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Tag: SMTP

The history of email

My first access to “the internet” was through a dialup modem on a VAX at the FDA. I was a summer intern there through my college career and then worked full time after graduation and before grad school. My email address ended in .bitnet. I could mail some places but not others. One of the […]

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January 2016: The Month in Email

Happy 2016! We started off the year with a few different “predictions” posts. As always, I don’t expect to be right about everything, but it’s a useful exercise for us to look forward and think about where things are headed. I joined nine other email experts for a Sparkpost webinar on 2016 predictions, which was […]

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Following the SMTP rules

An old blog post from 2013, that’s still relevant today. “Blocked for Bot-like Behavior” An ESP asked about this error message from Hotmail and what to do about it. “Bot-like” behaviour usually means the sending server is doing something that bots also do. It’s not always that they’re spamming, often it’s a technical issue. But […]

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When did the reject happen?

Earlier today I approved a comment from Mike on a post about problems at AOL from 2012. The part of the comment that caught my attention: SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data: 521 5.2.1 : AOL will not accept delivery of this message. Mike also mentioned his IP reputation is good, […]

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Confusing the engineers

We went camping last weekend with a bunch of friends. Had a great time relaxing on the banks of the Tuolumne River, eating way too much and visiting. On Saturday I was wearing a somewhat geeky t-shirt. It said 554: abort mission. (Thank you MessageSystems). At some point on Saturday every engineer came up to me, […]

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Email is inherently a malicious traffic stream

It’s something many people don’t think about, but the majority of the traffic coming into the SMTP port is malicious. Spam is passively malicious, in that it just uses resources and bothers people. But there is a lot of actively malicious traffic coming into the SMTP port. Email is used as a vector to spread viruses […]

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The best time to send email

This subject comes up over and over again. Many senders are convinced that there is a best time to send email. Countless research hours have been dedicated to finding that best time to send email. Numerous blog posts discuss what the best time to send email is. From my perspective, there are better places for senders […]

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SWAKS: the SMTP Swiss Army Knife

SWAKS is a general purpose testing tool for SMTP. For basic SMTP testing it’s a more convenient, scriptable alternative to running a transaction by hand, but it also lets you test things that are difficult to do manually, such as authentication or TLS encryption. It’s a perl script that installs fairly easily on OS X […]

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SMTP Level Rejections

While discussing a draft of a Deliverability BCP document the issue came up of what rejections at different phases of the email delivery transaction can mean. That’s quite a big subject, but here’s a quick cheat sheet. At initial connection Dropped or failed connection: your reputation with the receiver is so bad that they don’t […]

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Does email have a guarantee of delivery?

A client asked me earlier this week what SLAs ISPs provided for email delivery. The short answer is that there isn’t a SLA and that the only guarantee is that the email will get there when it gets there. But as I was mentioning this to Steve, he pointed out that there was a recent […]

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  • Vague reports of Yahoo problems

    A number of people, on different forums, have been asking if anyone is seeing a higher bounce rate than usual with Yahoo. Not sure exactly what's going on here. As I understand it, folks are talking with Yahoo about it. If I hear anything more, I'll share. For now, though, if you're seeing a small increase in Yahoo bounces (or other weirdnesses) others are seeing something odd, too.No Comments


  • Responsive design just got easier at Gmail

    Today Gmail announced they are supporting media queries in Gmail and Google Inbox. This should simplify the creation of emails for multiple platforms. The full list of supported rules can be found on the Google Developer Site.No Comments


  • Brief blogging break

    Sorry about the unexpected hiatus. I picked up a cold that really made me feel fuzzy and writing was an exercise in futility. I'll be back Monday. Meanwhile, Oracle bought another ESP (Bronto) when they bought NetSuite.  No Comments


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