e-shot Unique Deliverability

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1 e-shot Unique Deliverability

2 Deliverability What is Deliverability? deliverability s aim is to maximise the number of messages that reach the intended recipients inboxes. It is primarily achieved by ensuring the addresses used are correct and valid and it is also affected by server side anti-spam tools, client-side filters and black listing. It is especially important when sending multiple s to a large number of recipients where it becomes essential to have effective list and reputation management, sending and authentication procedures and network infrastructure in order to white list the addresses. Last but not least are the privacy and legal aspects of your marketing strategy. You must ensure that you operate within the laws, rules and regulation of the jurisdiction in which you operate. The main ingredients IP reputation Domain name reputation address validity message content Service Provider (ESP) mail servers infrastructure A Return Path study found that 83% of delivery problems are caused by domain reputation issues. Who s responsible? You are! The data (subscriber list) and the content of your messages are strictly your responsibility. The good news is that we are here to help and guide you through the best practices. Even more importantly, our first priority is to protect your branding and reputation. How does e-shot protect you? With over 15 years of experience in marketing, Forfront has developed its own unique deliverability methodology, which is designed, not only to maximise the number of s successfully reaching your subscribers inboxes, but also to make sure that, while doing so we protect your company s most valuable asset, your brand. By using our unique combination of technology and methodology, we also ensure that your own regular business communications are never affected by your marketing activity. We achieve these goals by using the Virtual e-shot Sending Client (VESC) and the Virtual Server Group (VSG), our in-house developed systems. e-shot Unique Deliverablity Page 1

3 Vesc What is VESC? VESC - Virtual e-shot Sending Client uses a custom domain, which is used only for your company. We recommend using a domain name very similar to your main domain name, which will instantly be associated with the name of your company, e.g. if your company and domain name is company.com we recommend using something like company-mail.com. Using this method ensures brand recognition, brand awareness and consistency in your message throughout all of your communications. How is VESC used? VESC is used in the construction of the messages used in your campaigns. We help you choose a preferred domain name, which is then referenced in the following parts of the message: From Address The tracking URL used in monitored links The URL used to link your imagery The URL used for opt-out (unsubscribe link) The URL used for forward to a friend The URL used for view in web browser By having control over the domain name used in your s, we are able to ensure that all the required authentication methods, which are currently used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc., will be set up correctly (DKIM, SPF, etc. See further information on pages 6 & 7). The Benefits of VESC Correct set up of authentication considerably increases deliverability rates and ensures the maximum number of s reaching the inbox Consistent use of URLs in the reduces the risk of being marked as SPAM Consistent use of a familiar domain name that is closely associated with your brand increases and enhances brand awareness and contributes to improved open rates By not using your own domain name you effectively ring fence your corporate communication from the risk of being affected by SPAM traps or any other risks associated with sending bulk s e-shot Unique Deliverablity Page 2

4 VSG What is VSG? VSG Virtual Sending Group is a range of IP addresses that makes up a virtual mail server. When s are sent to external mail servers, especially the major ISPs (Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook), the reputation of the sending server is checked by looking up the server s IP address. The benefits of VSG Forfront offers a comprehensive system of segmenting clients, based on their sending activities, into small groups to ensure the best deliverability results as well as protection for our clients. In some cases, usually clients with a large or unique subscription base, we offer the option to create a dedicated VSG, which is used only for them. This enables the client to build up their own reputation and ensure the highest possible deliverability. e-shot Best Practice Authenticate your sending identity by using DKIM, SPF and DMARC We sign up for ISP s feedback and receive instant notification of subscriber complaints or requests to opt out, which we automatically action to unsubscribe Hard Bounce analysis we monitor hard bounce addresses and convert those to unsubscribe to prevent sending to non-existing addresses or Spam Traps Checklist for Deliverability Avoid Flash and JavaScript. Flash doesn t work in most clients and JavaScript is usually disabled as a security precaution Don t embed your text and graphics in a single image. The should not contain attachments or large images. These are things that are commonly used by spam and will go directly to junk folders Check to see how your will render in different clients and online services. If your recipients cannot make sense of the , they will most likely mark it as spam Use the highest permission standard you can support, such as double opt-in. At a minimum, use confirmed opt-in Provide subscribers with detailed sign-up options so they have a clear idea of what they will receive. Some new subscribers drive complaints because they aren t receiving the content they wanted or expected e-shot Unique Deliverablity Page 3

5 Further Technical information What is the From Address? The From Address is the combination of the name and address that your campaign recipients will see in their inbox. It is also the address that the receiving ISPs will check against SPAM blacklists and will confirm that it has the correct authority to deliver s from the combination of e-shot s virtual mail servers. What is the Reply Address? This address is used by clients to direct their reply to, which enables you to receive enquiries and responses. What is the difference between From and Reply addresses? The standard for communication supports differing reply and from addresses. Put simply the From Address will receive automated mail server responses whereas the Reply Address will receive valid responses such as enquiries, replies and out of office. e-shot Unique Deliverablity Page 4

6 Glossary Authentication Technical standards through which ISPs and other mail gateway administrators can establish the true identity of an sender. Authentication lets the ISP know that the sender is who they say they are. Black list A list of IP addresses believed to send spam. Bounce A message that is returned to the sender because it was not deliverable. Delivery Status Notification (DSN) Also known as bounce message, a system that informs the sender of a delivery problem. DMARC Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance is a technical specification created by a group of organisations that want to help reduce the potential for -based abuse by solving a couple of long-standing operational, deployment, and reporting issues related to authentication protocols. A DMARC policy allows a sender to indicate that their s are protected by SPF and/or DKIM and tells a receiver what to do if neither of those authentication methods passes, such as junk or reject the message. DMARC removes guesswork from the receiver s handling of these failed messages, limiting or eliminating the user s exposure to potentially fraudulent and harmful messages. DMARC also provides a way for the receiver to report back to the sender about messages that pass and/or fail DMARC evaluation. DNS Domain Name System - The database which holds all the relevant information for domain names. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) A method for authentication that allows an organisation to take responsibility for a message in a way that can be validated by a recipient mail server. Service Provider (ESP) A company that provides services, including batch and marketing. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) An validation system that is used to prevent spam. Internet Service Provider (ISP) Sometimes referred to as Internet Access Provider (IAP), gives customers access to the Internet. Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) A number assigned to each computer or network in order to distinguish each network interface and networked device. ISP Feedback When the ISP forwards complaints of recipients to the organisation that sent the . Phishing Sending an that claims to be from a legitimate organisation to trick recipients into providing personal information. Role Accounts An account that is associated with a department, office, position or task such as etc. e-shot Unique Deliverablity Page 5

7 Seed Accounts Accounts created by a monitoring service with each of the ISPs. List Fatigue A condition producing diminishing returns from a mailing list whose members are sent too many offers, or too many of the same offers, in too short a period of time. Spam Traps addresses created by Anti-Spam organisations or old inboxes that ISPs reactivate specifically to trap spammers. Because these addresses have never been registered to receive , any mail that lands in the trap inbox is labelled as spam. Spoofing A fraudulent activity in which the sender address and header are changed to look as though the originated from a different source. Further Reading Data Protection DMARC DKIM SPF e-shot Unique Deliverablity Page 6

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