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August 2015: The month in review

It’s been a busy blogging month and we’ve all written about challenges and best practices. I found myself advocating that any company that does email marketing really must have a well-defined delivery strategy. Email is such vital part of how most companies communicate with customers and potential customers, and the delivery landscape continues to increase in complexity (see my post on pattern matching for a more abstract look at how people tend to think about filters and getting to the inbox). Successful email marketers are proactive about delivery strategy and are able to respond quickly as issues arise. Stay tuned for more from us on this topic.

I also wrote up some deliverability advice for the DNC, which I think is valuable for anyone looking at how to maintain engagement with a list over time.  It’s also worth thinking about in the context of how to re-engage a list that may have been stagnant for a while. A comment on that post inspired a followup discussion about how delivery decisions get made, and whether an individual person in the process could impact something like an election through these delivery decisions. What do you think?

As we frequently point out, “best practices” in delivery evolve over time, and all too often, companies set up mail programs and never go back to check that things continue to run properly. We talked about how to check your tech, as well as what to monitor during and after a send. Josh wrote about utilizing all of your data across multiple mail streams, which is critical for understanding how you’re engaging with your recipients, as well as the importance of continuous testing to see what content and presentation strategies work best for those recipients.

Speaking of recipients, we wrote a bit about online identity and the implications of unverified email addresses in regards to the Ashley Madison hack and cautioned about false data and what might result from the release of that data.

Steve’s in-depth technical series for August was a two-part look at TXT records — what they are and how to use them — and he explains that the ways people use these, properly and improperly, can have a real impact on your sends.

In spam news, the self-proclaimed Spam King Sanford Wallace is still spamming, despite numerous judgments against him and his most recent guilty plea this month. For anyone else still confused about spam, the FTC answered some questions on the topic. It’s a good intro or refresher to share with colleagues. We also wrote about the impact of botnets on the inbox (TL;DR version: not much. The bulk of the problem for end users continues to be people making poor marketing decisions.) In other fraud news, we wrote about a significant spearphishing case and how DMARC may or may not help companies protect themselves.

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