SMTP—A private mailbox
My Inbox Is overwhelmed.
I receive all matter of spam—old email subscriptions, fake bank notices and emails from my many foreign wives requesting I provide money for a visa. It’s a nightmare.
I’ve devised a few simples changes to SMTP to improve the email experience and bring it on-par with messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.
The typical mailbox configuration serves well for sorting of most messages received to your account—leaving the inbox as a wasteland for any unfiltered messages.
Personally, I have a mailbox for my Finances, Bug Reports, Clients and Important. Most of my emails filter through to these places automatically, which nicely keeps most of my inbox clean. But, signing up to services and general abusive spam messages are creating a culture of the inbox being a fairly unimportant place.
In the past, you’d have “The Inbox”, Drafts, Spam, Sent, Trash, Archived and Outbox. These mailboxes would cover all bases for your mailing needs.
I’m proposing introducing some new mailboxes and a new kind of sorting system for inbound messages.
The Filtered Structure
In the filtered structure, all inboxes must past user-defined filters before they make it to the Inbox—including the existing SPF and DKIM checks, which should be enforced from today.
Any new mail account using the filtered structure would benefit from: “The Inbox”, Drafts, Sent, Tash and Archived as per usual. In the place of a Spam folder, two new folders are introduced—Requests and Rejected.
The requests inbox is a collection of emails from senders that have messaged you for the first time. These senders are identified via their “From” address received, then verified, by the receiving server.
A message will remain in the requests inbox until an action is applied which will automatically create a rule for that sender.
- Approve—allow all future emails from this sender to pass directly to the inbox.
- Decline—prevent any future emails from being received, but keep a copy in the rejected folder.
- Decline Siltently—move all future emails directly to the rejected folder
Mail protocols will need to work to support these action types, just like they do to support GMail labels and a plethora of other features from end-to-end encryption and read receipts.
Approvals vs Rejections
Any approved messages will land in the inbox. This is great for your family, your contacts list, any addresses in your CRM. Rules could be automatically created to generate a “trust circle” on platforms like GMail, Outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail.
Rejections are handled in a different fashion to spam today. Instead of merely accepting the email and moving it to the “Rejected” folder. The mail server will respond to the sending server with a rejection code—stating that the mailbox has rejected the message.
The idea of this is that the sender will receive an “underliverable” message or an error code stating the email is “undeliverable” which will prevent them from attempting to message again.
Ideally, these rules will work in tandem with existing mailbox filters to create a better mindset when approaching email.
Although this is an early concept for myself, I plan to completely test an implementation of this vision. I’m done with creating filters for spam, and would rather create filters for who I want to receive emails from—hard blocking the rest.
If you have any questions or would be interested in getting involved in my projects, please email (or, don’t) [email protected].