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Check your tech

One of the things we do for just about every new client coming into WttW is have them send us an email from their bulk mail system. We then check it for technical correctness. This includes things like reviewing all the different From headers, rDNS of the connecting IP, List-Unsubscribe headers and authentication. This is always useful, IMO, because we often find things that were right when they were set up, but due to other changes at the customer they’re not 100% correct any more.
This happens to most of us. Even a company as small as Word to the Wise misses a rDNS update here or a hostname change update there when making infrastructure changes. That’s even when the same people know about email and are responsible for the infrastructure.
One of the most common problems we see is a SPF record that has accumulated include: files from previous providers. There are a couple reasons for this. One is the fact that SPF is set up while still at the old provider in anticipation of moving to the new provider. Once the move is made no one goes back to clean up the SPF record and remove the old entries. The other reason is that a lot of tech folks don’t like to delete things. Deleting things can lead to problems, and there’s no harm in a little extra in the SPF record. Except, eventually, there are so many include files that the lookup fails.
Every mailer should schedule a regular tech audit for their mail. Things change and sometimes in the midst of chance we don’t always catch some of the little details.

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