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Category: Best Practices

Ask Laura: Confused about Authentication

  Dear Laura, I have a client moving from an external ESP to an internal system. They send approximately eight million messages per year, and these are primarily survey emails on behalf of their clients. We’ve had some conversations about authentication, and I’m trying to help them figure out if they just need DMARC or […]

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This message has no content.

This is what my mail client tells me about the latest mail Twitter sent me: Criticism of Twitter’s copywriters? Not exactly, no. Mail.app is looking for some textual content near the top of the mail to display to me as preview text. It can’t find any in this mail, so it’s telling me the message has […]

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Hands off address books

Germany’s highest court has ruled that Facebook’s practice of harvesting email addresses from their users contact lists in order to send invitations to them constitutes “advertising harassment” and violates German law on data protection and unfair trade practices. This in response to a suit filed by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) What the judgment […]

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Triggered and transactional emails

Earlier this week I was talking on IRC with some colleagues. There was some kvetching about senders that think transactional emails are the same as triggered emails. This led to discussion about whether transactional and triggered emails are the same. I don’t think they are, but it took a while for me to come up […]

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Doing it right

It’s that time of the year – marketers send more email than usual, recipients unsubscribe from their lists. Clicking on the unsubscription link in the email I just received took me to an unsubscription landing page. The box for my email address was prepopulated based on the cookie in the unsubscription link, the default setting is […]

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But my purchased list is TARGETED!!!

I hear this all the time. But, y’know what? It’s BS. Total BS. In the last month, I’ve gotten “targeted” messages (that escaped my filters) from the following companies who purchased lists. A company offering Agile and Scrum classroom workshops… in Australia. (they know they’re spamming: they are hiding behind domain privacy) Laura Ashley offering […]

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Buying lists costs more than just money

I’ve been talking to a lot of companies recently who are dealing with some major delivery challenges probably related to their practice of purchasing lists and then sending advertising to every address on the list. They assure me that their businesses would be non-viable if they didn’t purchase lists and it has to be that […]

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Transactional mail

There are a lot of myths in the email space. Things that someone, somewhere said and another person repeated and then another person repeated and all of a sudden it is TRUTH. One of those things is the idea that there is a law defining what can be in a transactional email. Supposedly this law […]

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Two factor authentication

The drumbeat of “secure your accounts; help your customers secure their accounts with you” advice has faded away a bit, probably because we’ve not had a major ESP account compromise hit the media in the past few months. The costs – customer support, security, reputation, executive focus – of customer account compromises are still significant, […]

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Outrunning the Bear

You’ve started to notice that your campaigns aren’t working as well as they used to. Your metrics suggest fewer people are clicking through, perhaps because more of your mail is ending up in junk folders. Maybe your outbound queues are bigger than they used to be. You’ve not changed anything – you’re doing what’s worked […]

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  • Lost in the mists of time

    Over on the Farsight Security blog Joe St. Sauver talks about some of the early days of online abuse, on usenet. Laura and I were on the periphery of early usenet abuse, mostly as users, but Usenet (and IRC) around then were the places we both started with email abuse.No Comments


  • Ongoing Yahoo delays

    I've been hearing from folks over the last few days that they're seeing an uptick in deferrals from Yahoo! The deferrals are not uniform. ESPs report they're seeing some, but not all, customers affected. Other ESPs aren't seeing any changes. It's not just you. But it would be very worthwhile to dig into engagement and other stats. It's possible this is a new normal at Yahoo! and they're tightening filters to catch mail that doesn't fit their standards but was previously difficult to filter.No Comments


  • AOL starts using Sender Score Certification

    Good news for Sender Score Certified IPs. Return Path recently announced that AOL has joined the list of ISPs offering preferential treatment to certified IPs.  1 Comment


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