Email content filtering: 5 criterias to take into consideration

Email content filtering: 5 criterias to take into consideration

With many email content filtering options available today, it can seem hard to determine which option will best meet your business’s needs. Thankfully, choosing a quality email content filtering service doesn’t have to be based on guesswork. By focusing on a few essential criteria, you can identify which service will provide quality results. The following criteria should be among your top priorities when choosing an email content filtering service:

Spam Catch Rate

Naturally, the top priority for any organization is choosing a service with a high spam catch rate. After all, the last thing you want is for an unwary employee to download an infected file that unleashes a virus on your system.
So what qualifies as a good spam catch rate? In reality, a quality email content filtering company should be able to catch nearly every spam email that is sent to your system, at a rate of 97% or better. In fact, in order to qualify for the VBSpam+ award, a filter must catch at least 99.95% of spam emails. With such a high catch rate, you can have confidence that your bandwidth won’t get clogged with malicious messages.

Low False Positive Rate

While blocking spam is great, you don’t want this to result in the unfortunate side effect of filtering out legitimate messages. Unfortunately, some email content filtering services do exactly that. While this may not seem like a big deal initially, there’s no denying the damage that could be done to a business if one of its top clients has its important emails blocked by a spam filter.
As such, when choosing an email filtering service you should also pay attention to their false positive rate. As part of qualifying for a VBSpam+ award, a filter service cannot have any false positives during a third-party system test. With a low false positive rate, you can rest assured that you aren’t missing out on any essential communications.

Phishing Detection


Phishing schemes can slip through inferior spam filters because they are crafted to look like a legitimate email from a high-level executive or other reputable individual. As such, you should be sure that your email content filtering service takes additional measures to protect users from these sneaky attempts.
Phishing detection services will check for lookalike domains (even those with valid SPF records) and other indicators, utilizing a constantly updated database to keep these messages from reaching your company.


Your email content filtering service promises a certain level of quality -- in many cases, a catch rate of 97% or greater. But what happens if, for whatever reason, a service fails to live up to its promises? What if the system goes down and becomes temporarily unavailable? This is where the service level agreement (SLA) comes in.
The best filtering providers account for these potential issues in their SLA, in large part because they have such confidence in the quality of their service. Look for a company that promises high standards as part of its SLA and is willing to offer account credits or other accommodations if the service ever fails to meet set performance levels.


The best email filtering companies will always put your service experience first. From an easy to use quarantine management system to back office support that is always available to address your questions and concerns, their top priority should be to make spam management as simple as possible. After all, managing spam should ultimately be their responsibility -- not yours.
When you work with a filtering service that takes care of updates and system maintenance automatically, you can spend more time focused on important business activities and less time worrying about managing your spam filter. When this happens, your entire organization will be able to get more out of their technology use.