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Q: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter
Category: Computers
Asked by: josephg-ga
List Price: $110.00
Posted: 16 Dec 2005 00:09 PST
Expires: 15 Jan 2006 00:09 PST
Question ID: 606426

I run a legitimate movie web site ( that lets friends
invite each other.  Recently all emails sent by us on behalf of our
users to friends that have hotmail accounts are being autofiltered to
the junk mail folder.

What things can i do to prevent this?  I'm looking for technical
settings on my mail server to change, contact numbers at hotmail to
call, whitelists to join or any other option.

The successful answer will be thorough and clear with the options
available and, ideally, link to sources to verify the information.


Subject: Re: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter
Answered By: hummer-ga on 16 Dec 2005 08:38 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Joe,

The following links detail MSNŽ Services' requirements for sending
email to hotmail accounts.

MSN Postmaster
"This site has been developed to give bulk e-mailers/senders, ISPs,
e-mail service providers (ESPs), postmasters, and domain
administrators a location to learn more about issues and solutions
related to sending communications to MSN Hotmail consumers."

MSN Postmaster: Senders
"These filters can pose a challenge to high volume e-mailers. There
are a few things that e-mailers can do to improve the effectiveness
and delivery of e-mail sent to Hotmail accounts. Below are usage
guidelines which provide tips and techniques to improve delivery of
e-mail to Hotmail, and reduce the risk of messages being delivered to
the Junk E-Mail folder in Hotmail ("false positives"). Additionally,
Hotmail has adopted the Bonded Sender program. Being a Bonded Sender
participant helps improve delivery of e-mail through the Hotmail
filters. The sections below provide more details on our junk e-mail
efforts and solutions available for e-mailers."

MSN Postmaster: Troubleshooting
The following information is for Postmasters, Domain Administrators,
or other technical representatives looking to address issues
* Delivery problems when sending legitimate e-mail to Hotmail accounts.
  1. Technical standards for e-mail.
  2. Problems with e-mail delivered into Hotmail junk e-mail folders
(includes instructions for reporting problems to Hotmail).
* Recent Changes [remove "HTML forms from e-mail and instead provide a
link to a web page"].
* Technical Standards for E-Mail
All e-mail sent to the MSNŽ Services should comply with the following
acceptable use guidelines:...
* Junk E-Mail Filter "False Positives"
"'False positives' refers to e-mail that has legitimate content and
which adheres to the technical standards, but is incorrectly flagged
as junk e-mail by the junk e-mail filters. Such e-mail is delivered to
the recipient's Junk E-Mail folder.
Hotmail's solution for addressing this issue is the Bonded Sender program."
* Documentation for Bulk or Duplicative E-Mail for Contacting MSN Hotmail

Microsoft Anti-Spam Policy

The Internet Society
Anti-Spam Recommendations for SMTP MTAs

The Internet Society
SMTP Service Extension for Command Pipelining

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
"Remove Me" Responses and Responsibilities: 
Email Marketers Must Honor "Unsubscribe" Claims

Application Note: Guidelines for proper mailing list management

Bonded Sender Program

Additional Links of Interest:

How Hotmail Filters Junk Mail

Microsoft Shares Hotmail's Antispam Data

I was glad to find the MSN Postmaster website for you. If you have any
questions, please post a clarification request and wait for me to
respond before closing/rating my answer.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used: hotmail filters legitimate emails

Request for Answer Clarification by josephg-ga on 16 Jan 2006 01:42 PST
how do you know flixster is on hotmail's blacklist right now?  Where
can you look that up?

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 22 Jan 2006 13:43 PST
Hi Joe,

I assume your clarification question is addressed to menion-ga.  I'm
sorry my answer did not solve your problem.

josephg-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
good answer, though it did not provide me anything i had not figured
out already nor did it solve my problem.

Subject: Re: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter
From: menion-ga on 21 Dec 2005 12:13 PST
Hey Joe!

This is what I've found out so far...

"Hotmail is just about to release an upgraded version of their service
that will include whitelist functionality. The main page that Hotmail
users will see will be called the "Today" page. This page will display
only email message that are on the recipient?s contacts and safe list.
All other messages will only display on a separate page for unknown


Your site ( is on Hotmail's blacklist right now. It seems
they set a timelimit on how long a domain is blacklisted, and right
now it doesn't seem to be a way of shortening that timelimit. So, my
best tip is to wait for their whitelist-function and ride out the

I guess this doesn't help you solve your problem, but there doesn't
seem to be a working solution yet.

By the way, while you're waiting; some links to resources that can
help you avoid blacklists in the future!

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter
From: ilou-ga on 06 Jan 2006 15:24 PST
It?s worth slotting in the IP address assigned to see if you feature
on the spam-lists:

Hotmail use to use RBLS which was a product of Kelkea Inc, I believe,
and then bought out by Trend Micro.
Subject: Re: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter
From: kindageeky-ga on 08 Jan 2006 00:29 PST
Have you setup SPF validation?  Sender Policy Framework is being used
by Hotmail and conforming to it should help you avoid having your
emails treated as spam.  It's very easy to setup IF you are only
sending email for YOUR domain.

more details here ...

also, you may want to look into bonded sender programs, but make sure
the legal team looks over the liabilities you assume under these
aggreements ...

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