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Category: Best Practices

Help! We’re on Spamhaus’ list

While trying to figure out what to write today, I checked Facebook. Where I saw a post on the Women of Email group asking for help with a Spamhaus listing. I answered the question. Then realized that was probably useable on the blog. So it’s an impromptu Ask Laura question. We’re listed on Spamhaus’ list, […]

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Delete or read?

This week I attended a Data Visualization workshop presented by the Advanced Media Center at UC Berkeley. Every year I set at least one professional development goal; this year it’s learning how to better communicate visually. Part of the class included other resources, which led me to Nathan Yau’s website. One of the articles on […]

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The cycle goes on

Monday I published a blog post about the ongoing B2B spam and how annoying it is. I get so many of these they’re becoming an actual problem. 3, 4, 5 a day. And then there’s the ongoing “drip” messages at 4, 6, 8, 12 days. It is getting out of control. It’s spam. It’s annoying. And […]

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Appending in a nutshell

A few months ago a colleague sent me, and every other person on his overly large LinkedIn list, an email looking for some help hiring. It starts off with “Greetings LinkedI Connections” and ends with… an unsubscribe link. P.S. If you don’t want to hear from me, here’s an unsubscribe link – that’s the easiest […]

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Purchased lists aren’t always purchased

Spamhaus has listed a number of domains belonging to French politicians recently. In their blog post about it, they mention that the listings are directly related to address lists provided to candidates by the French government. We learned of this issue recently when two different French candidates became entangled in two of our automated spam […]

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You’re kidding me

All the authentication and DMARC in the world can’t save you from stupid. I just got a survey request from my bank. Or, at least, it claimed to be from my bank. From: Barclays International Banking Survey <internationalbanking@barclayssurveys.com> The mail passed SPF (though the SPF record suggests this is being mailed from all over the […]

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… and bad acquisition practices

I talked last week about how incentivizing people to sign up for your mailing list could be effective when it’s done well. This week I’m staying at a Large International Hotel Chain and I’ve got a great example of what happens when it’s done poorly. The “free” wifi requires you to join the hotel’s loyalty […]

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Every Download a Confirmation

We often talk about confirmed opt-in (aka “closed-loop opt-in” or “double opt-in”) as the gold standard for address acquisition for permission-based mail. It’s not the only way to gather permission, and in some ways it’s a rather blunt tool that can discourage people from completing a sign-up process if it’s done badly – the confirmation email […]

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Why is bounce handling so hard

It should be easy, right? Except it’s not. So why is it so hard? With one-on-one or one-to-few email it’s pretty simple. The rejections typically go back to a human who reads the text part of the rejection message and adapt and makes the decision about future messages. The software handles what to do with […]

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It’s not fair

In the delivery space, stuff comes in cycles. We’re currently in a cycle where people are unhappy with spam filters. There are two reasons they’re unhappy: false positives and false negatives. False positives are emails that the user doesn’t think is spam but goes into the bulk folder anyway. Fales negatives are emails that the […]

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  • OTA joins the ISOC

    The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) announced today they were joining forces with the Internet Society (ISOC). Starting in May, they will operate as an initiative under the ISOC umbrella. “The Internet Society and OTA share the belief that trust is the key issue in defining the future value of the Internet,” said Internet Society President and CEO, Kathryn Brown. “Now is the right time for these two organizations to come together to help build user trust in the Internet. At a time when cyber-attacks and identity theft are on the rise, this partnership will help improve security and data privacy for users,” added Brown.No Comments


  • Friday blogging... or lack of it

    It seems the last few Friday's I've been lax on posting. Some of that is just by Friday I'm frantically trying to complete all my client deliverables before the weekend. The rest of it is by Friday I'm just tired. Today had the added complication of watching the Trumpcare debate and following how (and how soon) it would affect my company if it passed. That's been a bit distracting, along with the other stuff I posted about yesterday. I wish everyone a great weekend.1 Comment


  • Indictments in Yahoo data breach

    Today the US government unsealed an indictment against 2 Russian agents and 2 hackers for breaking into Yahoo's servers and stealing personal information. The information gathered during the hack was used to target government officials, security employees and private individuals. Email is so central to our online identity. Compromise an email account and you can get access to social media, and other accounts. Email is the key to the kingdom.No Comments


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