June 2016: The Month in Email


We’re officially halfway through 2016, and looking forward to a slightly less hectic month around here. I hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere).

Trinity College Dublin, 2015 © Laura Atkins
Trinity College Dublin, 2015 © Laura Atkins
Our first June blog post marked the fifteen year anniversary of the very first anti-spam conference, SpamCon. As I noted, many of the people at that conference are still working in the email space — and many of the same spammers are still working in email too. We were also delighted to see that one of the worst of them, Sanford “Spamford” Wallace, was finally sentenced to jail time for his exploits.
We’ve also been longtime members of the M3AAWG community, and as the 37th meeting convened in Philadelphia this month, I wrote about some of what makes that group work so well.
As we inch closer and closer to the November election, we see more and more email from candidates, PACs, and other interest groups. I wrote about some of the challenges these senders face with spam filtering, both in terms of content and bad subscriber data.
Filtering, as I often reiterate, is increasingly a function of permission. You need to be invited into the inbox, and if you’re not, your mail will be filtered. Permission isn’t transferable. It can’t be shared from one list to another. If you’ve purchased addresses, you don’t have permission to mail those recipients, and your mail doesn’t belong in the inbox. People often call us to see how they might work around this lack of permission, and we’re constantly explaining why we can’t help them with that. Not convinced? Here’s another post about who owns the inbox, with some detail from my panel at Connections 16 and a followup post from Litmus.
Another deliverability question that came up at a recent panel discussion was about role accounts, so I wrote up some thoughts on how these are used and the specific challenges of delivering to these accounts.
In technical topics, I wrote a long guide to bounce handling, and we had some good discussion in the comments, which I always like (hint, hint!). Steve wrote about our experience (and others’) with TLS certificates, specifically with Comodo, who have failed their customers in numerous less-than-ethical ways. Steve also wrote a post about domain transparency, and how important it is for recipients to be able to understand where their email is coming from.
For my Ask Laura column, I answered a question about using video content in email. There are currently no standards for using rich media in email, and as such, this content can create delivery challenges. In a related topic, I wrote about the way that content complexity affects delivery, and some tools marketers can use to help with this.

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