On occasion, customers tell us they aren’t receiving SpareFoot emails. It turns out that a few particularly aggressive common spam filters are feeding our emails into spam folders. As such, we thought this would be a good opportunity to explain the basics of spam filtering, and, more importantly, how to make sure you receive important emails from us and other services you use online.

What is a spam filter?

A spam filter is an algorithm that scans each piece of email you receive. Based on a variety of categories, such as font colors, images, attachments and certain keywords, it sends the email to either your inbox or your spam filter. Different filters use different algorithms, so it’s sometimes difficult to ensure that important email is not marked as spam.

You can also manually filter actual spam that fools your spam filter and ends up in your inbox. If you click “Mark as spam” on such messages, your email provider will block all subsequent emails from that address before they even reach your server.

What are white lists and black lists?

If a certain email address or IP address is on your black list, it means that all emails sent from that entity will be marked as spam in your account. A white list serves the opposite function— any message from certain email or IP addresses are never marked as spam.

Spam filter companies have their own white and black lists, but individuals can create and customize filters for their own email accounts.

How do I make sure that I receive important SpareFoot emails?

If our emails are getting caught in your spam filter, it’s not enough to mark an email you receive as “Not spam.” Because every spam filter is different, the only foolproof way to ensure you receive our messages is to manually add SpareFoot to your white list.

Here is a step-by-step process for how to whitelist SpareFoot in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and Google Mail, as these are of the most commonly used email platforms. However, all email service providers utilize the same methodology and similar processes.

Google Mail

1. Sign into your Gmail account and get to your inbox. Click on the gear-shaped button in the upper right-hand corner, next to where your email address is displayed. Select Mail settings from the drop-down menu.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - GMail

2. Select the Filters tab. Click on Create a new filter.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - GMail

3. Type @sparefoot.com in the From: field. This will ensure that all email addresses ending in the @sparefoot.com domain are included in this filter. Click on Next step >>.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - GMail

4. Check the Never send it to Spam box. Click on Create Filter.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - GMail

Microsoft Outlook 2010

1. Once you’ve reached your inbox, make sure the Home tab is selected in the top toolbar. Click on Junk and select Junk E-mail Options from the drop down menu.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - Outlook

2. Click on the Safe Senders tab. Click the Add button.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - Outlook

3. A new box should pop up titled “Add address or domain.” Type in @sparefoot.com and click OK. This should close the pop-up box.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - Outlook

4. Make sure @sparefoot.com is indexed in your Safe Senders list. Click Apply.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - Outlook

5. Now click OK.

How to Set Your Spam Filter - Outlook

If you continue to have issues with mail from SpareFoot (or you don’t receive a confirmation email after reserving your self-storage unit with us), send an email over to support@sparefoot.com. For future reference, find a link to this article in the For Customers section of our blog on the right-hand side column.