3. Deliverability: Navigating the Murky Waters of Email Deliverability

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3. Deliverability: Navigating the Murky Waters of Email Deliverability

  1. 1. Navigating the Murky Waters of Email Deliverability
  2. 2. Agenda1. The Deliverability Challenge2. The Causes3. The Solution4. The New New Wrinkle5. Monitoring Your Deliverability
  3. 3. The Spam Folder
  4. 4. Old New RuleMeasure byThe Spam Folder Avoid Campaign/Program NEW New RuleMeasure by Subscriber Lifespan Even The Inbox Has Layers
  5. 5. Images Defaulting Off
  6. 6. Prioritization & Sweep
  7. 7. What’s Going On?
  8. 8. ISPs Make Decisions Spam/Junk Bulk FoldersInbox Rejected Not Delivered nor Rejected
  9. 9. …And They May Change Over Time Message Result 1st Inbox 2nd Inbox 3rd Spam folder 4th Spam folder 5th Spam folder 6th Rejected 7th Rejected 8th Rejected 9th Twilight Zone 10th and on Twilight Zone
  10. 10. The Delivery Challenge• ISPs are constantly evaluating all incoming messages• They make decisions and deliver (or not!) to the inbox• Their decisions may change at any time ISPs’ #1 goal is to keep their customers happy
  11. 11. Agenda1. The Deliverability Challenge2. The Causes3. The Solution4. The Scary Part5. Monitoring Your Deliverability
  12. 12. Causes of Deliverability Problems• Content• Configuration• Complaints• Undeliverables• Spam Traps
  13. 13. CAUSE: Your ContentJunk E-mail Filter Adult Content Filter First 8 characters of From are digits Subject contains " xxx" Subject contains "advertisement" Subject contains "over 18" Body contains "money back " Subject contains "over 21" Body contains "cards accepted" Subject contains "adult s" Body contains "removal instructions" Subject contains "adults only" Body contains "extra income" Subject contains "be 18" Subject contains "!" AND Subject contains "$" Subject contains "18+" Subject contains "!" AND Subject contains "free" Body contains "over 18" Body contains ",000" AND Body contains "!!" Body contains "over 21" AND Body contains "$" Body contains "must be 18" Body contains "Dear friend" Body contains "adults only" Body contains "for free?" Body contains "adult web" Body contains "for free!" Body contains "must be 21" Body contains "SPECIAL PROMOTION" Body contains "adult en" Body contains "one-time mail" Body contains "18+" Subject contains "$$" Subject contains "erotic" Body contains " Subject contains "adult en" Body contains "order today" Subject contains " sex" Body contains "order now!" Body contains " xxx " Body contains "money-back guarantee" Body contains " xxx!" Body contains "100% satisfied" Subject contains "free" AND Subject contains To contains "friend@" "adult" To contains "public@" Subject contains "free" AND Subject contains etc! "sex"
  14. 14. Old New RuleMeasure by Campaign/Program Watch Your Content NEW New RuleMeasure by Subscriber Lifespan Content Isn‟t The Problem
  15. 15. CAUSE: Your Configuration • valid, meaningful, non-generic reverse DNS records. • DKIM Sender ID • No insecure relays • No more than 500 simultaneous connections • No retransmit after certain SMTP response codes
  16. 16. CAUSE: ComplaintsComplaint rates are watched very closely!
  17. 17. CAUSE: Undeliverables • Over 30% of your customers will change their email address this year. • Repeated sends to an undeliverable address is the behavior of a spammer
  18. 18. CAUSE: Spam Traps• Seemingly valid email addresses used to identify unsolicited email• Didn‟t recently opt in to your offer nor click any links If you send mail to a spam trap, you look like a spammer and may be treated as one!
  19. 19. Two Types of Spam Traps• Created – Brand new email address – Invented solely for the purpose of being a spamtrap – Seeded in a list or posted on a website so it can be „scraped‟• Recycled – Former email address of a real person, now abandoned – Held in quarantine for 1+ yrs, during that time it bounces – Reactivated as spamtrap
  20. 20. Spam Trap Operators• ISPs• For-profit co‟s selling spam-filtering services• Nonprofits and volunteer projects• Individual anti-spam vigilantes
  21. 21. How Many Spam Traps Are There?
  22. 22. Spam TrapsSpecific Addressespsbltrap@kernelnewbies.nlkevinn822@aol.comfoceisahnienoowo@oucs.ox.ac.ukjames.napier@gte.netEntire Domains@ebt1.com@mediaone.net@matthewremovemcdonald.com
  23. 23. Agenda1. The Deliverability Challenge2. The Causes3. The Solution4. The Scary Part5. Monitoring Your Deliverability
  24. 24. Old New RuleMeasure by Campaign/Program Get Whitelisted and Stop Worrying NEW New RuleMeasure by Subscriber Lifespan Keep Worrying
  25. 25. Your ContentJust watch the basics: – Use a consistent look / feel – Avoid typos & sloppy grammar – Avoid forms / invasive questions / excessive urgency – Avoid attachments, especially .exe – Properly format your HTML
