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July 2016: The Month in Email

We got to slow down — and even take a brief vacation — in July, but we still managed to do a bit of blogging here and there, which I’ll recap below in case you missed anything.

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At the beginning of the month, I wrote about email address harvesting from LinkedIn. As you might imagine, I’m not a fan. A permissioned relationship on social media does not equate to permission to email. Check out the post for more on mailing social media contacts.

Even people who are collecting addresses responsibly can face challenges. One of the most important challenges to address is paying attention to your existing subscription processes, testing them regularly, evaluating effectiveness and optimizing as needed.

Our most commented-upon post this month was a pointer to a smart writeup about Hillary Clinton’s email server issues. Commenters were pretty evenly split between those who agreed that they see this kind of workaround frequently, and those who felt like regulatory processes do a good job managing against this kind of “shadow IT” behavior. I wrote a followup post on why we see this kind of workaround frequently in email environments, even in regulated industries, and some trends we’re seeing as things improve.

In other election-related email news, we saw the challenges of campaign email being flagged as spam. As I pointed out, this happens to all campaigns, and is nothing unique to the Trump campaign. Still, there are important lessons for marketers here, too, in terms of list management, email content, frequency, and engagement — all of which are inextricably linked to deliverability.

Speaking of spam and engagement, Steve took a look at some clickthrough tracking revealed through a recent spam message I received — and why legitimate marketers should avoid using these sorts of URL referrers.

On the topic of authentication, I wrote a quick post about how seeing ?all in the SPF record tells me one thing: the person managing the record isn’t doing things properly. Need a refresher on authentication? Our most-read blog post of all time can help you out.

And as always, send me your interesting questions and I’ll be happy to consider them as I resume my Ask Laura column in August.

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