozen different changes in how our client’s e-newsletter is delivered to Shaw, and the results have been somewhat positive, but definitely not 100% successful. Even the much touted Sender Score Certification did not work.
In brief, since this post could go on for pages and pages:
- Email users – I do not recommend ever using your ISP’s free email accounts. They really don’t care as much as the firms that specialize in email. I would not trust that commercial email that I need, such as an invoice or receipt, would get to my shaw.ca inbox. I strongly recommend any of the big 3 webmail providers instead.
- Email marketers – if BC and Alberta are important to you, watch your open rates by domain. You might find that some email hosts do not like you very much.
- Shaw – if you happen to stumble on this, could you please just outsource the whole email system to someone who cares? Cut a deal with Google or Hotmail and split the advertising revenues and be done with it. You know, and I know, that email isn’t a profit centre for you, so it will never be as good as the webmail specialists.
Note: I have written about Shaw here; however, I can tell from the email open rates, that Telus email SPAM filters are also quite finicky; however, I do not have a telus.net email address to use for testing this theory.