Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder Presenters: Elmer Thomas and Carly BrantzTuesday, May 29, 12
Carly Brantz firstname.lastname@example.org @carlybrantz Elmer Thomas email@example.com @thinkingserious #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Hello everyone, I’d like to welcome everyone today to our webinar: Tips and Tricks to Staying out the Dreaded Spam folder. My name is Carly Brantz and I lead the inbound markeHng group here at SendGrid that focuses on creaHng content and educaHng our prospects and clients about email delivery. I’ll be joined today by Elmer Thomas who is a developer evangelist.Both of our twiKer handles and email addresses are here and we encourage you to follow up with us with any quesHons we aren’t able to get to during today’s presentaHon
Anybody there? “If your emails don’t make it to the inbox, you are talking to yourself. Not cool.” -‐Email Sending Ninja, Elmer Thomas #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: You’re all here today because landing in the spam folder means you lose out on your opportunity to communicate with your customers. You literally as Elmer quote reads here talk to yourself.
Email Delivery is Never Guaranteed #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: If you rely on email to communicate with your customers, then you need to know about one of biggest issues facing app developers today -‐ email delivery failures.
Updates Shipping Notiﬁcations Conﬁrmations Account Veriﬁcations TRANSACTIONAL Alerts Receipts Statements Notiﬁcations Reminders Password Delivery Cancellations Announcements #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: This means that the transacHonal email you send like email conﬁrmaHons, shipping noHces, privacy updates and friend requests being deployed though your systems are not reaching your customers. Consider what happens if your email doesn’t arrive in the inbox? Your customers won’t receive their purchase conﬁrmaHons or shipping noHﬁcaHons. That request for a password reset never arrives. They’ll never know that someone special from their preferred daHng site wants to meet them.
20% of Commercial Email Never Arrives as Intended! #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: In fact, more than 20% of commercial email never reaches the inbox resulHng in poor customer experiences, loss of revenue and lack of trust amongst your user base.
How Email Appears to Work Sender’s Outbox Recipient’s Inbox #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Email appears to be fairly cut and dry right? You create the email, push send and the recipient of your email receives it.
How Email Actually Works Sender’s Outbox Recipient’s Inbox The Internet Recipient’s Mail Server Sender’s Mail Server (MTA) Anti-Spam Filter (MTA) #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: In reality, email delivery is a much more complex process. The fact is that when hit “send”, email goes through all sorts of check and balances by the ISPs and spam ﬁlters to prevent malicious email from inﬁltraHng customer inboxes. Email deliverability is a science with proven techniques to prevent failures and improve your delivered rates. If you have the informaHon and tools to manage it, then you can achieve higher return on your email markeHng investment in the long run.
Spam Filters #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Let’s talk about how SPAM ﬁlters work. Understanding what stands between you and the inbox is key.Image Source: hKp://sendgrid.com/blog/10-‐Hps-‐to-‐keep-‐email-‐out-‐of-‐the-‐spam-‐folder
User Interac9on Tracking Unread Mail #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Some measure and track user interacHon (messages that arent read, or arent opened and clicked on, are more likely to be sent to the Junk folder)
Heuris9cs, Sta9s9cs & Magic #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Some use heurisHcs (rules, oben with regular expressions, to search for spammy content), message structure (does this look like a NewsleKer weve seen before?), message ﬁngerprinHng (look up ﬁngerprint to see if it matches know spam) and/or staHsHcal methods (Bayesian ﬁlter: Does this message contain words similar to known spam or known clean messages?)
User Feedback & Community Vo9ng #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Some use human user feedback and community voHng ("This is spam" buKon in mail client or webmail app.)
