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Category: Best Practices

DNSBLs, wildcards and domain expiration

Last week the megarbl.net domain name expired. Normally this would have no affect on anyone, but their domain registrar put in a wildcard DNS entry. Because of how DNSBLs work, this had the effect of causing every IP to be listed on the blocklist. The domain is now active and the listings due to the […]

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Zombies are real but less of a problem

A few years ago I wrote a series of blog posts about zombie email addresses. Zombie addresses are those that someone owned and used and interacted with, but for whatever reason stopped logging into and checking. This series started with the time before the zombies, and moved on to the zombie uprising. Then discussed how they […]

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Ask Laura: Should we allow tagged addresses?

Hi Laura, First of all, I’d like to thank you for the amazing blog. It helps me a lot and I have much fun to read it. Now I have a question to the google alias addresses. As you must have known, Google offers alias addresses and you can put any thing between the local […]

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Global Suppression Lists

Global Suppression List. Pander File. Screamers List. Whatever you call it, it’s the list of email addresses you suppress from every mailing. If you’re an ESP, this is the list of people who you never, ever want to send email to – and I’m talking about ESP-wide global suppression lists here, not the suppression lists […]

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Use the form…

A lot of senders get frustrated with the time it can take to get a response from some ISPs. It’s totally understandable, for a lot of companies delivery problems are all hands on deck level problems. They want them fixed and they want them fixed IMMEDIATELY. They want feedback that their issue is being addressed. […]

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Incentivizing incites fraud

There are few address acquisition processes that make me cringe as badly as incentivized point of sale collection. Companies have tried many different ways to incentivize address collection at the point of sale. Some offer the benefit to the shopper, like offering discounts if they supply an email address. Some offer the benefits to the employee. Some offer […]

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Arguing against the anti-spam policy

Not long ago I was talking with a colleague who works for an ESP.  She was telling me about this new client who is in the process of negotiating a contract. Normally she doesn’t get involved in negotiations, but the sales group brought her. It seems this new client is attempting to remove all mention of […]

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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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  • 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.No Comments


  • 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


  • Blogging

    It's been a wild week here in the US. I have to admit, the current political climate is affecting my ability to blog about email. I've always said email is not life or death. And how can I focus on the minutia of deliverability when things are in such turmoil and uncertainty? There are many things I want to write about, including some resources for those of us who are struggling with the current administration and changes in the US. What we can do. What we must do.  It just takes work and focus I don't have right now.    1 Comment


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