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Delivery emergencies and the holidays

There is a lot of contention between ISPs and senders at the best of times. As we move into the holiday season, retailers are increasing their email marketing, sometimes quite significantly. This causes more delivery issues as recipients and MTAs react to the increased volume.

At many non retail companies, however, the pace of work slows down. There are distractions and office parties and people taking long lunches to finish their holiday shopping. Non-critical departments are not staffed for official holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

This means that delivery issues may not be responded to as quickly as senders might like. Just this morning I got a call from someone who wants his delivery issues to be fixed by tomorrow. I’m sorry, even if I were to treat this as an emergency, there is work and investigation that needs to be done at the ISP end, and they’re not necessarily going to have a staffed delivery desk on Thanksgiving day. And even if they do have a staffed desk, it’s possible the staff won’t be focused and issues won’t be handled as fast as they might otherwise be.

I’d love to help, but there’s a limit to what I can do. Filtering decisions are made by the ISP, or their filter vendor, and sometimes they don’t happen as fast as we’d like. It’s frustrating for senders to have to deal with, but these are the realities of email delivery.

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