Meanwhile… I apparently gave chess.com an email address in 2007 – probably due to a client engagement? I don’t know. I unsubscribed from their mail at some point as there has only been one email from them between 2010 and 2021. Maybe this time they’ll actually unsubscribe me.
If you’re an ESP with small customers you may have looked at the recent Google / Yahoo requirements around DMARC-style alignment for authentication and panicked a bit. Don’t impersonate Gmail From: headers. Gmail will begin using a DMARC quarantine enforcement policy, and impersonating Gmail From: headers might impact your email delivery.…For direct mail, the domain in the sender’s From: header must be aligned with either the SPF domain or the DKIM domain. This is required to pass DMARC alignment. So everyone who’s using their gmail address to send bulk mail is going to have to stop doing that within the next few months if they still want their mail to be delivered. For any ESP customer that already has, or can be convinced to buy, a domain for their web presence maybe they can be persuaded to switch to using that – though even if they can, onboarding 100,000 technically naive users
If you’re seeing a lot of “451 4.7.500 Server busy. Please try again later” from Office365 this morning you’re not alone. Microsoft are aware of the issue, and incident EX680695 says: Current status: We’ve identified that specific IP addresses are being unexpectedly limited by our anti-spam procedures, causing inbound external email delivery to become throttled and delayed. We’re reviewing if there have been any recent changes to our anti-spam rules to understand why the IP addresses are being limited. In the meantime, we’re manually adding reported affected IP addresses to an allowed list to provide immediate relief.
A lot of beginner questions about email delivery aren’t about broad strategies for success, or technical details about authentication, or concerns about address acquisition. They’re something like: My mail to $ISP is being blocked. How do I contact someone there? Asking a question to your peers about how to deal with a concrete problem you’re having is a great thing to do – you might get immediate help, and hopefully you’ll pick up some technical or industry information and level up some skills along the way. But there are good questions and good ways to ask them, and bad questions and bad ways to ask them. You really want to get the most value out of the answers you get, and you don’t want to waste your peers valuable time. Lets talk about the “My mail is blocked, who do I ask to fix it?” sort of question on an
Google are circulating a new set of requirements for bulk senders on their blog. So are Yahoo. It’s almost like postmasters talk to each other or something. If you dig through the links in the Gmail blog post you can find this summary of what they’ll be requiring from bulk senders by February: Set up SPF or DKIM email authentication for your domain. Ensure that sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records, also referred to as PTR records. Learn more Keep spam rates reported in Postmaster Tools below 0.3%. Learn more Format messages according to the Internet Message Format standard (RFC 5322). Don’t impersonate Gmail From: headers. Gmail will begin using a DMARC quarantine enforcement policy, and impersonating Gmail From: headers might impact your email delivery. If you regularly forward email, including using mailing lists or inbound gateways, add ARC headers to outgoing email. ARC headers indicate the message was forwarded and identify
History Return Path was a major driver for the establishment of Feedback Loops (FBLs) back in the mid to late 2000s. They worked with a number of ISPs to help them set up FBLs and managed the signup and validation step for them. In return for providing this service to senders and receivers, they used this data as part of their certification process and their deliverability consulting. Return Path had a strong corporate ethos of improving the overall email ecosystem that originated from the CEO and permeated through the whole organization. In 2019 Validity acquired Return Path and within two months closed two offices and laid off more than 170 employees, many who are industry leaders and long time colleagues. In 2020 Validity acquired 250OK, one of their major competitors. Over the next year they then ended long term agreements with ESP partners, sued competitors and significantly raised prices for
One of the most common refrains I hear from folks with delivery problems is that the filters must have changed because their mail suddenly started to go to the bulk folder. A few years ago, I posted about how even when there is no change in the sender’s behavior, reputation can slowly erode until mail suddenly goes to the Gmail bulk folder. Much of that still applies – although the comments on pixel loads (what other folks call ‘open rates’) are a bit outdated due to changes in Gmail behavior. While it is often true that reputation drives sudden delivery problems there are other reasons, too. Filters are always adjusting and changing to meet new challenges and threats. We’re seeing these changes rolling out at some of the consumer mailbox providers. Steve recently wrote about changes that Yahoo! was making related to domain existence. He also posted about Microsoft getting
As a consumer there are several different sorts of email address that are described as “disposable” or “temporary”. Some of them are what we might call tagged addresses – addresses that are unique, created to be given to a specific vendor. If it’s misused by the vendor, or if it’s leaked to spammers, then the address can be disabled, either by rejecting or by silently discarding mail sent to it. Others are created for a specific use, and will only be briefly valid, either for a single email or for a short period of time (ten minutes, an hour, something like that). They typically don’t have any connection to a users “real” email address, and are just accessed via a web page. A user might use this when they’re being required to give an email address to access some sort of service but there’s no ongoing use of that email
Trekkie Monster. He’s obsessed by social media and isn’t owned by Children’s Television Workshop. What is a Cookie? I’m not talking about biscuits, nor about web cookies, at least not exactly. When you’re talking to a protocol developer a cookie is a thing you’re given, that you hang on to for a while, then give back. If you leave your suitcase with your hotel concierge they’ll give you a paper ticket with a number on it. That ticket and the number on it aren’t of any intrinsic value, nor do they really mean anything. The only thing you can do with it is give it back to the concierge to get your suitcase back. The ticket is a cookie. Conceptually a cookie isn’t something that’s meaningful except when you give it back to whoever gave it to you – so if you’re a client program and a server sends you
These last few years have been something, huh? Something had to give and, in my case, that something was blogging. There were a number of reasons I stopped writing here, many of them personal, some of them more global. I will admit, I was (and still am a little) burned out as it seemed I was saying and writing the same things I’d been saying and writing for more than a decade. Taking time off has helped a little bit, as much to focus on what I really want to talk about. It helps, too, there are a lot more deliverability resources out there than when I started. I don’t have to say it all, there are other voices (and perspectives!) that are adding to the collective understanding of delivery. That’s taken some of my (admittedly internal) pressure off from having to write about specific things to explain, educate and