Today’s guest post comes from my Kickbox colleague, Jennifer Nespola Lantz. Don’t forget to check out her posts over on the Kickbox blog. Take it away, Jen!Yesterday, a colleague shared a link, a much anticipated link, a link that adds clarity to a topic that caused some hair to catch on fire (mine in particular), some ire and anger, much speculation, and little support. That topic: Gmail’s Political Pilot Program or as Gmail has coined it Gmail Verified Sender Program Pilot (some speculate there are reasons for this, but let me learn my lesson and not talk about that just yet).I was hot on the topic when I first read about it and quick to comment judge. I was also quick to jump right into this newly shared link, filled with (what I hoped was) answers to some lingering questions. And what an enjoyable read it was. Not because it was
Here is the scenario. Maybe you’ve just gotten a bounce message that looks like this:Aug 25 11:20:24 s1 postfix/smtp: 98299221BB: to=, relay=gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com[188.8.131.52]:25, delay=1.2, delays=0.04/0.77/0.2/0.21, dsn=5.7.1, status=bounced (host gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com[184.108.40.206] said: 550-5.7.1 [220.127.116.11] Our system has detected that this message is not RFC 550-5.7.1 5322 compliant: duplicate headers. To reduce the amount of spam sent 550-5.7.1 to Gmail, this message has been blocked. Please review 550 5.7.1 RFC 5322 specifications for more information. j6-20020a637a46000000b0042b3a763e76si3563504pgn.127 – gsmtp (in reply to end of DATA command))Or perhaps it looks like this:Aug 25 12:48:59 s1 postfix/smtp: C90492056B: to=, relay=aspmx.l.google.com[18.104.22.168]:25, delay=0.69, delays=0.08/0/0.39/0.22, dsn=5.7.1, status=bounced (host aspmx.l.google.com[22.214.171.124] said: 550-5.7.1 [126.96.36.199] Our system has detected that this message is not RFC 550-5.7.1 5322 compliant: 550-5.7.1 Multiple ‘From’ headers found. 550-5.7.1 To reduce the amount of spam sent to Gmail, this message has been 550-5.7.1 blocked. Please visit 550-5.7.1 https://support.google.com/mail/?p=RfcMessageNonCompliant 550 5.7.1 and review RFC 5322 specifications for more information.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately explaining what exactly seedlist testing is, how it works, and why it’s valuable. I like it. I have a bias, after all, in that my day job is product manager for a suite of deliverability tools, and that includes seedlist-based inbox testing (shameless plug: find more info about the Kickbox Deliverability Suite here). Occasionally somebody will tell me that they’ve heard that seedlist testing can’t be trusted or that it’s not useful now in 2022, because mailbox provider spam filters are so individualistically focused on user feedback. Yeah…they have a point…sort of. But not quite.It is very true that spam filters are very user-centric. Gmail, in particular. Your Gmail spam filter is different than mine. Gmail tracks individual user feedback and tailors the spam filtering experience, if you will, based on the different inputs that you and I provide to it. That means
Over on the Validity blog, my friend Travis Murray has provided an update on the current status of that Gmail pilot program to allow some political senders to in theory be able to bypass some spam filters. Read it and be informed.The whole thing makes me itch. There are just too many apples to give everybody one bite, as I mentioned before.And My colleague Jennifer Nespola Lantz worries that this “is a flat degradation of trust for the end user” and I concur.So…what comes next here? Get ready to start sliding down that slippery slope here, folks.
Are you getting inundated with calendar spam? Are you annoyed that events from spammers show up on your calendar automatically, even if you didn’t accept the invite and RSVP to attend? Google now has a setting that will configure it to auto-add events to your calendar only if the invitation comes from someone you know. CNBC’s Ashley Capoot explains how to turn this on.
Jennifer Nespola Lantz’s recent post about Gmail potentially offering political senders a fast pass method to the inbox has gotten me thinking about the spam fight we went through back in the olden times. Before CAN-SPAM, domain reputation and deliverability best practices. There was a time back in those bad old days when the marketing industry mega-group Direct Marketing Association tried to convince the world that opt-out was the best path for email marketing. The arguments as to why this absolutely horseshit plan was supposed to be okay varied; free speech, growth of the economy, support for small businesses, whatever. Everybody should be allowed the chance to hit your inbox at least once, they said; and then you could just tell the sender; each sender, individually, to stop emailing you. They loved touting two things. First was an “opt-out registry” service called e-MPS. Smart netizens knew that allowing this to proceed would
Today’s guest post comes from my colleague Jennifer Nespola Lantz, VP of Industry Relations and Deliverability at Kickbox, keeping us updated on a potentially upcoming Gmail spam filtering process change that is likely to have a great impact upon all of us. Take it away, Jen!On June 28th, I saw a news article by Axios reporting that “Google moves to keep campaign messages out of spam.” At first glance I was very surprised about the statement knowing all Gmail does to protect users and how hands off they tend to be (outside of the machines doing their magic.) What I originally defined as campaign messages was coming from a too in-the-weeds mental dictionary about email production. I always coined campaigns as a singular email marketing effort. And then I read it…”Google has asked the Federal Election Commission to green light a program that could keep campaign emails from ending up
It’s time for another BIMI update, and this time it’s chock full of new details that you’ll want to know! So let’s get right to it.The Authindicators Working Group (the folks behind the BIMI spec) have just indicated that Apple plans BIMI support! The information published so far suggests that it’s coming this fall to both iOS and MacOS. Beyond that, details are light; so don’t ask me (or them) for greater definition just yet. I’m sure when they have details, they will share. And when they share, I will share.Where does that leave us today? Here’s your status update on ISP support for BIMI as of June, 2022.Yes: Which ISPs/MBPs/email applications support BIMI today or plan to support it in the near future: Apple (iOS and MacOS email clients), Fastmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. (This also includes Pobox, AOL/Netscape, and Google for Business)Perhaps: Which ISPs are currently considering BIMI support:
Here’s what is sure to be your favorite fun factoid forever from today: At Gmail — for the domains gmail.com and googlemail.com — whether or not the username portion has dots in it is irrelevant. If you send mail to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, you’re sending mail to the same person, the same account, twice. Don’t take my word for it — here’s the Google help page with details.As Google indicates, this does not apply to Google for Business, aka G-Suite addresses. So if you send mail to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, those are indeed two separate addresses.The Gmail “dot thing” is sometimes a huge pain in the rear for senders. If you can work it into your registration forms, you could try normalizing Gmail addresses by removing the dots, to prevent duplicate submissions. Or disallowing dots in the username, if the domain is gmail.com or googlemail.com. However, even this is a bit…
Obtaining a VMC (Verified Mark Certificate) can be a hurdle for folks who want to implement a BIMI logo. You can proceed without it, but if you do, while your logo likely will show up in Yahoo Mail and Fastmail, but it isn’t going to show up in Gmail, as Google has made a VMC cert a requirement for their BIMI installation.If you don’t have a VMC today — here’s how you can work around that, and implement a BIMI-like sender logo display for Fastmail, Yahoo and Gmail.First, do set up a BIMI record, even though you don’t have a VMC. Here are logo requirements, and here’s what you need to setup the overall DNS record, including authentication-related prerequisites.That’ll cover you for Yahoo and Fastmail. Now, Gmail. Note that this Gmail workaround is NOT A BIMI LOGO — I don’t want anybody to get mad at me, thinking I’m trying…