Best deliverability check list yet!

Email deliverability checklist: Sending email is not the same as delivering.This popped up on Jordie’s Email Vendor Selection recently and is a must read and bookmark bit of content!

Email deliverability checklist: Sending email is not the same as delivering
by Linda Misauer

This is a fully comprehensive deliverability check list. Linda has kindly split it up into 5 sections so marketers can look at the relevant section to them them depending on their role:

  1. Email Deliverability
  2. Sender Authentication & whitelisting
  3. Email deliverability and Content
  4. Email deliverability and Testing
  5. Email deliverability Reporting and Monitoring

Have a quick read now, definitely book mark it, refer to it when ever you do a campaign and make sure you can tick off as much as physically possible – especially second 2: you might be surprised how many of these get over looked and the difference they can make to your overall inbox placement.

When postmasters subscribe to marketing emails

A fair few lists I’ve had to refuse in the 18 months have had a increasing number of postmaster addresses on.

Now the general consensus is that people who are actual postmasters, as a job, will not subscribe to emails.

Subsequently having them on a email list is unlikely to suggest permission. Also if a postmaster gets an unsolicited email they are likely to use their postmaster powers to block future email from that sender not only to their address but also the network the office network they manage and even an entire ISP.

So part of my list checking process is to look for email to postmaster@ addresses, I then presume that the list is bought and the broker is a dirty scraper or stupid appended trying to mug people off  = parasite.

I then reject the list and possibly even the sender for having pony data and for the audacity of polluting my laptop with it.

However, recently I’ve had to change my tolerance levels of postmaster address from 0% to about 0.001%!

The reason?

Plusnet!plusnet

Yeah, you ‘erd me, Plusnet!

That northern ISP with the mildly funny adverts. Not because they bought loads of data and spammed the nation a couple of years ago, not that but something far more ridiculous!

They force residential users to make a postmaster@<username>.plus.com email address.

These residential users, have no context of what postmaster@ means, they think it’s nice and novel being the postmaster of their own domain.

Subsequently I have to assume that this becomes that family’s main user’s email address, which they then use to do all sorts of things, like apply for loans & credit cards and probably some on-line gambling as well as newsletters and ecommerce.

So now I can’t put a ki-bosh on anything with a postmaster address and I have to actually investigate them.

I am very inconvenienced by this action from Plusnet, being an ISP I would have thought they’d know better, grrr.

So the answer is: no, postmasters don’t sign-up form emails, but sometimes people who shouldn’t have a postmaster address are told to make one by their ISP and they use it like a normal one.

So, dime bars all round…

Spectacular response to a Facebook rant from Bodyform, was it staged?

On the 8th of October some bloke called Richard did a giant rant comment on BodyForm’s Facebook page. It’s a very funny rant indeed, so funny I’m suspicious that it was part of a marketing trick from Bodyform themselves. You have to go and read the full post yourself but a few of my highlights include:

“as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years … at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things … I mean bike riding parachuting … this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! … my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin…”

At this point (17/10/2012 9:18 BST) it’s got 86,877 likes and 3,731 comments.

About a week later, ie: 14.30 yesterday Bodyform came back with possibly the greatest response I’ve ever seen to a social media rant, with a whole video from an actress playing Caroline Williams the CEO of Bodyform. I don’t even know if the CEO of Bodyform is actually called Caroline Williams or if the entire character is fictional and I can’t be bothered to find out either.

At this point – 20 hours later, it’s got 2,279 likes and 218 comments.

During the video she admits they have lied about the happy times and the adventures, all the time sipping a glass of blue water, a very nice touch. She then goes onto to apologise, describes the troubles men have in handling the reality of it and gives full credit to Richard for pulling the plug on the illusion and forcing men everywhere to confront the reality. She then finishes with a quick ‘fart’, looks at the camera and says “oops, sorry Richard, you did know that we did that too? didn’t you?” Utterly Priceless!

You must watch it to really get the full experience, it’s only 1.45 mins long. You can also watch it on Facebook.

The entire video is so well done and it is of course a concept that both men and women can understand for different reasons and it is very funny. So funny that I reckon they’d thought of the video response first, probably quite a while ago and had been sitting on it waiting for the best way to use it. I reckon they decided that the content was unsuitable for TV as well as being a waste of money due to not having any call to action. Subsequently Facebook would be the obvious choice as a viral platform to show character of the brand.

It’s very well done, obviously lots of people believe it is all real and I spose it could be but I don’t think it is?

What do you think?
Was it real?
Are there any other brand responses to social comment that are as good or better than this?
Feel free to tweet something #rantresponse

 

The web is full of write ups of this but one caught my eye in possibly the worst way where they have used picture from the movie Carrie to help illustrate their blog post, it’s funny but also a little stomach churning 😉

How did Steve Jobs subscribe to my emails?

For a little while last year I kept getting Spamcop reports triggered by emails to steve@apple.com and stevejobs@apple.com.
Of course there is always the chance that Steve Jobs himself had signed up for updates on used cars in Hampshire, however unlikely that is, a few later occurrences were impossible due to being after October 5th 2011.

As I would usually, I spent the time tracing that email address’s route to the list sent; on one occasion, the used car one, everything had been collected by the same form on their own web-site. It appeared that the way the form was structured made it look like people had to enter in an email address in order to get their used car quote, when in fact it was completely optional. So people who wanted their quote would not see any relevance in supplying their email address and due to being forced to enter it, felt they would get on some sort of spam list, subsequently they just made an email address up.

dr-evil-spamThe same thing occurred for a few Airports who have rolled out free WiFi but force you sign-up for emails in order to use it; according to many lists, the late Steve Jobs got around a lot after his untimely death.

My favourite example is Credit sites, where they need to do a credit check on your to approve you for a loan or something. They all ask you for your mobile number and your email address; They don’t need an email address or mobile number to get your credit rating and see if they can approve you, they ask because they want to force you onto their list so that can make loads of cash flogging your contact details, which would then have 3rd party opt-in for ever.

Essentially, not all list building practices that sound like they will build your list may build the list in a good way. Some strategies have people are forced or sneaked on to lists through mandatory email fields without relevance or hidden Ts and Cs on pages giving something for nothing. This would be because some people think that the number of records is more important than the quality and engagement levels of the list.

Not all people are tricked by this and make up email addresses to get to the next page and not be ‘spammed’… if your lists has addresses like:
asdf@yahoo.com, spam@gmail.com, junk@live.com, nothanks@yahoo.com, no@hotmail.com,
me@privacy.net, thefield@home.com, sdfsdf@sdfsdf.com, 123@123.net, qwerty@com.com:
It means someone has made up an address to quickly get what they want without consequence. You might notice a repeat of “sdf” this is because most people are right handed and use their right hand for the mouse, so the left hits the 3 easiest characters which are ‘s’, ‘d’ & ‘f’. There are many more frequently used patterns of address and these are some of the most common.

ISPs and spam protection software companies know this too and many of the common ones are spam traps. They know that these addresses are not owned by people but get hit a lot and why, they then monitor some of them like spam traps so emailing them can either hurt your reputation or just get you blocked.

Some of the common domains used are owned by spam protection software companies to further help them blacklist IP and domains.

So the moral of the story is: consider how people get on your list, consider the relevance of the emails you send them based on how they got on your list. If you have obvious signs of forced sign-ups re-think that sign-up experience. Also have a look at your existing list and consider cleaning off the forced addresses that will have never opened an email from you.