Monthly Archives: May 2010

How to disable a domain

Sometimes you might want to make it clear that a domain isn’t valid for email. Perhaps it’s a domain or subdomain that’s just used for infrastructure, perhaps it’s a brand-specific domain you’re only using for a website. Or perhaps you’re a target for phishing and you’ve acquired some lookalike domains, either pre-emptively or after enforcement […]

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Confirming spam reports

Someone floated the idea of having ISPs confirm that a user really wants to report a mail as spam every time they do so. The original poster was asking for comments and what we thought of such an idea. The only thing I could think of is the poor woman who’s been gone for a […]


CAN SPAM Plaintiff ordered to pay 800K in lawyer fees

Asis Internet service has been ordered to pay over $800,000 in lawyer fees to Optin Global. Venkat has details. This is the same company that was recently awarded $2.5M judgment in a different case.


The importance of data hygiene

Over the weekend, one of the major ISPs purged a lot of abandoned accounts from their system. This has resulted in a massive increase in 550 user unknown bounces at that ISP. This ISP is one of those that uses bounces to feed into their reputation system and the purge may cause otherwise good senders […]



There is a lot of mythology surrounding spamtraps, what they are, what they mean, how they’re used and how they get on lists. Spamtraps are very simply unused addresses that receive spam. They come from a number of places, but the most common spamtraps can be classified in a few ways. Addresses that used to […]


Email lost a valuable voice

In very sad news ClickZ announced today that Stefan Pollard, email marketer at Responsys and writer for ClickZ passed away recently. Stefan and I interacted over the years but we never had the opportunity to meet in person. His articles on email and delivery were always on my must read list. While I didn’t agree […]

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Delivery problems are not all spam related

Not every delivery failure is due to poor reputation or spam. Sometimes ISPs just have problems on their mailservers and so mail doesn’t get through. It’s often hard for delivery experts (and their bosses and their customers and their clients) to watch email delays or rejections without being able to do anything about it. Sometimes, […]

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Public reputation data

IP based reputation is a measure of the quality of the mail coming from a particular IP address. Because of how reputation data is collected and evaluated it is difficult for third parties to provide a reputation score for a particular IP address. The data has to be collected in real time, or as close […]

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Why offer a feedback loop?

Someone asked yesterday What business advantage is there to an ISP in offering a feedback loop? I’ve never really seen one. It’s a good question. There’s a fair bit of work involved in offering, maintaining and supporting a feedback loop. What makes it worth it? At a consumer ISP there’s some email sent to customers […]


Gmail rendering problem workaround

Gmail recently changed some of the rendering of emails on their website, breaking a lot of email layouts in the process. Numerous places have published workarounds including The Email Guide and Return Path.

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  • Lost in the mists of time

    Over on the Farsight Security blog Joe St. Sauver talks about some of the early days of online abuse, on usenet. Laura and I were on the periphery of early usenet abuse, mostly as users, but Usenet (and IRC) around then were the places we both started with email abuse.No Comments

  • Ongoing Yahoo delays

    I've been hearing from folks over the last few days that they're seeing an uptick in deferrals from Yahoo! The deferrals are not uniform. ESPs report they're seeing some, but not all, customers affected. Other ESPs aren't seeing any changes. It's not just you. But it would be very worthwhile to dig into engagement and other stats. It's possible this is a new normal at Yahoo! and they're tightening filters to catch mail that doesn't fit their standards but was previously difficult to filter.No Comments

  • AOL starts using Sender Score Certification

    Good news for Sender Score Certified IPs. Return Path recently announced that AOL has joined the list of ISPs offering preferential treatment to certified IPs.  1 Comment