Apr 12

Private label spam filter reseller program in beta!

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Private Label Preview

Private Label Preview

It has been quite a while since we posted anything to our blog so I wanted to at least throw up a “teaser” post to say that we recently launched our private label reseller program into beta.

Feature overview:

  • Professional spam filtering, with your own branding
  • Private label quarantine and control panel
  • Free, unlimited quarantine user logins for your customers
  • Full administrative control over your customer accounts
  • Ability to use your own domain, or sub-domain, for your Private Label Website
  • White label MX records for your customers.
  • Pay as you go pricing.  No contracts or long-term commitments required.

Join the reseller program (beta) by clicking on the “Reseller” tab in the SpamHero control panel.   If you’re new to SpamHero, sign up for a 30 day free trial and then go to the Reseller tab in the control panel.

More to come!  🙂


Sep 10

SpamHero Turns One Today!

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Wow, that first year sure blew by quickly!   Today is the first anniversary since our launch, and it’s been an exciting and fun year for us at SpamHero.   Again, I look at what’s been reported in this blog and see very little of what should be here.  Somehow I need to find the time to report more on what’s happening here.   Since it would be impossible to write it all in this entry, I’ll just report on the years highlights.  I’ll report on what we’ve learned, some of our accomplishments and what’s coming next.

What we’ve learned…

I think the most important thing we learned this year is that there is a real market for what we have to offer.  SpamHero’s service is unique in that it provides a very high quality service at a very low price.  This model has proved to require very little advertising because most of our business comes by way of referral, which provides a steady stream of new business for us.   In fact, we’ve purposely shied away from advertising so that we can focus on quality of service and not take on more than we can handle.

What we’ve accomplished…

Perhaps 80% of what we’ve accomplished this year is completely behind the scenes work that really can’t easily be flaunted (although, I’ve tried).   It is work that won’t be appreciated until we are ready to open the flood gates and we can “effortlessly” scale to adding thousands of new customers daily.  The other 20% of the work is stuff that directly benefits our existing customers.  In the future, I’d like to see these percentages flip flop so that 80% of our resources are put towards adding value to our service and only 20% of our efforts are put towards building our infrastructure.  That being said, here are some of the things we’ve accomplished recently that directly benefit our existing customers:

Improved filtering.  Out of the gate, our service started at 98% accuracy.  We have added and continue to add deep filtering engines that re-examine all email that is not blocked by the main filter, which should push this accuracy percentage even higher.

Domain-wide Filtering Policies have been added.  These optional filters can be accessed and enabled by selecting the filtering policies option on the Settings tab.

ClamAV filtering has been added.  This hasn’t blocked much because our main spam filter already blocked most viruses already.  However, we figured it couldn’t hurt to add another layer.  Side note… there is a virus being sent by email that morphs every time it is sent which ClamAV does not catch.  To block this, we recommend enabling the “suspicious attachments” filter on the Domain-wide Filtering Policies page mentioned above.

Missed spam reporting has been improved.  Each domain has a unique address for which to report any spam that slips through the filter.   (See the message at the top of your dashboard when you first log in to your account.)   If the missed spam system is unable to match your report with the original email that came through the filter, a link will appear on your dashboard that takes you to a page that explains why.  In many cases it’s because spammers are sending directly to your server.  For those cases, we provide tips for securing your mail server.

Quicker payouts on our affiliate program.  The default setting on the affiliate program we licensed had payouts going out once an affiliate reaches a $100 balance.  Well, since we pay $30 every time you send us a customer, it took 4 sales to trigger a payout.  That’s the way most programs work out there, but we really don’t like that.  We lowered the minimum payout to $30 so that you get paid faster.  Of course, you still have to wait until the person you referred gets through their trial and becomes a paying customer.   Without that rule, it’d be too easy to sign up a million fake people and instantly make $30 million dollars.  If only it were that easy! 😉

A ton of other stuff.  Ok, that sounds like a cop out.   Because it is.  But really, we’re constantly making minor improvements and we’ve failed to report on them here.  We need to do better in that regard.  For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, you’ve seen new stuff pop-up and know what I’m talking about here.

What’s coming next…

We’ve got a list of ideas and suggestions a mile long.  At the moment, we’re wrapping up parts of our scalability project.  That project is pretty huge, but we’ve broken it down into chunks so that we can make progress in areas you can see more readily too.  As for things that directly benefit you the customer, we’ll soon be adding additional filters in the Domain-wide Filtering Policies page.  Once we add a few more options to that page, we think that most of our customers can get very close to 100% blockage of spam without any false positives.  There will be some customers that will not be able to take advantage of all the new filters because of their individual business needs, which is why they will be optional.   But, on our list of ideas are some very sophisticated “deep filtering” engines that are yet to be added that we feel will make us the most accurate spam filtering service on the planet… even for those that don’t use the optional filters.   We’ll get there.

Oh, and before you ask, we haven’t forgotten about the long awaited reseller program.  This still remains the most popular request that we get.  However, since launching a reseller program will be opening the flood gates, we’ve not been able to deliver on that yet.  We need to get that scalability project done first.  We know that a lot of you can hardly wait for us to get that done.   Believe me, we’re pretty excited for that day to come too!

And please, if there’s something we can add that would make our service even better for you, please let us know.  We look forward to serving your spam filtering needs for years to come (or until spammers stop sending their junk)!

