Category Archives: Email Delivery Tracking

List Cleaning Services 101

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Email marketing can be a walk on a minefield if you come unprepared. Thresholds for bounced emails, unsubscribe requests and spam complaints are set by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), corporate email protection services and anti-spam groups. If your email campaign has a high rate of any of these metrics, then there will be a good chance of harming your sending reputation and getting your emails sent to the bulk folder or blocked altogether. The pickle is that a lot of account suspensions actually happen due to the stale or old email addresses in your list, that are never used by the owner, and not by any violations on your part.

Below we will tell you about List Cleaning services, what they can do for you and when to use them.

What is List Cleaning?

List Cleaning is a third-party service that scans your email lists to identify and filter out invalid addresses. It is also commonly known as List Cleansing or Email Verification. While a lot of companies offer List Cleaning, not a lot of them come with reliable accuracy.

It is also worth noting here that most of the List Cleaning services will not remove the invalid addresses on their own; instead they will detect the addresses not likely to be successfully delivered, and rely on you to remove them from the list yourself.

 

When Should I Clean My List?

There is no black and white answer to this, as some email delivery services like MailChimp advocate not relying entirely on List Cleaning in a majority of cases. However, if you are faced with the challenge of bad email delivery, then you should always choose a reliable third-party service like BriteVerify. They claim to offer a reduction of bounce rate by 98%.

What cleaning a list will surely do is help you get rid of all those stale addresses. However, you should never expect List Cleansing services to be a one-stop solution to all your worries, as it is not going to help you with issues like spam traps, blacklists or abuse complaints.

List Cleaning can be very effective if you already have a record or subscriber permissions and you are following the best practices for email list acquisition.

Region Specific Seed Lists Added to Deliverability Tracking

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

Different marketers often need to look at different sets of deliverability data depending on the client location and list ISP distribution. Up until now, each Mail Monitor report would display every ISP available for tracking. This is not always ideal and many of you have requested more control over your reports.

We’re happy to announce that each Mail Monitor account now comes with the ability to specify the region or regions to be tracked. To choose regions, simply check or uncheck checkboxes next the the regions on the setup page. Here is a peek at the changes to the setup page:

Region Specific Seed Lists

Region Specific Seed Lists

When adjusting regions, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • When adding regions, make sure to download the seed list again and add it to the outgoing distribution list
  • Campaign reports are updated for a 72 hour period after first received. If removing regions, reports sent within the last 72 hours can be inacurate for the removed regions.

SNDS Tracking and Automation

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Microsoft provides a fantastic amount of data through their SNDS program (Smart Network Data Services) that can help marketers responsibly monitor their sending reputation to Hotmail / Outlook.com email addresses. That should include just about everyone sending email. The data is free and any sender that uses a dedicated IP can sign up at:

https://postmaster.live.com/snds/

Performance and Enterprise Mail Monitor accounts now include the ability to automate and collect that data for review. All that is required is to have an SNDS account set up that is already tracking IP data. The Reputation tab of qualified Mail Monitor accounts walk you through the rest. This is a great tool for troubleshooting and monitoring delivery to Outlook.com and Hotmail.

Hotmail / Outlook.com supports IMAP….FINALLY

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

Just recently Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) began supporting IMAP.

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/archive/2013/09/12/outlook-com-now-with-imap.aspx

What is IMAP and what does this mean for Mail Monitor accounts?

IMAP allows applications to connect and read email from any folder inside an email account. The other method of connection is POP3 which only allows access to the inbox of email accounts. When Microsoft only allowed POP3 access this meant that Mail Monitor only had visibility into the inbox for delivery reporting. That was fine if your email was delivered to the inbox but if your email was delivered to the Spam/Bulk folder it showed up as missing which was often confusing. Missing at Outlook.com could mean blocked completely or delivered to the spam folder. Those are very different things.

Now that IMAP is supported we can see right into the bulk/spam folder and report on delivery more accurately to Hotmail and Outlook.com accounts. Well done Microsoft…finally!

Mail Monitor Adds Blacklist Monitoring to Product Suite

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Each Mail Monitor account now includes blacklist tracking so that sending server IP addresses can be checked against common industry blacklists. Each IP added to the account administration area will be checked once daily. Results within the last 30 days will be summarized within each account.

Standard accounts will allow 1 IP to be tracked. Small Business accounts will include tracking for 2 IP addresses. Performance accounts will include tracking for up to 10 IP addresses.

Delivery Duration – the Forgotten Email Deliverability Metric

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

Every marketer and business owner is interested in knowing if their marketing messages are reaching their target audience. Did it make it to the Inbox? Get caught in a spam filter? Get filtered out before even making it that far? Knowing where the message lands is the essential metric to measure email deliverability, but it doesn’t fully measure delivery effectiveness.

Knowing when the email reaches the target audience is also important. Product launches, promotional campaigns, feature enhancements, and fix releases all require time sensitive delivery to a target audience. Just recently we had a client that ran a short promotional sale and sent out multiple emails announcing it. The problem was that a major email service provider – one that involved nearly 10% of their distribution list, deferred their email campaign by 24 hours due to some email content issues. Only a portion of the company’s target audience received the limited time promotion and the effectiveness of the promotion was hurt badly. Customers that received the email late were confused and frustrated.

Each email provider handles delivery differently, but holding and deferring bulk email delivery is one method we have seen often. From the data we have collected, Yahoo appears to use this method the most often.

This is one of the reasons we feel duration tracking is critical and something we have included in every level of the Mail Monitor suite of email deliverability tools. Below is a screenshot showing the data provided.

Email Deliverability Duration Report
The duration report breaks down the length of time between the first and last email received by email provider and email campaign.

Next time you evaluate your email deliverabilty, don’t forget to check delivery duration.