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Category: Best Practices

Ask Laura: Is it spam?

Dear Laura, I’ve been having a discussion with a colleague who is particularly frustrated by unwanted email he gets from retailers. Specifically, these are retailers who he’s never given an email address, but whose sites he’s browsed recently. He understands how retargeting works with web ads, but questions if it’s really acceptable to retarget in […]

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Subscription bombing, ESPs and Spamhaus

A number of ESPs woke up to a more-than-usually-bad Monday morning. Last night Spamhaus listed 10s of networks, including ESPs, on the SBL. The listings all contained the following note: Problem description ============================ The newsletter service () is using the referenced IP address to send bulk email. Unfortunately, the said newsletter service is not verifying […]

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SPF ?all

The most read post on the blog is Authenticating with SPF: -all or ~all. In fact, it’s in the top 5 posts every single day. We still get comments on it, too. Usually from folks who disagree with my recommendations. I still stand by my recommendations, though. It doesn’t really matter if you choose ~all […]

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Almost Caturday

It’s Friday. It’s been a week. Have a cat picture.

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Bad data drives delivery problems

It’s a wild election season here in the US. In the past few presidential elections, email has played a bigger and bigger role in messaging and fundraising. President Obama’s campaign used email effectively, but sent  huge volumes. In fact, the volume was so heavy, it led to a joke on the Daily Show. (Video: email […]

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Bounce handling is hard

Sometimes I find it hard to find a new topic to write about. I decide I’m going to write about X and then realize I did, often more than once. Other times I think I can blog about some issue only to realize that it’s too complex to handle in a quick post. There are […]

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Domain transparency

An email I received this morning got me thinking about how your domain name is one of the main ways you identify yourself if you’re sending email. We talk about domain reputation quite a lot – DKIM and SPF let a sender volunteer a domain name as a unique identifier for recipients to use to […]

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Permission: Let’s Talk Facts

I’ve commented in the past about how I can usually tell when an ISP makes filtering changes because all my calls relate to that ISP. The more recent contender is Gmail. They made changes a few months ago and a lot of folks are struggling to reach the inbox now. What I’m seeing, working with […]

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Can we put the “FREE!!!” Myth to bed?

Really. Single words in the subject line don’t hurt your delivery, despite many, many, many blog posts out there saying they do. Filters just don’t work that way. They maybe, sorta, kinda used to, but we’ve gotten way past that now. In fact, I can prove it. Recently I received an email from Blizzard. The […]

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Necessary but not sufficient

With all the emphasis on getting the technical right, there seem to be people who think their mail will be delivered as long as the technical is right. Getting the technical right is necessary for good inbox delivery, but it’s not sufficient. The most important part of getting mail to the inbox is sending mail […]

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