Category Archives: Email Delivery Tracking

Mail Monitor Spam Tracking: The Tools You Need to Optimize Email Authentication

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Product Features, Services | No Comments

spam trackingEmail spams are common – these unsolicited messages are responsible for deteriorating the overall experience of subscribers and defaming email marketing as a whole.  The worst part about them is that they are often unavoidable and are repetitive disruptions for end users.

While most of these email spam messages are overtly commercial in nature, there also are many with disguised links in them that may seem to be from a familiar website but, in reality, are leading to phishing websites or sites containing malware.  These type of spam emails can also have malware as embedded scripts or attached executable corrupt files, commonly known as Trojans.

The situation of email spam has worsened in the last decade. These days, botnets are commonly used to send out spam.  These botnets are basically networks of virus-infected computer systems created with the sole purpose of spreading viruses like wildfire, from one user and one system to another.

Most of the spammers out there collect email addresses from chat rooms, customer lists, websites, and newsgroups.  Many viruses are used to harvest users’ address books.  These lists are then commonly sold to other spammers.

All of this has made it imperative for professional email marketers and ethical online businesses to integrate solid spam tracking to ensure their business and subscribers avoid this trouble.  With Mail Monitor’s Spam Tracking features, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands and will not be impacted by these issues.

 

Spam Tracking: Know What’s Getting Flagged

If your emails don’t make it to the inbox, they will not get read.  Therefore, you need to check your email content before sending it out to your lists.  Thanks to our years of experience in the field, Mail Monitor knows how to spot these types of spammers.  We will check your content for specific terms and various elements to ensure no links are leading to flagged websites and double check the HTML coding to verify that it won’t raise a red flag with any of the leading email providers.

 

Takes Actions Before Getting Flagged

There’s a reason why so many market leaders trust us with identifying any issues that can get them in hot waters.   Our foolproof content testing and analysis features will protect all of your emails from getting flagged.

We will run your email content through all of the common spam filters to get spam scores and then created itemized feedback for you.  Most of the times, this feedback will point out any specific areas in the email that should be changed and improved for an optimum email marketing performance.

 

Authentication Testing

Each time you send us an email, we will use our spam filter testing reports to check your authentication.  This will help you see on an individual email campaign level if your emails are passing SPF and DKIM authentication.

What more assurance that you have the right spam tracking in place?  You can sign up today for a free trial and see what we’re all about!

How and Why to Establish an Email Deliverability Audit

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Marketing Email Deliverability, Services, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Email Deliverability AuditAre you worried about your email strategies? Is there uncertainty around the effectiveness of your messages or even worse, are you sure your emails are even reaching the intended recipients?  The answer to all these questions is simple: In order to be sure, you need to perform an email deliverability audit.

When performed quarterly, an email deliverability audit is helpful in improving the performance of your email marketing campaigns. While the term “audit” can seem to be broad, meaning a variety of tasks, in common terms, it is the overall assessment of your email marketing processes.  You can think of it as your company’s way of putting the email marketing campaigns under a microscope and figuring out what does and doesn’t work.

 

Why Should You Conduct An Email Deliverability Audit?

An email deliverability audit should be performed for several reasons, with the core purpose of evaluating one or a group of the following issues:

  • Security
  • Reputation
  • Content Quality
  • Deliverability
  • Effectiveness

In most cases, an audit will cover most of the areas above, with specific issues identified as well as their apt solutions. If performed correctly, an audit should also reveal all areas where your email marketing is working effectively.

Additionally, it is important to note that while any quarterly deliverability audit can reveal a variety of problems, some of the most common ones to look for include:

 

How Can You Establish A Quarterly Email Deliverability Audit?

Okay, so now you know all the great things an email deliverability audit can do for you. I’m sure your next question is: How can I perform an email audit for my email campaigns? Not a problem — leave that to us! When MailMonitor performs your email audit, we cover the following areas:

  1. Perform an Interview – First off, you need to become the Sherlock Holmes of your company and do some detective work. Talk to your staff and team members, especially those involved directly with your email marketing campaigns in any way, including content generation and technical executions. Also engage with your clients and contact lists in gathering useful information, asking them of their experiences with your emails, including surveys, polls, and questionnaires.
  2. Perform a Process Analysis – Have a list prepared on all the processes that are involved in an email campaign’s evolution, from the initial concept to delivering the finished product. Prepare a flow chart with timelines if that helps. Some of the likely parts In your process analysis list will include:
  • Concept Ideation and Creation
  • Subject Line Creation
  • Header Creation
  • Text and Format of the Main Content
  • Message Template Design
  • List Acquisition and Management
  • Email Delivery
  • Testing and Evaluation of Deliverability
  1. Gather Useful Information – This includes studying your samples, using historical data for evaluation and tracking trends to predict any possible changes. Look at your email campaigns with a critical eye, from a neutral standpoint. You might also want to engage with your ISP or email service provider in getting you any useful information that you can use.
  2. Have a Reputation Analysis – You need to be critical with this, as your company reputation can be seriously damaged by your email campaign’s reputation. Bad emails from your end, even few, can get you straight to the spam lists, destroying any chances of salvaging a decent delivery rate. You need to be regular at identifying your email reputation and quick with cleaning it up. Feedback loops are a great way to track your reputation.
  3. Compile Existing Delivery Data – After all, investigations have been performed and process understood, you need to compile your data. You need to have a strong focus on your next email campaigns. Monitor all steps identified and watch out for any pitfalls and/or trouble hotspots. Some of the crucial type of data to compile includes:
  • Bounce Rate, Open Rate, and CTR
  • Text-Only Mail vs. HTML Ratio
  • Opt-Out Figures

We understand that all of this can be overwhelming and to put things on autopilot, we recommend that you try the MailMonitor Email Deliverability Tool. Our deliverability suite has you covered, reporting you in real time on dozens of ISPs, giving the much-needed visibility to the delivery performance at all major ISPs worldwide. You can sign up for 30-day Free Trial, with no contracts or hidden fees.

