IT & the Lawyer

"Voodoo" words

In the USA, where e-newsletters are considered "a best marketing practice for law firms", research shows that they are "amongst the top 10 things that clients want from their law firms".

No doubt the same applies in South Africa, and the number of local firms sending out client newsletters is increasing rapidly.

But be aware that, with the continually escalating "arms race" between spammers trying to get spam through and ISPs trying to block it, a major challenge is to ensure that your newsletter is not killed en route by a spam filter.

We are often asked how we succeed in getting our clients' e-newsletters through the myriad spam filters and corporate firewalls that criss-cross the Internet.

The trick is to make use of the "steer clear of" checklists of words - and other features - compiled by senders of legitimate e-mail over the last few years. A good starting point is to check for "trigger" or "voodoo" words as soon as you have a final draft of your newsletter. For example, you can use a free service such as SpamCheck (at SiteSell ): -

  1. Load your content into the SpamCheck Form.
  2. Within seconds of submission, you receive a full report on how your newsletter scores for spam triggers, and exactly what to do to clean up any problems (we aim to score below "2.5", but up to 4.5 is considered "nice and clean").
  3. Once you have your report, look at the "Special Tips" section - some of the "trigger" words are obvious, but many aren't.
For a further list of problem words commonly used by law firms, and other features that spam filters look for, read "E-Marketing in the world of Spam" by Larry Bodine on the FindLaw website at

Jack Crook (LLB Lond, LLB Rhod) is the author of LawDotNews, a monthly newsletter which is personalised and e-mailed to your firm's clients compliments of your firm. Readers are welcome to contact Jack, or visit his web site at for further details.

Below is the report the GhostDigest got back for its December 20 Newsletter:

Leave a comment:

Security Picture (click to change)
Word shown in picture:
menu close

Search Articles