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I don't know if you are aware of it or not yet but you may not be receiving the e-mail that is sent to you by your friends. And they may not be receiving your e-mail. Some people are saying that online e-mail communication or more specifically e-mail marketing is dead. There are two reasons for this.

The first reason is because most Internet Service Providers are using spam filters in an attempt to stop spam. The problem is a lot of legitimate e-mail is not getting through to the receiver. If there is a word in the subject line or the body of the e-mail that triggers the spam filters the e-mail does not go through. And not all of these e-mails that are filtered are bounced back to the sender. A lot of them just go into cyber space. So because these e-mails are not being bounced back to the sender, the senders do not realize the receivers are not receiving the e-mail. This could be any type of e-mail that is being blocked. It doesn't have to be a commercial e-mail. Any e-mail about any topic, sent to your friends, contacts or even relatives could be blocked if there is a word in it that triggers the spam filters that the Internet Service Providers or e-mail providers are using.

Some Internet Service Providers are saying they block up to 70% of the e-mail sent to their server. This is not all spam. Some people are even saying that they receive more spam now, since their Internet Service Provider started to use spam filters. And they are not receiving the e-mail that they want. It's clear these spam filters are not working properly.

You do not receive very much spam if you know how to use your personal e-mail account properly. Only give your personal e-mail address to people you trust and don't post it online where it is accessible to the general public. Some online companies use spyders to harvest e-mail addresses they find publically online. I have two e-mail accounts that I don't receive any spam to at all. And a third account that I receive about two spam e-mails per month. Some people are saying that they would sooner receive two to five spam e-mails per day if they could receive all the e-mail that they want from their friends. If you gave your personal e-mail address to people or programs you didn't know and are receiving so much spam that you can't handle it now, you might as well delete that e-mail account and get a new fresh one.

I received a grand total of five spam e-mails in over two months but when my Internet Service Provider started to use spam filters I stopped receiving most of the e-mail that I wanted to. I had to change my e-mail account twice in a matter of three months. Some e-mail providers offer a bulk folder with their e-mail accounts. If your e-mail account has a bulk folder you may want to check it periodically to retrieve the good e-mails that the spam filters mistakenly catch. If you are just giving your e-mail address to trusted sources you may want to turn your spam filters off so some of your e-mail does not get directed to the bulk folder or sent into cyber space. Some e-mail providers don't have a bulk folder.

If you are having problems receiving e-mail you may want to get a free Yahoo or Inbox.com e-mail account. If you are just giving your e-mail address to trusted sources you may want to turn the spam filters off. To do this with a Yahoo account go to Options - Spam Filters. With an Inbox.com account go to Settings.

The spam filters recognize any e-mail with a link to a web site as commercial e-mail. To help get commercial e-mails through the spam filters you can use this free content checker to check your e-mail before you send it. You may even want to try this with your non-commercial e-mail to see if your e-mail has any words that will trigger the spam filters.

The second reason people are not receiving their e-mail is because of the Can-Spam Law that was put into effect on January 1, 2004. If you send your friends and contacts an e-mail about the latest online program that you joined there is a good chance they didn't receive your e-mail. To send a commercial e-mail with a link to an online program you have to include the correct information in the e-mail to be compliant with the Can-Spam Law. In some jurisdictions you can be fined for sending commercial e-mail that is not compliant with the Can-Spam Law. Your Internet Service Provider may also revoke your service. To comply with the Can-Spam Law for sending commercial e-mail you have to have your name and mailing address at the end of your e-mail.

If you didn't receive a reply to an e-mail that you sent to an online friend, don't jump to the conclusion that they are ignoring you. It's probably because they didn't receive your e-mail. A lot of people are realizing that they are not receiving the e-mail that is sent to them by talking to their friends on the phone, in online chat rooms and by posting to forums. So it is clear that online chat rooms and forums are a more reliable source of online communication these days. The problem with online chat rooms is that some will infect your computer with spyware or possibly even trojans and viruses. There is one very popular online chat room that all you have to do is log on to it to have your computer infected with spyware. I have read a report that said over 80% of online computers are infected with spyware.

Forums and chat rooms that do not use spyware are both good means of reliable online communication. You can use forums and chat rooms to verify that your friends are receiving the e-mail that you send them. VOIP communication, blogs and RSS feeds are other means that some people are using these days as an alternative to e-mail communication.

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