Reputa9on #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Some look at sender reputaHon (based on sending IP or domain)
There is No Silver Bullet! #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: ...but theres no silver bullet. Spammers adapt. Filters adapt. Some innocent messages get caught in the crossﬁre (false posiHves).Image Source: hKp://sbrownehr.com
CAN-‐SPAM Controlling the Assault of Non -‐ Solicited Pornography And MarkeHng #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Comply with CAN-‐SPAM or face penalHes up to $16,000Reference: www.bc.gov—bus61.shtm
CAN-‐SPAM 1.Don’t Use False or Misleading Header InformaHon 2.Don’t Use DecepHve Subject Lines 3.IdenHfy the Message as an AdverHsement 4.Tell Recipients Where You’re Located 5.Tell Recipients How To Opt Out of Receiving Future Email From You 6.Honor opt-‐out requests promptly 7.Monitor what others are doing on your behalf #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12
CAN-‐SPAM TransacHonal emails are exempt from CAN-‐SPAM (Best pracHce is to comply regardless) #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: If your email contains only transacHonal emails or relaHonship content, then you are exempt from these rules; however, you must sHll not include false or misleading rouHng informaHon.
Authen9cate Your Email in 5 Easy Steps #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Email authenHcaHon has a proven track record but a surprisingly high percentage of businesses sHll haven’t implemented it. AuthenHcaHon is an “ID check” for your mail streams: it validates that the email is actually from you (and not some spammer impersonaHng you). AuthenHcaHng your mail streams does not ensure your email will be delivered but it helps ISPs to further diﬀerenHate your business from spammers and other illegiHmate senders. AuthenHcaHng your email is one posiHve step you can take today to make the [email] world a beKer place. While it seems like a daunHng task, properly implemenHng authenHcaHon can signiﬁcantly improve your chances of reaching the inbox. If you’re sending transacHonal email, it’s even more important since your customers are expecHng and anHcipaHng those messages. Let’s get started on the basics
1. Audit Your Computer #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: As a ﬁrst step, take stock of all systems that send your mail. IdenHfy all machines that send mail for your company. Next, determine the IP addresses (if youre planning to use SPF or SenderID) and sending domains used.
2. Create Your Authen9ca9on Records Sender Policy Framework (SPF) hKp://www.openspf.org SenderID hKp://www.microsob.com/senderid Domain Keys IdenHﬁed Mail (DKIM) hKp://www.dkim.org #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Next step is to create your authenHcaHon records. There are three accepted methods of authenHcaHon: Sender Policy Framework (SPF), SenderID and Domain Keys IdenHﬁed Mail (DKIM). The best pracHce is to implement all three methods, especially if you have high-‐volume transacHonal email streams. Get details on the various types of authenHcaHon. You can ﬁnd detailed informaHon on the following websites:DKIM: hKp://www.dkim.org/SenderID: hKp://www.microsob.com/senderidSPF: hKp://www.openspf.org
3. Publish Your Authen9ca9on Records Via Your DNS Records Update Your DNS Records #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Step 3 is to publish your authenHcaHon records. If you are using SPF, SenderID or DKIM, work with whoever manages your DNS records to publish the email authenHcaHon records youve collected. The actual publishing is easy; ﬁnding the responsible party who controls your DNS may be the tricky part.
4. Setup Your Mail Server to Sign Outbound Email with DKIM #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Setup your mail server to sign outbound email with DKIM. DKIM requires that your MTA have the appropriate sobware implementaHon to sign all outgoing emails.
5. Test by Publishing in “Test” Mode #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Lastly, you’ve got to test your authenHcaHon records. SPF, SenderID, and DKIM provide opHons to publish your recordsin “test” mode. This provides the opportunity for tesHng without risking delivery failures.
Content and Relevancy #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Now we dive into the actual content of your email. I’ll take you through the best pracHces to ensure that your messaging is structured properly, in terms of the email content, to avoid the SPAM ﬁlters.
