Unica OnDemand. Unica and deliverability. Getting to the inbox. Publication Date: January 19, 2010

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1 Unica OnDemand Publication Date: January 19, 2010 N10014 Getting to the inbox N40002 Sending an is something you do every day. Even when you send a single , occasionally the message does not get through you make a mistake typing the address; the recipient's spam filter blocks your messages; your IP address becomes blacklisted. With an marketing campaign, these simple errors can compound and drastically limit the number of s that are actually arrive in your target's inboxes. As you start sending hundreds, thousands, millions of s, you encounter new issues with spam filters or your domain's reputation. Your campaign will not be effective if the s do not reach your targets. When you run your marketing campaigns, you must take steps to ensure your messages are received by your target audience. This is referred to as improving your deliverability. deliverability as a general term describes the rate at which your messages can be delivered to each recipient's inbox, as opposed to a spam folder or not delivered at all. Your goal is 100% deliverability, that is, with no network issues, every message would be delivered to an inbox. deliverability can be affected by a large number of issues. Beyond technical issues such as unplanned network outages or incorrect addresses, there are various levels of spam filtering which can stop your message from getting through. Both Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and clients provide layers of filters that can move your to a spam folder for various reasons, including a disreputable domain name or address, or specific text strings in the body of the message. Increasing your deliverability requires assistance from every member of your marketing team, including Unica, and includes the following tasks. Creating valid recipient lists that honor opt-in and opt-out requests and target the correct set of people for a particular campaign Creating messages that recipients want to receive Creating content that both complies with anti-spam laws such as CAN-SPAM and excludes content that may be considered spam by some spam filters Properly initiating campaigns to maintain a good reputation for your domain with ISPs By following these guidelines and some other best practices, you can create campaigns that deliver the message you want to the correct people

2 N1001C deliverability Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) N50002 The following are several common questions about deliverability and Unica applications. N60002 What is deliverability? Deliverability is a measure of the success rate at which your s are delivered to a person's inbox. deliverability can be affected by numerous factors including spam filters, blacklists, and bad addresses. Whether or not a recipient opens and acts upon an or deletes an without reading it is not an element of deliverability. The goal of deliverability efforts is to get the message into the inbox so that you get a chance to have your message read. There are many ways to improve deliverability, including avoiding certain words in the body of your s that can trigger spam filters, following text to image ratio guidelines, maintaining list hygiene, and ensuring that your domain name and sending IP addresses have a good reputation with ISPs. Keeping your deliverability rate high is a constantly moving target. N70002 What is delivery? Delivery is the act of sending a message. Metrics associated with delivery include the number of messages sent per second and the total volume of messages. Delivery relates to the number of messages sent. Deliverability relates to how many of those messages made it to an inbox as opposed to a spam folder or lost in cyberspace. N80002 Why do I, as a marketer, care about deliverability? As a marketing professional, you want to get your message to your customers or prospects as completely as possible. If you do not manage deliverability, many of your important marketing messages may end up in a spam folder instead of in front of your customers. If you do not maintain your deliverability, you may lose the chance to contact any of your customers, even the ones who want your messages. Maintaining high deliverability is an effort that requires constant monitoring and careful design. Unica provides "warm up" services to initially create a good reputation for your IP address and domain, tools to help you monitor and maintain your deliverability, works with you to teach you good habits for maintaining high deliverability, and may be able to intercede with ISPs for certain types of deliverability issues. N90002 What is Unica's role in deliverability? First, Unica creates the infrastructure for your deliverability. This includes the following actions. Procuring an IP address and domain name

3 Unica will work with you to determine if your requirements need more than one IP address or domain. Setting up DNS and reverse DNS. Setting up sender verification, including Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), Domain Keys, Sender ID, and Sender Policy Framework (SPF). Registering for Feedback Loops (FBL) with various ISPs. Establishing a good initial reputation for the IP address and domain name. After this initial set up period is complete, Unica will work with you to ramp up to your final delivery volume, working with you to maintain a high deliverability rate. After you reach your final delivery volume, and are in production, Unica provides the following tools and services. A deliverability report, deliverability diagnostics, and deliverability test lists to assist with monitoring and maintaining deliverability. Mailing-level and individual-level tracking and reporting. Template auditing for CAN-SPAM compliance. If there is a deliverability issue, Unica will work to proactively identify the issue and may mediate with ISPs if necessary. NA0002 What does Unica do to prevent deliverability problems? Initially, Unica builds a good reputation for your IP address and domain name and maintains this reputation as much as a mailing service can. Once you enter production, Unica monitors the following elements. Unica maintains the throttle rates, that is the number of messages per hour, the number of connections per minute, the number of messages per connection, and the number of connections per minute. These settings must be maintained separately for each ISP to maintain a high throughput without getting blocked. Unica will monitor and mediate other issues that may occur with ISPs. Unica provides you the reporting and diagnostics to measure performance and detect problems. NB0002 What does "warming up the IP" mean? Many ISPs consider unknown IP addresses or domain names as inherently bad. s from new addresses may immediately be placed into spam folders, or blocked entirely. As part of the account startup process, Unica sets up the infrastructure, including registering your IP address and domain name with the appropriate services. Unica also regularly sends out a small number of initial s to start building a good reputation, solving issues until Unica achieves a 100% deliverability rate to these addresses. This process usually takes two to four weeks

