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First step in delivery

Ever trawl through your logs and notice that there is a delivery problem somewhere? I’m sure everyone sending email in any volume has.
What’s the first thing you do when you discover a block?

A: Decide that something broke on your end and set about trying to figure out what you did to trigger the block.

B: Decide that something broke on the ISP end and set about trying to find a human to fix it.

C: Unsub the recipients and stop mailing that domain.

D: Decide it’s a temporary failure. Wait and see if it happens again.

E: Call a delivery specialist or Return Path or your ESP to demand they pick up the bat phone.

F: Dig through cards you acquired at MAAWG and contact some random person at that ISP for help.

G: Run around in circles wildly.

H: Ask every other ESP you know if they are being blocked too.

What are your first steps when you discover a block?

4 comments

  1. John L says

    Call my lawyer, of course. You’ll never be much of an ESP.

  2. JR says

    Jaja great post! Definitely G! :)))
    But seriously – being blocked might be a drama – marketers, pick A)
    🙂

  3. Steve Henderson says

    If I identified a block I would first check for opens, clicks and other responses from recent campaigns to see if there really was a block, or whether just some messages were being blocked.
    In the event of a full block (identified by no responses from any recipients) the last recipient responses would give me a good idea when that block happened.
    Again, if there was a full block I would then stop traffic to that domain to try and minimise any long-term impact.
    For any sort of block, I would then assume there was a data, content or infrastructure issue at my end causing the issue. It is normally data issues which cause blocks now, but hopefully the ISP responses would help identify if it was something different. If ISP responses provided an information/unblock URL I would follow that up and ask for more information (not just request an unblock) – but while I was waiting for a response from the ISP I would still look at the data, content and infrastructure.

  4. Hunting the Human Representative – Word to the Wise says

    […] post was inspired by a number of questions I’ve fielded recently from people in the email […]

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