TagTools

Command Line Tools

Tools that you run from the command line – i.e. from a terminal or shell window – are often more powerful and quicker to use than their GUI or web equivalents. Their output is plain text so it’s much easier to copy and paste into an email or a slack conversation – sure, you can take a screenshot of a GUI tool and share that, but then the folks you’re sharing it with...

Tools aren’t a luxury

I was on the phone with a colleague recently. They were talking about collecting a bit of data over the weekend and mentioned how great it was they had the tools to be able to do this. Coincidentally, another colleague mentioned that when the subscription bombing happened they were able to react quickly because they had a decent tool chain. I’ve also been working with some clients who are...

April 2017: The Month in Email

April was a big travel month for us. I went to Las Vegas for meetings around the Email Innovations Summit and to New Orleans, where Steve spoke on the closing keynote panel for the EEC conference. I wrote several posts this month about privacy and tracking, both in email and in other online contexts. It’s increasingly a fact of life that our behaviors are tracked, and I wrote about the need for...

Tools!

I just added a DMARC validation tool over on tools.wordtothewise.com. You can give it a domain – such as ebay.com – and it will fetch the DMARC record, then explain and validate it. Or you can paste the DMARC record you’re planning to publish into it,  to validate it before you go live. If you’ve not seen our tools page before, take a look. As well as DMARC we have a DKIM...

Creating emails

Email is, still, primarily a written medium. This means that good copywriting is crucial. Today I opened up an email and the pre-header says: Laura, should have get your Naturals Sample Bag.*Web Version Wait. What? Maybe they mean “should have got”? But that’s implying they’re sending out free sample bags to everyone. That can’t be right. But I can’t tell...

Four things to check before your next mailing

Like many bits of technology, email is often set-and-forget. Everything is checked and rechecked during setup, and then no one goes back and looks at it again. But mail programs are not static, and people make changes. These changes don’t really break things, but over time they can create their own set of problems. Setting aside some time every quarter or even every year to check and make...

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 or any Linux/unix system (and can be installed on Windows, if you...

Who's publishing DMARC?

DMARC is a way for a domain owner to say “If you see this domain in a From: header and it’s not been sent straight from us, please don’t deliver the mail”. If a domain is only used for bulk and transactional mail, it can mitigate a subset of phishing attacks without causing too many problems for legitimate email. In other cases, it can cause significant problems. Some of...

Troubleshooting tools

There have been a number of comments on my post about Hotmail moving to SPF authentication having to do with troubleshooting authentication failures. I have been helping clients troubleshoot these issues, and am able to take on new clients to solve authentication problems. Contact me for more information. Of course, many of these issues can be solved with access to the right tools. Steve’s...

New Delivery tools

A couple nifty new delivery tools were published over the weekend. Mickey published Bounce P.I. where senders can paste in an error message or bounce and it will tell you what filter generated it. If the rejection is unrecognized, it will flag the message internally and it will be researched to see if the filter can be identified. Steve has a new tool at the DKIMCore site. The key generating tool...

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