April 2016: The Month in Email
We are finishing up another busy month at WttW. April was a little nutty with network glitches, server crashes, cat woes, and other disruptions, but hopefully that’s all behind us as we head into May. I’ll be very busy in May as well, speaking at Salesforce Connections in Atlanta and the Email Innovation Summit in Las Vegas. Please come say hello if you’re attending either of these great events.
Speaking of great events, I participated in two panels at EEC16 last month. We had a lot of great audience participation, and I met many wonderful colleagues. I wrote up some more thoughts about the conference here. I also had a nice conversation with the folks over at Podbox, and they’ve posted my interview on their site.
In the Podbox interview, as always, I talked about sending mail people want to receive. It always makes me roll my eyes a bit when I see articles with titles like “5 Simple Ways to Reach the Inbox”, so I wrote a bit about that here. In addition to sending mail people want to receive, senders need to make sure they are collecting addresses and building lists in thoughtful and sustainable ways. For more on this topic, check out my post on list brokers and purchased lists.
These same not-so-simple tricks came up again in my discussion of Gmail filters. Everyone wants a magic formula to reach the inbox, and — sorry to burst your bubble — there isn’t ever going to be one. And this is for a good reason: a healthy filter ecosystem helps protect all of us from malicious senders and criminal activity. The email channel is particularly vulnerable to fraud and theft. The constant evolution of filters is one way mail providers can help protect both senders and recipients — but it can be challenging for senders and systems administrators to keep up with this constant evolution. For example, companies sometimes even inadvertently filter their own mail!
I also wrote a bit about how B2B spam is different from B2C spam, and how marketers can better comply with CAN SPAM guidelines in order to reach the inbox. We also republished our much-missed friend and colleague J.D. Falk’s DKIM Primer, which is extremely useful information that was at a no-longer-active link.
One of my favorite posts this month was about “dueling data”, and how to interpret seemingly different findings around email engagement. We also got some good questions for my “Ask Laura” column, where we cover general topics on email delivery. This month we looked at “no auth/no entry” and the Microsoft Smartscreen filter, both of which are useful things to understand for optimizing delivery.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that we’ve joined the i2Coalition, an organization of internet infrastructure providers. They posted a nice introduction on their blog, and we look forward to working with them to help advocate and protect these important technical infrastructures.