How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
Did you know that an automated out of office message (OOO messages) or autoresponder vacation message can hurt your email deliverability? In fact, there are a few different ways that those automatic out of office messages can hurt your email delivery, and for that reason, we advise you not to use them at all or, if you must, to use them very, very carefully.
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
Just mention the term 'DNS', and many email senders' eyes glaze over; say "reverse DNS" or "rDNS" and a look of panic may replace the glaze. Yet, not only are these not complicated concepts, but having reverse DNS set up is crucial to having consistent, good email delivery and deliverability. So it's important to have a good understanding of what DNS and reverse DNS are, and do.
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Today I want to let you know about another free resource that we offer to the general public along with our customers: a free tool that allows you to determine whether your reverse DNS (rDNS) is set up properly.
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
Do you need to get consent from your customers before adding them to your B2C email marketing list? Building your B2C email list with consent is very important to your bottom line. (B2C stands for “business to consumer” or “business to customer”.) There are many examples of when you can do something, but perhaps shouldn’t, and nowhere is this more evident than in what is permitted by the CAN-SPAM Federal email marketing law. For the purposes of this article in particular we are going to be talking about adding a customer’s email address to your marketing mailing list without asking them first, and hopefully convincing you that you should always get consent before adding them to your B2C email list.
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
Do you know what your DMARC policy is, or if you even have a DMARC record? Of the authentication mechanisms (DMARC, SPF, DKIM) SPF and DKIM are important resources to authenticate different aspects of your email flow, but it's important to have a DMARC record stating your DMARC policy as well. This is because your DMARC policy (contained in your DMARC record which is a text record within your DNS records) tells email receivers what they should do with email that claims to be from you but that fails SPF and/or DKIM.
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
Do not use a noreply email address in the email you send out; just don't do it. Don't send out email with a noreply email address as the 'from' email address, don't send out email from an address that can't accept replies, just don't go near any type of noreply email address at all. Besides being the opposite of best practices, think about what happens if you reply to a noreply email. When someone to whom you send email doesn't notice the noreply email address from which you sent the email, they will reply and either get a bounce (frustrating) or get no response (also frustrating). And if they do notice the noreply email address, that on its own will frustrate them. Why would you want to frustrate your customers, leads, or others to whom you are sending email? But beyond that, there are important technical reasons to not use noreply email addresses. Here they are.
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
Of the current email authentication mechanisms, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, DKIM seems to be the most confusing for people (this is why we offer a human-powered DKIM checker, contact us for a free DKIM check). What is a DKIM selector? What are the DKIM tags? How does one create a DKIM record? Is there a good DKIM record generator? Here is a plain English explanation of DKIM, and a breakdown of the anatomy of a DKIM record.
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The one-click unsubscribe law (sometimes referred to as the "one-step unsubscribe rule") is part of CAN-SPAM. The CAN-SPAM unsubscribe rules include that a recipient be able to effectuate their opt-out with a one-click unsubscribe, whether that is by replying to the email or by visiting a single web page. The one-click unsubscribe law is part of our Federal law, and so applies to any and all mailing lists and mailing list email.
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
SMTP codes can be so confusing, especially those SMTP response codes and SMTP error codes like the dreaded SMTP error 550. These are often returned in bounced email, such as "550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable" or "550 5 2 1 mail from refused spam site." They are in response to SMTP commands that have 'gone wrong' between your email server that sent the email, and the receiving email server that is unable to deliver it (or refuses to deliver it) for some reason. But what exactly do they mean? Why should you care and what should you do? And why do we say that SMTP error 550 is dreaded?
How Out of Office Messages Can Hurt Your Email Deliverability
"Which copyright date should be on a website?" someone asked us recently. Webmasters are often confused about which date they should use as their copyright date on a website. In fact, a whole lot of sites have the wrong copyright date on their website. As an Internet policy institute, and because our CEO is an Internet policy lawyer, we often get questions unrelated to our core offering of email sender certification and deliverability services, and we are happy to answer them if we can. The answer to this one is actually really easy, and will make perfect sense to you once we explain it.

We are ISIPP SuretyMail, the original certified sender program and email deliverability service. Learn more here
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