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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Creative HTML Table Abuse

There’s an old-school ’90s HTML design trick that dates back to the dim and distant past before we had decent layout control in CSS. That’s “slicing” – chopping a large image up into multiple parts, then reassembling them in an HTML table. If you slice your images in an email and the end user hasn’t […]

4 Comments

You can’t technical yourself out of delivery problems

In many cases these days, many more cases than a lot of senders want to admit, delivery problems at the big ISPs are a result of sending mail recipients just don’t care about. The reason your mail is going to bulk? It’s not because you have minor problems in your headers. It’s not because you […]

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5 Years

It’s been 5 years since my first post here at Word to the Wise. 5 years and over 1150 posts. In that time I’ve written about a lot of topics relevant to email delivery. I’ve talked about permission and why it’s a relevant part of email delivery. I’ve discussed spamfilters and why understanding how they […]

8 Comments

RPost – email and patents

Who are Rpost? Rpost are an email service provider of sorts. You may not have heard of them, as they focus on a fairly niche market – electronic contract and document delivery. Their main services are “Registered Email” – which provides the sender of the message with proof that the recipient has read the message, […]

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Spamhaus dDOS

I got mail late last night from one of the Spamhaus peeps telling me that they were under a distributed Denial of Service (dDOS) attack. This is affecting email. Incoming email is delayed and they’re having difficulty sending outgoing email. This is affecting their responses to delisting queries. They are working on mitigation and hopefully […]

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Broken record…

The Return Path In the Know blog listed 4 reasons mailing those old addresses is a bad idea. Ashley, the author, is completely right and I endorse everything she said. (Although I’d really like to hear what happened to the customer that added back all those addresses. What was the effect on that campaign and […]

8 Comments

Metrics, metrics, metrics

I’ve been sitting on this one for about a week, after the folks over at IBM/Pivotal Veracity called me to tell me about this. But now their post is out, so I can share. There are ISPs providing real metrics to senders: QQ and Mail.ru. Check out Laura Villevieille’s blog post for the full details.

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AOL bounces and false positives

A number of people have been seeing an increase in AOL bounces over the last few days. Some of these are the new rejection 554/421 CON:B1 message. This is, basically, you’ve topped our thresholds, back off. The other one is a bit more interesting. The error message a lot of people are seeing is 554/421 […]

5 Comments

Do you have child subscribers?

Al has a short, but informative, post up on Spam Resource about privacy groups filing complaints with the FTC about companies violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Companies who are alleged to have violated COPPA include Nickelodeon, McDonalds and General Mills. The underlying issue appears to be the presence of “send to a […]

1 Comment

Emails that make you smile

This summer’s non-work project for me has been training for a 5K run with Fleet Feet in Menlo Park. As part of the training programs we get weekly emails from the store on Monday. As I was reading through today’s email, I found myself smiling and happy. Lisa, who is one of the store owners […]

2 Comments
  • AOL problems

    Lots of people are reporting ongoing (RTR:GE) messages from AOL today.  This indicates the AOL mail servers are having problems and can't accept mail. This has nothing to do with spam, filtering or malicious email. This is simply their servers aren't functioning as well as they should be and so AOL can't accept all the mail thrown at them. These types of blocks resolve themselves. 1 Comment


  • Fixing discussion lists to work with new Yahoo policy

    Al has some really good advice on how to fix discussion lists to work with the new Yahoo policy. One thing I would add is the suggestion to actually check dmarc records before assuming policy. This will not only mean you're not having to rewrite things that don't need to be rewritten, but it will also mean you won't be caught flat footed if (when?) other free mail providers start publishing p=reject.No Comments


  • Sendgrid's open letter to Gmail

    Paul Kincaid-Smith wrote an open letter to Gmail about their experiences with the Gmail FBL and how the data from Gmail helped Sendgrid find problem customers. I know a lot of folks are frustrated with Gmail not returning more than statistics, but there is a place for this type of feedback within a comprehensive compliance desk.No Comments


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