You’ve Been Email Blacklisted….Now What?

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Email BlacklistedIn some of our previous blogs, we’ve reviewed the reasons why you might have ended up in a blacklist.  The reasons may vary, but typically the service provider will inform you as to the specifics around why you might have been blacklisted.  So now that you’re email blacklisted, let’s discuss options for how to get yourself back in good standings, or whitelisted.  

The first step is to establish what type of blacklist you have landed on. You can discover this information by running a blacklist test on your domain name and/or IP address inside your MailMonitor account. This check will show you all places you are currently being blacklisted.

Once you have the list you will then need to begin the arduous task of going through each of the blacklist(s) and determining the requirements and procedures for removal. Some blacklist removals are as easy as simply filling out a removal form; however, for most, you will need to fix out the fundamental problems and wait it out.

Blacklist monitoring should be reviewed daily as it can occur at any time and interrupt your email campaign deliveries.  The MailMonitor Blacklist Monitoring product will send you notifications when your IPs or domains are listed.   This way you can get an immediate jump on resolution and delisting.

If you use an ESP (email service provider) to send your email and have a dedicated IP, you are solely blacklisted due to sending and/or list practices.  You may have acquired spam traps and are sending to them, or have other issues due to not using double opt-in practices when sending.  You’ll need to diagnose the issue, take actions to resolve the issue, AND reach out to the blacklist provider to request removal.  If you have an explanation and explain the steps taken to resolve the issue, you are likely to have much better luck with getting off the blacklist and keeping it that way.

If you use an ESP (email service provider) to send your email and use a shared IP pool, your ESP *should* be aware of an IP blacklisting before you are and work to resolve it.  Regardless, you should definitely monitor your domain to make sure it is not blacklisted through your MailMonitor account.

To diagnose the problem you may want to take out some time to go through our blogs on 6 Best Practices for Email List Acquisition and An Introductory Guide to Spam Traps.

Email Delivery Tips for Marketing to iCloud Users

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Marketing Email Deliverability | No Comments

Email DeliveryiCloud Mail is a dedicated email delivery, storage and send service available to users of Apple/Mac products.  Considered by many users as a way of “de-googling” themselves, iCloud allows you to send, receive and organize emails using the Mail app on iCloud.com, Mac systems or other Apple products using iOS,  like the iconic iPhone and iPod touch series.

An iCloud email addresses can end with @icloud.com, @mac.com or @me.com, depending on when a user started using iCloud.  iCloud allows users to have a singular platform from which they can send and receive all of their emails, manage files, photos, videos, and music, and create system back-ups.  Staying true to the typical foolproof security features offered by all Apple, the iCloud is one of the safest email service providers, making it difficult for not just the spammers, but also ethical email marketers to find a way inside the recipient’s inbox.

 

Email Delivery: FeedBack Loops

FeedBack Loops (FBLs) are great at helping email marketers identify underperforming campaigns based on a variety of factors such as the number of complaints received by users.  Unfortunately, unlike most in the industry, iCloud doesn’t offer FBL.  They encourage bulk email senders to make sure their subscriber lists are well-managed and used in ethical manners, ensuring that only engaged, opted-in subscribers are receiving the emails.  Apple recommends marketers follow the rules defined below:

  • Review email lists on a regular basis and suppresses any inactive or disengaged subscribers from the mailing list.
  • Remove any email addresses that bounce consistently.
  • Honor all user requests for unsubscribing as soon as possible.

 

Email Delivery: Whitelists

Unlike the other leading email service providers, iCloud does not offer Whitelist functionality to bulk senders. In fact, according to their official website, they track the sender’s reputation using various mechanisms, including IP and domain reputations, user feedback and content checks.  All filtering decisions are then made by their team based on the predefined list of characteristics.

 

Email Delivery: Postmaster Tools

The iCloud Mail Postmaster Information page is a great resource for email marketers and bulk senders searching for additional information on the tools and features available from iCloud, as well as tips and tricks to better manage and optimize email campaigns.  It touches on issues like email authentication, DMARC and delivery tips.

 

Best Practices for Bulk Email Senders

The iCloud Mail Team identified the following as their top best practices to keep in mind when sending emails to their customers:

  • Send only to recipients you have explicitly given you the permission to reach out to them.
  • Have clear and visible ‘unsubscribe’ button in your emails.
  • Make sure that your emails are compliant with RFC 5322.
  • Ensure that you publish reverse DNS with your domain to guide us in identifying your IP addresses.
  • Use consistent sending IP addresses but do segment marketing and transactional streams.
  • Make sure your subject lines, email content and email addresses reflect the business and its purpose.
  • Make use of the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to authenticate your emails.
  • Track all temporary as well as permanent SMTP errors from the mail servers and take actions accordingly.
  • Never reactivate unsubscribed users.

Apple iCloud also recommends visiting the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) website and have a look at their best communication practices.