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Category: Best Practices

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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Relaying Denied

I’ve got multiple clients right now looking for insights about bounce handling. This means I’m doing a lot of thought work about bounces and what they mean and how they match up and how different ISPs manage delivery and how different ESPs manage delivery and how it all fits together. One thing I’ve been trying […]

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End of an era

A few moments ago, I cancelled one of my email addresses. This is an address that has been mine since somewhere around 1993 or 4. It was old enough to vote. And now it’s no more. I am not even sure why I kept it for so long. It was my dialup account back when […]

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Confirmed Opt-In: An Old Topic Resurrected

Looking back through my archives it’s been about 4 years or so since I wrote about confirmed opt in. The last post was how COI wasn’t important, but making sure you were reaching the right person was important. Of course, I’ve also written about confirmed opt-in in general and how it was a tool somewhat akin […]

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From the archives: Taking Permission

From February 2010, Taking Permission. Permission is always a hot topic in email marketing. Permission is key! the experts tell us. Get permission to send email! the ISPs tell us. Marketers have responded by setting up processes to “get” permission from recipients before adding them to mailing lists. They point to their privacy polices and signup […]

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Are seed lists still relevant?

Those of you who have seen some of my talks have seen this model of email delivery before. The concept is that there are a host of factors that contribute to the reputation of a particular email, but that at many ISPs the email reputation is only one factor in email delivery. Recipient preferences drive […]

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Subscription transparency

I regularly tell clients to be transparent with their sends. With email, permission is better than forgiveness. A surprise change in mail frequency or type leads to complaints. Complaints lead to bulk foldering. Once mail is in the bulk folder, it’s hard to get out of there, particularly at some webmail providers. The permission is […]

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Asking for help with a blocklist

There are often questions arising about how to go about getting off a particular blocklist. A few years ago I led the MAAWG effort to document what to if if you were On a Blocklist (pdf link). That document was aimed primarily at MAAWG members and deliverability experts with working knowledge of blocklists. I think, even […]

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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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