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Filtering “Low Priority” email to its own folder

UVM’s email spam filter, Proofpoint Protection Server, identifies several different classes of mail. In addition to tagging mail as Spam or Junk E-Mail, which few people choose to read, there is another class of email it tags, called Low Priority mail.

What is Low Priority mail?

Low Priority mail is of the type vendors and other bulk senders will send to lots of people to drum up business. It’s not necessarily spam, it might not be unsolicited, but it’s not something you want to end up in your Inbox, either.

Low Priority mail examples:

  • Newsletters from legitimate vendors you may have done business with, or vendors you haven’t done business with, but who think they are in your sector
  • Pleas for membership/support from professional organizations
  • Almost anything sent via bulk marketing email providers (Constant Contact, SendGrid, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

Generally speaking, personal messages from vendors do not end up in Low Priority mail. If you write to a vendor asking for a quote, they generally respond using their company’s mail server rather than the bulk sending vendor’s services.

Check your Low Priority mail folder daily

It’s possible that a vendor you do business with is sending important information about a product using the vendor’s bulk sending services.

Creating an Inbox rule for Low Priority Mail

Proofpoint is already tagging some messages as Low Priority, but Exchange is not configured to automatically filter based upon the tag, like it does for spam. To take advantage of it, you’ll need to set up Inbox Rules to filter these messages to a “lowpriority” folder.

Setting an inbox rule in OWA (Outlook for Web)

  1. Visit https://mail.uvm.edu/.
  2. Create a mailbox folder called “lowpriority” by right-clicking your name in the left column and selecting “Create new folder“.
  3. You’ll get a textbox at the bottom of your list of folders. Give the folder a name, “lowpriority“, and hit enter:
  4. Click the gear icon in the top right corner, then select Options. User selects "Options" from OWA Mail.
  5. Under Mail -> Automatic processing, click Inbox and Sweep rules.User selects "Inbox and Sweep Rules" in OWA.
  6. Click the plus () symbol to add a new rule.Inbox rules dialog, selecta dd
  7. Name the inbox rule appropriately. In this case, we entered: low priority mail to lowpriority folder
    • Add a condition to the rule by clicking Select one… under When the message arrives, and it matches all these conditions. Hover over It includes these words and select in the message header…inbox rules, select "in the message header"
    • You’ll receive a dialog asking for words or phrases to filter by. Enter the following:
      Copy and Paste Heavily Recommended

      This must be entered exactly as written for the rule to be effective.

      X-Proofpoint-Tag: lowpriority
    • After you’ve typed or pasted the text into the text box, hit the + symbol to add it to the list.add low priority words
    • Hitting the plus will put it into the list below. Click “OK” to save the list.hit OK to add the list
  8. Now you’ll be back at the “New Inbox Rule” page. Under Do all of the following, click Select one…,  then Move, copy, or delete, followed by Move the message to folder…action: move to folder
    1. you’ll be presented with a list of your mailbox folders. Select the lowpriority folder that you created earlier, and hit OK.select lowpriority
  9. At this point you should be back at the “New Inbox Rule” page and your rule should be appropriately configured. You can leave Stop processing more rules checked. Hit OK to save the rule.click OK in New Inbox Rule

Please remember to check back later to see if any messages have been routed to your lowpriority mail folder.

Setting an inbox rule in Other Mail Clients

While mail clients are capable of handling inbox rules, OWA is only method that is officially support by UVM. OWA inbox rules will apply to all emails that apply to the rule, even when your device is off or disconnected from the Internet.

This is a benefit as all devices and mail clients used to connect to your UVM email will have the same filtering applied – without the need to configure rules manually on each device.

Please see the Setting an inbox rule in OWA (Outlook for Web) instructions above.

Making exceptions to the rule

Perhaps you still want certain vendors’ bulk emails to end up in your Inbox after all. It’s easy to add exceptions to the “low priority” rule.

  1. Go back to mail.uvm.edu, select the cog, and under that “Options”
  2. Select Mail -> Automatic Processing -> Inbox and sweep rules
  3. Find your inbox rule “low priority mail to lowpriority folder”, select it, and hit the Edit (pencil) button
  4. In the rule edit screen, find “Except if it matches any of these conditions” and click “Add Exception”
  5. Under “Except if it matches any of these conditions”, you should now have a select box which reads “Select one”. Use this to select an exception which will match the emails you want to keep out of your lowpriority folder.
  6. For example, if you would like all your messages from widgets.com to still end up in your inbox:
    1. Select one… -> It includes these words -> In the sender’s address…
    2. In the “Specify words or phrases” field, enter “widgets.com”, hit the + (plus) symbol to add it to the list, then hit OK
    3. Back at the “low priority mail to lowpriority folder” screen, click OK (Diskette icon) to save the change.
  7. Watch incoming mail for several days to make sure that widgets.com email is ending up in your Inbox and not your lowpriority folder.
  8. Multiple words or phrases can be added to the “Specify words or phrases” field, if you need to add multiple companies’ addresses.

Updated on June 11, 2020

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