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March 2015: The month in email

Happy March! We started the month with some more movement around CASL enforcement from our spam-fighting friends to the north. We noted a $1.1 million fine levied against Compu-Finder for CASL violations, as well as a $48,000 fine to Plentyoffish Media for failing to provide unsubscribe links. We noted a few interesting things: the fines are not being imposed at the maximum limits, violations are not just on B2C marketing, but also on B2B senders, and finally, that it really just makes sense — both from a delivery perspective and a financial perspective — to comply with the very reasonable best practices outlined in CASL.

Here in the US, the Email Experience Council of the Direct Marketing Association hosted a series of webinars this month on delivery and engagement. First up was a MessageSystems webinar with Matt Moleski of Comcast. I’d definitely recommend listening to the webinar if you have a moment. I recapped it here and briefly noted the ensuing controversy over different interpretations of various ISP policies that came out of that discussion. We wrote up some thoughts and predictions before the second webinar, and followed that up with a recap of what was actually said, as well as  a summary of tweets related to the discussion. All in all, it was fascinating to get a look behind the scenes at the various ISPs. Though we knew they each handled mail a bit differently, it was good to get more of a sense of how that works. And our takeaway, as always, is that engagement matters in delivery decisions.

Coming out of the webinar, we looked at filtering at Hotmail, which seems to be doing things a bit differently than other ISPs. We also wrote about Gmail filtering, where we noted just how quickly sender changes — both positive and negative — get reflected in delivery to the inbox. Finally, we looked at what happens when spam filters fail.

Speaking of getting a peek behind the scenes, Steve’s recent post about bad SPF records will give you a glimpse of some of how we figure things out at WttW when we come across things that just don’t make sense. Also, if you missed Josh’s post on Senders Best Practices from MAAWG, it’s worth a look.

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