4 After Unica reaches this initial reputation level with your IP address and domain, Unica starts to work with you to ramp up sending actual messages until you reach your maximum average volume. NC0002 What is the ramp-up process? The Unica delivery service uses the following workflow. Account startup > Warm up > Ramp up > Production Account startup - Unica procures the IP addresses and domain names, sets up the infrastructure for delivery, and configures sender verification. Warm up - Unica starts sending a small number of s to start building a good reputation. This continues until Unica reaches a 100% deliverability rate, usually within two to four weeks. Ramp up - You and Unica work together to start sending s. Initially, you start with a small number of s, such as a few thousand. Each week, you send more s, working through deliverability issues as you go. Continue this process over one to three months, depending on your volume requirements and the severity of deliverability issues, until you reach your maximum volume. Production - You now have a good reputation and a high deliverability rate, and can start sending your messages at a constant volume at regular intervals. If you need to significantly increase your volume, you need to initiate another ramp up process. ND0002 How do I decide how many IP addresses and domains I need? As part of the services provided, Unica sets up one IP address and one domain. Unica also provides an startup worksheet which you must complete. Based on the requirements you outline, Unica will assist you with deciding the appropriate number of IP addresses and domain names you require. The number can depend on your volume requirements and your classes of message traffic. For example, you may need one domain for marketing messages and one for transactional messages, such as order confirmations

5 NE0002 What is my role in controlling deliverability? While Unica builds the initial infrastructure and good reputation of your IP address and domain name, you need to help maintain it by following some best practices. You can maintain your IP address and domain reputation following these basic guidelines. Ensure that the content of your messages does not include items which can trigger a spam filter. Ensure that you respect opt out requests. Provide messages that people want and therefore are less likely to mark as spam. The content of your advertising messages should be compliant with CAN-SPAM (United States) and other anti-spam legislation. Maintain relatively constant volume and delivery patterns. As you design and run your marketing campaigns, keep your volume relatively constant. If you change the number or the frequency of your mailings, some ISPs consider this "unusual" behavior, and will defer or block your mailings. Maintain good list hygiene. You must constantly review your recipient list and remove incorrect addresses, people who have chosen to opt-out of your mailings, people who have not responded for two or more years, and so on. If you do not keep your recipient list "clean," your IP address and domain reputation can degrade. Many deliverability factors are in your control, including message content, volume and frequency of mailings, and list hygiene. If during analysis of the issue Unica discovers any practices that could be improved, Unica will make recommendations. NF0002 How do I manage high volume in a consistent way? You should send a consistent number of messages in a regular pattern. You need to ramp up to the number of messages over time. Once you reach your maximum average number of messages, you should continue sending this number of messages at regular intervals. This pattern should be within a 30-day period. For example, if you want to send 1 million s a month, it's better to send 250,000 s a week than 1 million once a month. Many ISPs consider a change in delivery habits as a sign of spam. If you are sending 250,000 s a week, and one day you send 1 million, many ISPs may defer or block your messages. Unica works with you for the initial ramp up period to ensure your initial volume requirements are met with high deliverability. As long as you maintain a constant delivery schedule of the same volume, a high volume of mailings should not impact your deliverability. If you need to increase your volume, you should implement another ramp up period. Unica can assist you with planning this change

