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Category: Best Practices

The key to improving deliverability

According to the UK DMA, marketers report improvements in deliverability after GDPR went into effect. I mean, thank you UK DMA for doing the research. Of course deliverability is going to improve when you send mail to those people who have expressly opted into your mail. 76% report an increase in open rates in the […]

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Stop obsessing about open rates

In 2020: 250OK says open rates were much lower than ESPs report. The Only Influencers list hosts a discussion about the value and use of open rates. A potential client contacts me asking if I can get their open rates to a certain percentage. A client shows me evidence of 100% inboxing but wants to […]

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Using Reply-To:

Yesterday I learned that some ESPs don’t support the reply to: address. I asked around to discover which ESPs did. Here’s what I learned. ESPs that support reply-to: ActiveCampaignAmazonSESConstantContactCampaign MonitorCordialDelivraDoListEloquaEmmaEpsilonGetResponseHubSpotiContactListrakMailkitMailUpMarketoN6PardotwordResponsysSailthruSFMCSharpspringTwilio / SendGridZeta Global Thanks to all the colleagues who answered my question.

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The variables are not independent

In my previous career I was a molecular biologist. Much of my work was done on bacteria but after I left grad school, I ended up working in a developmental biology lab. Bacteria were (mostly) simple: just about every trait was controlled by a single gene. We could study what that gene did by removing […]

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Alt-text and phishing warnings

For a long time one of the “best practices” for links in html content has been to avoid having anything that looks like a URL or hostname in the visible content of the link, as ISP phishing filters are very, very suspicious of links that seem to mislead recipients about where the link goes to. […]

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Forget about engagement, think inboxing

While answering a question about how to improve IP reputation at Gmail I realized that I no longer treat Gmail opens as anything about how a user is interacting with email. There are so many cases and ways that a pixel load can be triggered, without the user actually caring about the mail that it’s […]

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Opting out of “service” messages

A frequent question in a number of deliverability spaces is how to tell if a message is transactional or marketing. In most cases the decision is related to whether or not to respect an unsubscribe request. All too often companies decide that their messages are too important to allow someone to opt-out of. The problem […]

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An open is not permission

A decade or so ago I was helping a client troubleshoot a Spamhaus listing. They, as many companies do, had a database with addresses from a number of different sources. Spamhaus was asking for them to reconfirm the entire database, which they didn’t want to do. I came up with the idea that if we […]

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d= for data

A few ISPs use the d= value in the DKIM signature as a way to provide FBL and reputation data to senders. This has some good bits, in that senders can get FBLs and other information regardless of the IP address they’re using and whether or not they have sole access to it. There are […]

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Link tracking redirectors

Almost every bulk mail sent includes some sort of instrumentation to track which users click on which links and when. That’s usually done by the ESP rewriting links in the content so they point at the ESP’s tracking server, and include information about the customer, campaign and recipient. The recipient clicks on the link in […]

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