Make Unsubscribing Easy #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Make it easy to unsubscribe so they dont hit the "This is SPAM" buKon
Segment Wisely #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Segment by demographics, interests and purchase behavior to increase relevancy and value
Avoid Phishing Phrases and Trigger Words As Seen On F r e e Update Your Billing InformaHon Money making Please Re-‐acHvate Your Account Stock Alert Buy Click Trigger Words Phishing Phrases While you sleep LifeHme Re-‐submit Your Payment Info Make $ Miracle Update your payment info $$$ Beneﬁciary You have one or more alerts Get paid This Isn’t Junk #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12 F r r e e F e e Elmer: 100 SPAM Trigger Words & Phrases to Avoid: hKp://blog.mannixmarkeHng.com/2009/08/spam-‐trigger-‐words/Short List of Common Phishing Phrases: hKp://www.24hoursupport.com/index.php?opHon=com_content&task=view&id=192&Itemid=1
HTML + Text #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Include a text version if sending HTML Emails
SPAM Check #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Use SPAM checkers before sending your emails:hKp://www.mailingcheck.comhKp://spamassassin.apache.orghKp://www.isnotspam.comhKp://www.programmersheaven.com/webtools/Spam-‐Checker/spamchecker.aspx
Text:Image Ra9o #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Maintain a good text to image raHo.Dont send any image-‐only emails.For every graphic include 2 lines of text.OpHmize your images.
Too Big #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Avoid Large AKachments and certain aKachment types.In general, .jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf aKachments are safe to send, provided you include some content in the email as well.Executable aKachments such as .exe, .zip, .swf, etc. should be avoided enHrely.Generally, you should not send aKachments to people on your list that are not expecHng them.If you need to email a large aKachment or an aKachment type that usually can be ﬂagged as spam or trigger virus scanners, we recommend a service such as DropBox.com. If the aKachment contains sensiHve data, you may consider using your company’s secure FTP server.Image Source: hKp://journal.zenyee.com
HTML, CSS, and Images #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Use the ALT tag & store images on a web server.Dont use CSS.Double check your messages HTML content code: validator.w3.org
Permission Marke9ng Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time with the Right Frequency #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Permission MarkeHng: hKp://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/01/permission-‐mark.htmlAsk to be on their white list.Most of the Hme, when someone marks your message as spam, It wasnt the right message (relevance) Or it wasnt sent to the right person (conﬁrmed opt-‐in list or purchased list or stale list?) Or it wasnt sent at the right Hme (obtained the email address years ago while working for a diﬀerent company selling a diﬀerent product) Or it wasnt sent with the right frequency (recipients get "email faHgue" if you send too oben (use a preference center), or may forget about you if you dont send oben enough.)
Why SendGrid? We make email delivery simple and easy for developers everywhere. #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: As we wrap up today, I wanted to quickly review SendGrid’s oﬀering. We provide a cloud-‐based service that replaces your company’s email infrastructure and provides everything you need to operate a reliable and scalable outbound email delivery system. Based on the fact that you have aKended this webinar, I think you all understand how crucial email delivery is to your success. SendGrid helps you focus on your business without the cost and complexity of owning and maintaining an email infrastructure. Our technology, advanced analyHcs, and ﬂexible APIs are designed for all types of email — from transacHonal messages generated by an applicaHon, to direct markeHng campaigns.
What Our Clients Are Saying “Marrying the SendGrid Platform with SoftLayers offering in both Infrastructure as a Service and Cloud Computing really does give the customers the most robust, turnkey offering available to the market today.” “Their account management team is responsive and proactive, providing us with the space we need to focus on strategic plans, rather than day to day email management.” “We’re now enjoying email delivery rates of 96% and have saved thousands of dollars in engineering resources.” #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Here is a sampling of the types of companies that work with SendGrid and what they are saying about SendGrid and their improved email performance.
Key Takeaways #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer: Build and Maintain Your ReputaHonCheck All of the Technical CheckboxesBe Relevant
Learn More • Upcoming Webinar: - “How to Get The Most out of Transactional Email” • SendGrid’s Deliverability Guide • SendGrid’s Blog - www.sendgrid.com/blog #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Carly: Our plan moving forward is to host these kinds of webinars monthly and I want to encourage you to sign up for our next webinar where we will cover TransacHonal Email. You can sign up directly from our homepage. In addiHon, we have a wealth of informaHon on our blog. You can sign up and stay on top of email trends, get guidance on APIs, learn about our latest partnerships and ﬁnd out the latest informaHon about SendGrid. You can sign up at sendgrid.com/blog.