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Deliverability Help: Information checklist

When asking a for assistance with email delivery, there are some pieces of information that are required before anyone can help. Be prepared with the information so you can get timely assistance. This advice is true whether you’re looking for help from peers or working with paid deliverability consultants. What is the problem? Be very specific about the problem you see. The fix for mail...

Cousin domains

When I checked in on Facebook this morning there was a discussion from a couple people frustrated by cousin domains. I share their frustration. Kitten running through field with text “every time a marketing department registers a cousin domain, god kills a kitten” Cousin domains are a major problem for ISPs trying to protect their users from phishing and other fraud. Because so many companies use...

What SPF records should you publish?

When it comes to SPF records there seems to be a lot of confusion. I mean, a decade after I posted it Authenticating SPF is still the most frequently visited post on the site. And, of course, there are hundreds of other pages out there that discuss SPF and what to publish. Still, there are common questions. Most recently I’ve been addressing questions about what SPF records need to be...

Fun with spam filters

I recently had a challenging travel experience in the Netherlands, trying to get from Schipol airport to a conference I was speaking at. As part of my attempt to get out of the airport, I installed UBER on my phone. There were some challenges with getting UBER to authorise my phone number, so I tried linking it to my Gmail account. I checked Gmail today and noticed there was a message from UBER...

Schroedinger’s email

The riskiest email to send is that very first email. It’s a blank slate. Even if you’re sending confirmation messages, you don’t really know anything about how this email is going to affect your reputation. It’s Schroedinger’s email. The address is both good and bad, until you send to it. If it’s good, great things will happen. You’ll be happy. The...

Brand indicators in email

A number of companies in the email industry have been working on a way to better identify authenticated emails to users. One proposal is Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). A couple weeks ago, Agari announced a pilot program with some brands and a number of major consumer mail providers. These logos should be available in the Yahoo interface now and will be rolling out at other...

October 2017: The Month in Email

October was a busy month. In addition to on boarding multiple new clients, we got new desks, I went to Toronto to see M3AAWG colleagues for a few days, and had oral surgery. Happily, we’re finally getting closer to having the full office setup.  What is an office without a Grover Cat? (he was so pleased he figured out how to get onto it at standing height). All of this means that blogging...

People are the weakest link

All of the technical security in the world won’t fix the biggest security problem: people. Let’s face it, we are the weakest link. Adding more security doesn’t work, it only causes people to figure out ways to get around the security. The more secure you make something, the less secure it becomes. Why? Because when security gets in the way, sensible, well-meaning, dedicated...

Engagement drives deliverability

Return Path released an white paper today offering the Secrets of Successful Senders. I don’t think any of my readers will be surprised that it boils down to identity, reputation, and engagement. Return Path treats these as separate things and I understand why they do. I think however, that the identity and reputation are supporting players to the overarching issue of engagement. When...

Are they using DKIM?

It’s easy to tell if a domain is using SPF – look up the TXT record for the domain and see if any of them begin with “v=spf1”. If one does, they’re using SPF. If none do, they’re not. (If more than one does? They’re publishing invalid SPF.) AOL are publishing SPF. Geocities aren’t. For DKIM it’s harder, as a DKIM key isn’t published at a...

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