Tagfilters

End of an era

A few weeks ago, Return Path announced they were being purchased by Validity, who also own BrightVerify. Last week, they had a round of layoffs. According to sources inside the industry, Validity is closing the New York headquarters and Indianapolis offices and layoffs involved more than 170 staff members. Return Path has been a fixture in the deliverability space for years. While they...

Their network, their rules

Much of the equipment and wires that the internet runs on is privately owned, nor is it a public utility in the traditional sense. The owners of the property have a lot of leeway to do what they like with that property. Yes, there are standards, but the standards are about interoperability. They describe things you have to do in order to exchange traffic with other entities. They do not dictate...

Email filters and small sends

Have you heard about the Baader-Meinhoff effect? The Baader-Meinhof effect, also known as frequency illusion, is the illusion in which a word, a name, or other thing that has recently come to one’s attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards (not to be confused with the recency illusion or selection bias). Baader–Meinhof effect at Wikipedia There has to...

Gmail, machine learning, filters

I’m sure by now readers have seen the article from Gmail “Spam does not bring us joy — ridding Gmail of 100 million more spam messages with TensorFlow.” If you haven’t seen it, go read it. It’s not often companies write about their filtering philosophy and what tools they’re using to manage incoming bad mail. There were a few parts of the article that...

Filters working as intended

One of the toughest deliverability problems to deal with is when mail is blocked or going to spam because the filters are working as intended. Often the underlying issue is a lack of permission. In the consumer space there are some thing the sender can do to change their metrics and get to the inbox. The reality is that a lot of companies who send to consumers can get good delivery even when they...

Automated link checking getting more sophisticated

As the volume and severity of malicious email increases, filters are increasingly following links in emails. This is really nothing new. Barracuda and other filters have been inspecting links automatically for years. From what I’ve seen there does seem to be some level of risk analysis based on domain reputation. That makes sense, not only is following links computationally expensive, it...

Reputation is in the eye of the beholder

A few years ago reputation was generally recognised as one thing. If a sending reputation or IP reputation was good in one place it was likely good in other places. Different entities mostly reputation using the same set of signals albeit slightly tweaked to meet their own needs. More recently there is a divergence in how reputation is measured, meaning delivery can be vastly different across...

It’s a new year, do you know what your filters are doing?

Yesterday the NJABL domain expired. The list was disabled back in 2013 but the domain continued to be maintained as a live domain. With the expiration, it was picked up by domain squatters and is now listing everything. Steve wrote about how and why expired blocklist domains list the world last year. The short version is, that when domain squatters grab a domain they put in a DNS entry that...

Thinking about filters

Much of the current deliverability advice focuses on a few key ideas: Authenticate your mail with SPF, DKIM and DMARC Use a dedicated IP. Monitor delivery. Clean your data. All of these things are absolutely things you should be doing, but senders can do all these things and still have cruddy delivery. These things are great and can help your mail deliver better. But they’re not enough to...

All filters are not equal

Many questions about delivery problems often assume that there is one standard email filter and the rules are the same across all of them. Unfortunately, this isn’t really the case. The biggest divide is consumer versus business filters. Business filters don’t really care about things like engagement. A sender could have near perfect engagement with a message to a business. But a...

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