  26. 26. Your Configuration Should be OK if: – You use a reputable ESP or – Your internal tech team does their homework
  27. 27. Your Configurationhttp://postmaster.aol.com/http://postmaster.msn.com/http://postmaster.yahoo.com
  28. 28. Causes of Deliverability Problems• Content (easy to fix)• Configuration (easy to fix)• Complaints• Undeliverables Current &• Spam Traps Historical “Reputation”
  29. 29. Avoid ComplaintsUnderstand complaint triggers: – Unexpected content – Unexpected frequency – Sloppy list management • Difficult (or nonexistent) unsubscribe • Not honoring unsubscribes – Unexpected changes
  30. 30. Avoid UndeliverablesGet Serious About List Cleanup!
  31. 31. • Clean Up Your List – Define “undeliverable” – Define “inactive” – Remove undeliverables & inactives routinely • Manually review your list • Do quarterly list audits • Re-engage or re-opt-in your entire list
  32. 32. List Audit
  33. 33. Avoid Spam Traps• No scraping• No list purchases Make sure 100% of your list volunteered their email address to you!
  34. 34. Agenda1. The Deliverability Challenge2. The Causes3. The Solution4. The New New Wrinkle5. Monitoring Your Deliverability
  35. 35. Spam Traps are a Spammers ProblemSpam Traps are Everyone‟s Problem
  36. 36. Remember This Slide? They all operate blacklists
  37. 37. What’s A Blacklist?
  38. 38. Blacklist
  39. 39. Blacklist• Might List Your… – Sending IP – Sending domain – Domain in links – Domain hosting images• Why? – You send spam or – You accidentally messaged a spamtrap
  40. 40. How Did It Happen?
  41. 41. How Did It Happen?1) Bad List Source or Bad Luck• Bought/traded lists• Scraped the web• Came in through a vendor (bad append, bad lead gen, etc.)• Customer made typo2) Bad List Management• Didn‟t pull out bouncing email addresses
  42. 42. How Did It Happen?3) Poisioned a. Spammer figures out a real spam trap b. Spammer deliberately registers that address everywhere c. Legit marketers now have spam trap on their list & message it d. Marketer, ESP and spam trap provider argue over what happened • Trust in spam trap provider undermined • Spammer wins
  43. 43. Remember• Spam traps & spam trap providers aren‟t „evil‟• We all benefit from the filtering services they provide
  44. 44. When You Hit A Spam TrapAlternatives…• Dump your entire list and start again• Re-opt in every address• Segment, test, segment, test, segment, test, segment, test, segment, test, segment, test…• Hire a vendor to scrub• Ignore It
  45. 45. Agenda1. The Deliverability Challenge2. The Causes3. The Solution4. The New New Wrinkle5. Monitoring Your Deliverability
  46. 46. Seeding• Add additional addresses to your mailing list representing your top domains• Sign into these „seed‟ accounts to confirm successful receipt of your messages
  47. 47. SeedingUseful as indicator, but small sample size
  48. 48. SeedingFull Deployment Observation
  49. 49. You can do it yourself!
  50. 50. The Process• ID your top domains• Observe activity by domain – Bounce rates – Click through rates – Unsubscribe rates – Open rates• Look for outliers
  51. 51. Observing BouncesDomain Messaged Bounces Bounce %AOL.COM 438,356 2,972 0.68%YAHOO.COM 395,417 2,145 0.54%HOTMAIL.COM 264,228 1,725 0.65%MSN.COM 64,037 384 0.60%COMCAST.NET 44,195 43,497 98.42%SBCGLOBAL.NET 37,901 89 0.23%BELLSOUTH.NET 28,988 57 0.20%EARTHLINK.NET 26,078 2 0.01%JUNO.COM 25,921 127 0.49%VERIZON.NET 21,750 91 0.42% • Comcast.net refusing your emails • Earthlink.net throwing out your emails
  52. 52. Observing ClicksDomain Delivered Clicks Click %AOL.COM 408,636 16,942 4.1%YAHOO.COM 373,959 469 0.1%HOTMAIL.COM 246,974 12,851 5.2%MSN.COM 60,196 4,691 7.8%SBCGLOBAL.NET 37,002 1,478 4.0%BELLSOUTH.NET 28,410 1,032 3.6%EARTHLINK.NET 26,059 897 3.4%JUNO.COM 24,643 1,929 7.8%VERIZON.NET 20,838 794 3.8%COMCAST.NET 697 48 6.9%You are landing in Yahoo.com’s Bulk Folder!
  53. 53. Full Deployment Observation Domain Has A… Conclusion High Bounce Rate Rejected Low Bounce Rate “Twilight Zone” Low Click/Unsub Rate Spam Folder Low Open Rate Spam Folder or Image Suppression Spam/Junk Bulk Folders Rejected Not Delivered nor Rejected
  54. 54. Takeaways…• Causes of Deliverability Problems – Content – Configuration – Complaints – Undeliverables – Spam Traps• It Might Happen To You – Stay Calm – Have a Plan• Establish Monitoring
  55. 55. QUESTIONS?
  56. 56. Contact Information• Karen Talavera • Synchronicity Marketing (www.synchronicitymarketing.com) • Email: karen@synchronicitymarketing.com • Phone: (561) 967-9665 • Facebook: www.facebook.com/SynchronicityMarketing • Twitter: @SyncMarketing• Austin Bliss • FreshAddress (www.freshaddress.com) • Email: austin@freshaddress.com • Phone: (617) 965-4500 • Twitter: @FreshAddress

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