Sep 09

10 Common Mistakes Made by Spam Filtering Companies

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Some have said that we’ll never win the fight against spam.  And they probably never will.  But SpamHero is unique, even revolutionary.  We designed it from the ground up to resolve the problems that plague other spam filtering services.  Here are the top 10 problems we saw with the other companies in this industry:

Mistake #1: Make bogus claims about how accurate their filter is.

We tested high and low.  Most of the filters we tested only caught between 50% – 75% of the spam (even the ones that claimed to catch 99% or more).  SpamHero consistently catches over 98.5% of the bad stuff.  The details on how we accomplish this is worthy of it’s own blog entry so I’ll have to get back to that soon.

Mistake #2: Throw away a lot of your good mail as “spam”.

Even companies that claim to specialize in this area seem to fail miserably–ouch.  It’s probably because they take the same out-dated approach to filtering.  We do things differently.

This topic also deserves it’s own entry so instead of getting into the technical side of it I’ll just ask: Have you ever seen someone win the lottery?  Probably not.  And you’re even less likely to see SpamHero trash a good message.  While scanning over a half billion messages per day, our filtering engine averages less than 10 false positives.  That’s less than 1 in 10 million.  Not bad.  For the average email user that’s less than 1 good message being lost in 100 years.

Mistake #3: Makes you look like a spammer to the rest of the world.

To keep things simple most spam filters will accept email that is sent to any address at your domain.  Unfortunately, spammers like to impersonate domains that have this feature enabled.  As a result, millions of people around the world could be receiving spam that has your domain listed as the sender’s email address.  That certainly can’t be good for your image.

Of course, we love the idea of keeping things simple.  So we designed a smarter solution that gives you the best of both worlds.  By default we leave the email ‘catch-all’ feature turned on for the first 30 days (you can force it to stay on if you prefer).  During that time our system automatically learns what email addresses are valid for your domain.  The catch-all feature is automatically shut off after 30 days and we only accept mail for your valid email addresses from then on.

Mistake #4: Make your domain a bigger target for spammers.

Recently a customer that was moving to SpamHero from another filtering service forwarded a message from the other company.  They were trying to win back their customer by pointing out that their domain had received over 600,000 spam messages so far that month.

Since we were already filtering mail for this new customer I decided to investigate.  It turned out that in less than 24 hours spammers had sent mail to over 1,000 unique email addresses on this customer’s domain (the customer had less than a dozen “valid” email addresses).

This is something spammers like to do to domains that have the ‘catch-all’ feature turned on.  Fortunately, our service automatically detects the valid email addresses and shuts off this dangerous feature.  So I calculated that this customer would cut down their inbound email volume from over 600,000 messages per month to around 5,000 messages per month–just by switching to our service.

On a side note, these kinds of practices can falsely inflate a spam filter’s accuracy
rating.  I won’t go into the logic of how this works but I’ll offer a hint: it has to do with spammers sending 99% of the spam to invalid addresses on your domain.

Mistake #5: “Tuning, tweaking and training, oh my!”

Unless you’re an IT expert then the idea of tuning your spam filter probably sounds daunting (and with good reason).  Some services ask you to train their filter so they know what “your” spam looks like.  That’s rubbish.

We wouldn’t stand for such non-sense.  SpamHero goes undercover to spy on what the spammers are up to.  Our distributed network of spam traps instantly detects and adapts to the latest spam storms.  No tuning, training or tweaking required.

Mistake #6: Charge setup fees and per email box fees.

With the level of automation that exists today there is really no excuse for a “setup fee”.  Oh yeah, and if you have more than a few email addresses on your domain they want you to pay extra for that too.

That’s all old-school thinking.  We’d rather focus on giving our customer as much value for their dollar as possible.

Mistake #7: Charge an extra fee to view the spam that’s been filtered.

Yes, most companies charge an extra fee for the “message quarantine” feature.   Perhaps they’re concerned that if you could see what they’ve marked as “spam” you might notice how much of your good mail they’re actually throwing away.

We’ve got nothing to hide.  People will generally see Halley’s Comet more often than a good message being caught in their SpamHero quarantine.

Mistake #8: Require you to call or fill out a form to get a price.

This one doesn’t affect long-term service but it always makes me wonder what  they trying to hide.  It’s amazing to me how many companies still take this old-fashioned approach.

People don’t like being left in the dark.  So we’ve tried to make SpamHero as transparent as possible.  It just makes more sense.

Mistake #9: Sign up today, they’ll get back to you some time… next week?

A lot of spam filtering services take several days to get setup from the day you fill out their order form.  Is that due to poor design or laziness?  Not sure but we feel that’s totally unacceptable.

We had 3 design goals when we created our order & setup process:
1) Must be simple to get started (intuitive order process, etc)
2) Services must activate immediately upon ordering
2) Entire process should take 5 minutes or less

Mistake #10: Innovation not included.

Before we began creating our service we did a lot of research.  One thing we noticed among many of the older spam filtering companies is that their website (or control panel) looked like it was created in the 90’s (and never updated since).  And this is something we’ve encountered in most industries.  It seems that once a company reaches a certain point they get comfortable and stop innovating.

We’ve got a huge list of features we plan to implement.  Check back often and watch us as we show what we’re made of.  🙂


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