You may or may not have heard the furor over Spamza - the website where anybody can enter any email address, and have that email address instantly signed up for hundreds of newsletter mailing lists. Of course, everybody is very upset because this site facilitates people getting spammed. BUT, there is also a very important lesson here for email marketers, newsletter publishers, and just about any other email sender who maintains a mailing list.
We recently received notice of changes to the RoadRunner feedback loop program. These change will affect anyone who is currently receiving the Road Runner feedback loop, as well as anyone who applies for the Road Runner FBL program in the future.
This came into my inbox today. This is an example of just about everything we tell you not to do here. And this is a company that is going to have serious deliverability problems.
Three things happened within the last 24 hours which lead me to feel that today we need to talk about email personalization.
Microsoft Inbox Properties to Start Rejecting and Honoring P=Reject DMARC Policies
Wondering how to avoid spam filters and your email going to spam? Here's a very basic thing to remember: one of the main reasons that spam filters, and even people, may mistake your email for spam is because, in fact, the content of your email makes your email look like spam. Remember that old saw, that "content is king"? Well, content can also be the joker, where the joke is on you. Because if your content is garish or gaudy, or full of lots of big images and little text, then instead of getting the royal treatment, it may go straight to the spam folder.
Many are asking me what do I think about - and indeed, how do I feel about - this morning's announcement that ReturnPath is acquiring Habeas, the company which I helped to found. And, was I surprised?
Microsoft Inbox Properties to Start Rejecting and Honoring P=Reject DMARC Policies
One of the most frustrating things for commercial and volume email senders is that different ISPs have different standards for what they require in order to ensure that your email gets delivered. On top of that, many ISPs don't seem to adhere to the agreed industry standards in terms of how their receiving mail servers interact with the sending mail servers - for example five different ISPs may use five different SMTP error codes when they bounce an email because the email address doesn't exist, even though people believe there to be one generally accepted code for that situation (along the lines of "550 user unknown").
A couple of things happened today which reminded me that a) we're all in this together, and b) not everybody realizes or feels that we're all in this together. What I mean is that legitimate email senders and ISPs really want the same thing: they want to not send or deliver email to people who really don't want it, and they want email that is wanted to be delivered to the people who do want it.
Microsoft Inbox Properties to Start Rejecting and Honoring P=Reject DMARC Policies
Recommend a Friend email, Refer a Friend, Tell a Friend (TAF), Share with a Friend, Forward to a Friend requests, whatever you want to call them, they can negatively impact your email deliverability and online reputation. Generally Tell a Friend links or words encouraging people to Refer a Friend or to share your email with a friend don't really generate much quality traffic, but they sure can bring deliverability trouble. In fact, there are a couple of different ways that exhorting your readers to "tell a friend" can cause you problems.
Here's a quandry. CAN-SPAM, best practices, and just being a good mailer all require that you have a working unsubscribe link. But, many spam filters - including some widely deployed spam filters, consider words like "click here to unsubscribe" or "click here to stop receiving these maillings" as an indicator that the email containing the phrase may be spam. So what's an email sender to do?

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