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Aarrgh! Spam Filters
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anya752000



Joined: 06 Mar 2013
Posts: 465
Location: Pembrokeshire

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:38 pm    Post subject: Aarrgh! Spam Filters Reply with quote

I had an OD enquiry at 5.15pm for the only gap we have this season. Mrs guest was obviously keen and sent another enquiry asking how to pay at 6.10pm

I am on holiday myself this week with the kids so couldn't answer until past 9pm. I then send my normal "I have replied separately" response via OD and a proper response with link to booking form etc directly to their email address.

The guest then phones me at 9.30pm. The signal is dreadful as we are staying in a valley but I manage to figure out that she does not know how to pay before the signal dies completely.

I am in my pajamas after a long day at the beach - I then get in the car and drive a few miles out of the valley so I can get a signal (still in PJs!) to phone Mrs guest back.

Mrs guest has only had the short reply from OD and another that seems to be from OD too, no link to booking form and no instructions for payment. No wonder she is confused. My emails seems to have vanished into the ether or more likely the spam folder, unfortunately lots of guests don't seem to even know of such thing so are convinced you never actually sent the email or that you sent it to the wrong address.

I sent two emails, one had a link but the other was just plain text. Her email address was an aol one which my husband thinks has quite strict spam filters. I think I need to add a sentence to my OD response along the lines of "If you have not received my detailed response please check in your spam folder"

I'm sure I lost a couple of bookings last year because quotes did not get through. I am considering following emails up with a text message (if mobile number supplied) but not sure if that would be seen as too intrusive. Any thoughts?
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5988
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If people have hotmail accounts it's best to assume they won't receive your email and either send another plain text, no attachments or links one telling them to let you know if they haven't received it, or a text. (I hadn't though about a text - might start doing that.)
It's not even enough to tell them to check their spam/junk folders - hotmail frequently just dumps emails with no notification to sender or recipient. ("Oooh - that's never happened to me." "Well you wouldn't bloody know if it had, would you?" Rolling Eyes )
Not just hotmail, but they're the world leaders in deciding what you should receive.
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Essar



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 3244
Location: Bournemouth

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Followed by Gmail & Yahoo.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An OD enquiry... haven't had one of those in a while. Wink

I think it's a good idea to add the line re the spam folder in the initial response. When I take guests email address over the phone and when I receive a hotmail enquiry, I try and send a text too, if they've provided a mobile phone number. I don't think they're intrusive at all, IMHO.

PIMS users now have the ability to send automated texts should you wish, but I haven't gone down that route as yet. With unlimited free texts, I just manually do it when I feel it appropriate as a back up.

I used to send emails with disabled links as well and realised that in some cases the links were being enabled by the recipients email account such as Outlook. So a plain email really needs to have nothing; not even your website address.

I expect most of us lose some enquiries or bookings along the way, so the more we can build into our system to prevent it, the better.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4953
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Essar wrote:
Followed by Gmail & Yahoo.

Certainly Yahoo, but I have found Gmail is a very long way behind those two when it comes to false negatives.
I'm pretty sure that neither of these actually bins spam, like what Hotmail seems to do, but obviously its all hard to prove and changes frequently as the battle between spammers and spam blockers ebbs and flows and we are the civilian casualties a.k.a. collateral damage. Crying or Very sad
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5988
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e-richard - no mention in your post of your long-running campaign to stone spammers? Don't tell me the campaign's ceased? Or have you now got enough volunteers.........? Twisted Evil
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4953
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know what, GB, I have almost given up on that campaign (great idea that it was), and now I just expect 7 out of 10 emails to get through Shocked
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PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
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anya752000



Joined: 06 Mar 2013
Posts: 465
Location: Pembrokeshire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm going to start sending a quick text to all enquiriers that provide me a mobile number. Just a very quick text that is easily ignored but shows that I have actually responded.

I am less worried about losing bookings (though that is frustrating) but I absolutely hate the idea that enquirers think that I have not responded to them.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5988
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e-richard wrote:
You know what, GB, I have almost given up on that campaign (great idea that it was), and now I just expect 7 out of 10 emails to get through Shocked


What? But I've got the most enormous pile of stones ready and waiting. Good stuff too - mainly millstone grit, none of that nancy sandstone stuff. I know flint is the mutt's nuts for a really satisfying stoning, but you just don't find that up here. I suppose I'm going to have to give it all back to the local farmers who keep staring at their dry stone walls and scratching their heads.

anya752000 wrote:


I am less worried about losing bookings (though that is frustrating) but I absolutely hate the idea that enquirers think that I have not responded to them.


My feeling exactly. Problem is, I send a vanilla email asking the guest to confirm that they've received the proper email, and guess how often they reply to that? Then what? So I think I need to investigate the text or SMS idea as completely removed from the interference of email processing/binning.
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2662
Location: Andalucía

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anya752000 wrote:

I am less worried about losing bookings (though that is frustrating) but I absolutely hate the idea that enquirers think that I have not responded to them.


So why not just reply through the dashboard? At least until you have a strong dialogue going?
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4953
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I now have the ultimate proof that the world has gone mad with over zealous Spam Blockers:

Earlier today, I had occasion to change my (gmail) password.
A couple of minutes later one gets an email from Google to confirm that it was I who changed the password. But Google mail thought that the email FROM Google was Spam:

"Why is this message in Spam? It has a from address in accounts.google.com but has failed accounts.google.com's required tests for authentication." Rolling Eyes
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** Richard
PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
They say we learn from our mistakes. That makes me a genius !
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I know why I never liked Spam
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anya752000



Joined: 06 Mar 2013
Posts: 465
Location: Pembrokeshire

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just had an owners direct enquiry with a hotmail address so have done my normal response and followed up with a text message - hopefully it's not too much!
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had an OD enquiry last week, but no mobile number was given. I responded immediately, but as I've been on holiday, hadn't updated my template suggesting they check their spam folder.

It came from a hotmail address, so needless to say she didn't receive my follow up response outside of OD. She messaged me yesterday, some 4 days after apparent silence from me. I tried responding within OD, with limited signal; OD sent garbled responses twice without me doing anything; literally my replies were submitted during typing without me hitting the reply button! Eventually the third response got through and I also resent my original email, which thankfully she then received.

The template is now updated, but a further anomaly; my website address is in it, as added by me. When I bring up the template as a response, the website address is listed twice. It is such a rubbish bit of software. Sad
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apexblue



Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 2125
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We add it on front page of advert to check spam/junk folders.

We always have a problem replying to BT emails they are rarely received and no links.
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