Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder


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Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder

  1. 1. Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder Presenters: Elmer Thomas and Carly BrantzTuesday, May 29, 12
  2. 2. Carly Brantz @carlybrantz Elmer Thomas @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
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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.  
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. 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.  
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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://­‐Hps-­‐to-­‐keep-­‐email-­‐out-­‐of-­‐the-­‐spam-­‐folder  
  10. 10. 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)
  11. 11. 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?)
  12. 12. 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.)
  13. 13. Reputa9on #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Some  look  at  sender  reputaHon  (based  on  sending  IP  or  domain)
  14. 14. 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://
  15. 15. 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:—bus61.shtm
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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.
  18. 18. 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  
  19. 19. 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.
  20. 20. 2.  Create  Your  Authen9ca9on   Records Sender  Policy  Framework  (SPF) hKp:// SenderID hKp:// Domain  Keys  IdenHfied  Mail  (DKIM) hKp:// #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://    hKp://    hKp://
  21. 21. 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.  
  22. 22. 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.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. 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.
  25. 25. Make  Unsubscribing  Easy #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Make  it  easy  to  unsubscribe  so  they  dont  hit  the  "This  is  SPAM"  buKon
  26. 26. Segment  Wisely #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Segment  by  demographics,  interests  and  purchase  behavior  to  increase  relevancy  and  value
  27. 27. 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://­‐trigger-­‐words/Short  List  of  Common  Phishing  Phrases:  hKp://
  28. 28. HTML  +  Text #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Include  a  text  version  if  sending  HTML  Emails
  29. 29. SPAM  Check #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Use  SPAM  checkers  before  sending  your  emails:hKp://www.mailingcheck.comhKp://spamassassin.apache.orghKp://www.isnotspam.comhKp://­‐Checker/spamchecker.aspx  
  30. 30. 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.
  31. 31. 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  If  the  aKachment  contains  sensiHve  data,  you  may  consider  using  your  company’s  secure  FTP  server.Image  Source:  hKp://  
  32. 32. 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:
  33. 33. Permission  Marke9ng Right  Message to  the Right  Person at  the Right  Time with  the Right  Frequency #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Permission  MarkeHng:  hKp://­‐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.)
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. 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.    
  36. 36. Key Takeaways #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12Elmer:  Build  and  Maintain  Your  ReputaHonCheck  All  of  the  Technical  CheckboxesBe  Relevant
  37. 37. Learn More • Upcoming Webinar: - “How to Get The Most out of Transactional Email” • SendGrid’s Deliverability Guide • SendGrid’s 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
  38. 38. Questions? #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12
  39. 39. Carly Brantz @carlybrantz Elmer Thomas @thinkingserious #SGWebinarTuesday, May 29, 12