PowerMTA interview on twitter: email marketing deliverability awesomeness

[tweetmeme source= “getintheinbox” only_single=false]
Port25 did a very cheeky little twitter interview last night (19:00 UK-Time) where Fred Tabsharani (@tabsharani) interviewed Russ Fletcher (@fletchster) about the up coming V4.0 of Port25’s magnificent #PowerMTA.

After two questions a couple of people butted in with their own questions, My alter-ego asked:
Q: “Hi @fletchster have you added any new features that maybe users have been asking/waiting for?”

A: fletchster: “We are always collecting feedback. 1 new feature born out of multiple requests is feedback loop response management.”

This is a big deal! While many senders large enough to need a PowerMTA box may have the technical skills to handle their own feedback loop management it does mean yet another system. You have your CRM/Profiling database, CMS, Email Software to tie that together and then PMTA to distribute. Normally you would have to manually bolt on the feedback loop management to the CRM/Profiling Database – OR if you have an ESP, that will look after it.
Having PMTA look after it could be a massive weight off.

Also, we’ve seen that some ISPs use different standards to respond to hard bounces, eg: some will use 554 for a spam complaint & 550 for user unknown and others will do it the other way around. It is annoying, even more so when one swaps without telling anyone! fletchster tells us that PMTA has the ability to have rules to handle different ISPs’ codes accordingly – genius!

The final question from tabsharani was:
Q: “What are the most effective and efficient ways to establish IP reputation, in our current deliverability landscape?”

This was the big question, and has us all on the edge of our seat, especially when tabsharani forgot to hash tag the question, so fletchster answered it before people following the just the hashtag saw what the question was (you probably had to be there though – in fact you definitely did)…

A: “In the current landscape, senders should:
1) Use a consistent IP address which is what providers will be monitoring over time.
2) They should also sign mail with DKIM to properly verify sending identity.
3) They should also make sure that FBLs and bounces are properly handled from remote gateways.
4) Senders need to improve content targeting to increase recipient interaction with their messaging as mailbox providers are starting to monitor such activity as a measure of legitimacy”

The usual 3 were listed and as convention has shown, the new 4th aspect of content targeting is there. It’s good that there is consistency.

Then we went onto the Q&A:
Q: MichaelWeisel: How do you see the industry changing re: reputation & deliverability & what are the most important strategies to use?

A: fletchster: I believe the biggest change is that mailbox providers are now looking at interaction metrics as another data point to use for assessing sender reputation and legitimacy. As such, senders will have to re-think their creative prod. processes.
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Q: MichaelWeisel:
We have been pushing transactional to help build IP reputation, thoughts and reassurance this is a good idea?

A: fletchster: I’m not sure deliverability is determined in a transactional v. en masse sense. Rather, transactional content also argue that the way transactional mail is sent is inherently less likely to trip volume filters providers may have in place.

To which MichaelWeisel elaborated: Thought process is, by using existing forms for transactional yields higher % of “good” email addresses = better deliverability.

– – –
It was really good thing to do, I think the build up was a little quiet so the attendance was not as strong as it could have been. I only found out about it 5 mins before it started when I saw tabsharani’s tweet from half an hour earlier.

I think Port25 have the opportunity to really help good senders send good email and help improve deliverability overall. Giving people that opportunity to manage the feedback loops from PMTA and better handle the bounces supports the latest point that senders should focus on the people who really want the content. If you only send emails people genuinely want, they are more likely to get it when they want it and can then share it for you.

Well done guys. Apparently the full transcript will be available on emailexprt.org very soon – look out for the retweets!

Correction – as of 03:50 this morning (gmt – 05/08/2010) this post is the transcript 🙂
“Transcript released from @Port25Solutions interview yesterday. http://bit.ly/aU7FxI #PowerMTA”

Also there is a Twapper Keeper of the entire tweeting: http://twapperkeeper.com/hashtag/PowerMTA

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If you are a big sender, your volumes probably won’t warrant a pay per email ASP solution, check out Pure360 Unlimited: you can host the software on your own hardware, behind your own firewall, with PMTA. Pure360 will manage it with you and if you like, they can train people up on the way so you can take control of PMTA after 12-18 months and have full control over your deliverability. If you have the resources and the knowledge, Pure360 will manage the software for you and you manage the PMTA box. On top of that, the model means that you don’t pay for emails!

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