At Applied Innovations we’re passionate about making online business success easy. What’s that mean? It means we work to take all the headaches away and we do what we do so you don’t have to. In taking away those headaches for you, we end up saving your company time and money and here’s a couple great examples of just how we’re doing that. One of those headaches in most recent years has been SPAM and SPAM can be found in two forms. Everyone is familiar with inbound spam. You know the unsolicited email that clogs up your inbox and makes it painful to check email because every time you get one good email you have to wade through 20 messages about products or offers you could care less. You see that’s called inbound spam but there’s also something called outbound spam.
What is Outbound SPAM.
What’s outbound spam? Well in a shared hosting environment you share the servers that power your website, your databases, your mail servers and your DNS servers with other users. In the case of email one email server can host thousands of other domains and each of those domains will have somewhere around 50 email addresses on average. So now you have an email server with 50,000 users all on it and although you may be extremely careful with setting your passwords to strong passwords, making sure your antivirus is up to date, not clicking on weird facebook links or file attachments, chances are with 50,000 users there’s going to be a couple people that aren’t as careful as you are. So what happens you ask? Well, that one user clicks a link and suddenly a virus is installed on their computer. The virus takes over control of their email client and starts sending out spam through their mailbox. Now they’re a legitimate user with a legitimate account and don’t realize this is happening. Next thing you know mail services like AOL, Hotmail, Gmail and some 3rd party lists that track this type of activity start to take notice that an email account on your mail server (even though it’s just one of the other 50,000 users on that mail server) is sending out a god awful amount of SPAM and what do they do? They block the entire mail server. These blocks frequently last days and the next thing you know just because of one person that had their email account compromised we have another 49,999 users that can no longer send email to AOL, Hotmail, Gmail or any of the millions of domains out there that rely on one of those 3rd party lists. Needless to say that’s something that makes your online business success, not so easy. So we addressed it!
How we’re fighting Outbound SPAM.
What we’ve done is partnered with a company called mailchannels to deal with outbound SPAM filtering. Now their service isn’t perfect and has it’s own little quirks and pain points but I can assure you a lot more email is getting successfully delivered today than it used to and the number of complaints we’ve had about outbound email delivery has dropped to next to nothing! You see what mailchannels does (at a high level overview) is they look at the email address that is actually sending email and they compare that against trends that are common with spammers, compromised email accounts and the like. Then they start to segment messages on a per user basis. So if that one user out of 50,000 users gets compromised ONLY THAT ONE USER is impacted and not the other 49,999 users. This has been a huge success for us and our clients and just an example of a service we’ve added to help us live up to our brand promise and execute against our mission. How effective has this service been? Well you’d be shocked to learn that about one half of all email that goes out of our mail servers is actually legitimate email! There’s a lot of users out there with poor password policies, no antivirus and willing to click on just about anything they see on facebook or get in their inbox it seems! But that’s only part of the problem.
Inbound SPAM and how we’re fighting it.
For the last 10 years or so our email servers have all run on SmarterMail from Smartertools. Over the years Smartermail has made a number of changes to their software from improved functionality to increased security. Built within Smartermail in fact is a great spam filtering platform that is provided for free to all of our clients and it’s pretty successful at blocking spam. But fighting SPAM is a battle that is dynamically changing. As soon as you find something that blocks SPAM, the spammers find a way around it. Over the last year my team spent countless hours trying to find a solution that would make fighting SPAM easy, just set it and forget it. We wanted it to change as quickly as the spammers changed and we wanted to make sure it was affordable so we could either bundle it for free or offer so affordably that it would be a no-brainer for our customers to add. What we was a great application called spamexperts. We evaluated it in production with a few hundred customers and we found not only did it cut down on spam but it outperformed every other tool we could, we found it to be Awesome! So we branded the solution awesome antispam (because it was afterall awesome!) and launched a new product offering. Awesome Antispam is just $15/month per domain and will filter up to 100 email accounts per domain! So if you have 100 users that’s only 15 cents per user per month! Pretty good price point right? But we wanted to really make Awesome Antispam awesome! So for our existing customers just through the month of June (which is almost over) we’re offering it for just $60/year and will renew it each year thereafter for $60/year if they do the following:
1. Sign up before June 30th (either for the service or for the 30 day free trial)
2. Have the domain they’re protecting hosted with us.
That’s it. Sign up before the end of June and you get spam filtering for up to 100 users on your domain for a fraction of a penny, per user, per day! It’s an amazing offer on a product that’s already priced amazingly low. BUT WAIT.. There’s more! We’re also offering a free 30 day trial for all of our customers so they can test it out before they decide to buy it. But I know what you’re thinking, is it really worth my time? Is it going to save me that much time and money? Well, let’s look at the performance for a couple existing clients.
So what’s SPAM Protection look like?
Well, here’s a graph to give you an idea of how much email is getting blocked for the domains already on Awesome Antispam: So over the last couple days this particular domain saw nearly 60% of all messages as messages they didn’t want. They received 100,000 messages but blocked over two times that! But don’t my word for it. I spoke with Murray Zetterholm, who has multiple accounts with Applied Innovations and has migrated them all to Awesome Antispam and had this to say:
It is working great, It has gone from 300-500 spams a day to nothing. I’m starting to miss hearing about all of the bad things out there!
But is it hard to install?
Okay so we got a great price point, the next question is it hard to install? Not at all. If you’re hosted with Applied Innovations and we manage your DNS for you (we manage this for almost every one of our clients) then we’ll not only setup the account for you automatically but we’ll also update your DNS zone’s MX records for you and if we don’t host DNS for you, we’ll show you what records you need to change. That’s it! Click, click, Go! And before long you’ll be just like Murray starting to miss all the bad things out there (don’t worry Murray, they’re still out there, they’re just on facebook now 😉 ).
Here’s one last thought
If you’re still on the fence after getting a 30 day no risk trial, a special promotion price with a 2/3rds discount then ask yourself how much SPAM costs your company today. Well, the folks over at altn have a nifty little SPAM costs calculator (http://www.altn.com/Products/SecurityPlus-Antivirus-MDaemon/SpamCostCalculator/ ) and for a company with 100 employees with a median salary of $50,000 a year each who receive 60% of their messages as SPAM then it costs their company roughly $68,640 a year in total expenses. For that company, Awesome Antispam pays for itself in less than 8 hours! So go ahead and try it for 30 days free. Oh and BTW, if you’re that 100 employee business .. you’ll save over $5600 in employee productivity during the free trial alone!