6 N How can I prevent my s from being considered spam? Keeping your s from being considered spam is directly related to maintaining high deliverability. In general, you need to create clean content and maintain a good reputation for your IP address and domain. Ensure the content of your messages do not include items which can trigger a spam filter. The content of your advertising messages should be compliant with CAN-SPAM (United States) and other anti-spam legislation. Maintain constant volume and delivery patterns. As you design and run your marketing campaigns, keep your volume constant. If you change the number or the frequency of your mailings, some ISPs consider this 'unusual' behavior, and will defer or block your mailings. Test your templates by generating deliverability reports and adjusting your content if necessary. Include a request to add your From address to the recipient's address book. Run a campaign to ask to be added to the address book. Ensure you include unsubscribe links as it is better to have a contact unsubscribe than to mark the message as spam. Maintain good list hygiene. You must constantly review your recipient list and remove incorrect addresses, people who have chosen to opt-out of your mailings, people who have not responded for two or more years, and so on. If you do not keep your recipient list "clean," your IP address and domain reputation can degrade. Unica provides several tools to assist with maintaining these items, including deliverability tests and reports. (Currently available with Unica emessage only.) N How can I reduce dead addresses? There are several best practices for reducing dead addresses and maintaining good list hygiene. Collect reports of hard bounces and remove the addresses from your recipient list. Monitor response rates and remove people who have not responded for two or more years (or less, depending on your business practices). Periodically run campaigns that request confirmation of consent. For example, send a message similar to "We haven't heard from you in a while, do you still want to receive our mailings?" - 6 -

7 N How will Unica help if I have deliverability problems? Many deliverability factors are in your control, including message content, volume and frequency of mailings, and list hygiene. However, there are some issues that lie outside of your control. If you have examined your practices and still are unsure why your deliverability is poor, Unica can help. You have a single point of contact through Customer Support. Mailing delivery has 24x7 support. (If you have an issue with mailing design, support availability depends upon your service contract.) Unica will assist you with analyzing the situation and offer suggestions to improve your deliverability. If necessary, Unica will mediate with ISPs to resolve issues, for example, removing your IP address or domain name from a blacklist. N Can I deliver outside of the United States? Yes, Unica can deliver messages to addresses around the world. To ensure deliverability to these addresses, you and Unica need to ensure that you include sample addresses from all appropriate ISPs, for all locations. You also need to comply with the regulations for the different areas where you are sending s. If you are sending to the United States, you must comply with CAN-SPAM, whereas in Canada you may have to comply with the Electronic Commerce Protection Act. The United States requires that you enable your contacts to opt-out or unsubscribe from s that advertise or promote commercial products or services. Many other nations require that all recipients must provide consent to receive s. You need to ensure that your recipient lists follow the appropriate marketing legislation for the destination country. Unica provides many options to assist you with complying with the various regulations. You can create multiple campaigns to ensure you construct your recipient lists correctly with various rules. You can also create multiple templates, one template for each set of regulations which can help ensure you design your s appropriately. N How do I monitor delivery? Unica provides reports to help you monitor delivery, such as a mailing execution history report, a detailed bounce report, and a deliverability monitoring report. N How does spam affect delivery? If your mailings are identified as spam, the rate at which they get to your recipients decreases. If your reputation degrades, ISPs may defer or block all your mailings, even those to people who have added your address to their safe contacts list. You may be able to send your messages, but fewer and fewer of them will arrive in recipient's inboxes

8 Messages can be placed in a spam folder due to a spam filter or recipient's behavior, that is, the recipient marks the message as spam. The former generally affects your deliverability just for the offending message. However, the latter is the most damaging since spam complaint rates factor heavily in your reputation. In the worst case, an ISP may mark your message as spam based on the results of other users behaviors, therefore the message is automatically placed in a spam folder for the rest of your recipients at that ISP. N How do I measure spam? The Deliverability Monitoring report and ISP Results tab of the Deliverability Monitoring report include spam data. The diagnostics tab also has very useful spam diagnostics. You can also monitor results from all feedback loop complaints via other reports. N How do I reduce spam counts? Reducing the effects of spam is a part of maintaining deliverability. There are several habits you should get into to maintain a high deliverability and reduce the affects of spam. Redesign content to avoid any identified spam filter triggers. Anti-spam rules are constantly changing. What worked last month may be blocked next month. Unica provides several reports which can identify problematic areas. Run campaigns that request people to add you to their safe contacts list. Provide messages to recipients that want to hear from you and provide content that they value. This reduces the chance that recipients will mark your messages as spam. Provide clear unsubscribe options. N How do I choose a domain name? Your domain name needs to fulfill two purposes. It should identify your brand. However, it also needs to pass anti-spam filters. It must be unique and separate from your corporate domain name. Optionally, it may be a subdomain of your corporate or other domain name operated by you. N How does Unica handle sender authentication? Unica sets up DNS, reverse DNS, DKIM, DomainKeys, Sender ID, and SPF for each of your IP addresses and domains during the account startup period. N1A0002 What does it mean to have a dedicated IP address and why is this important? A dedicated IP address is assigned to you and only you can use it. Since most ISPs are tracking reputation by IP address, if you share an IP address, your reputation is only as good as the worst mailer you share an IP address with. You can follow all the best practices, but if a fellow marketer on the same IP address gets black listed, so will you. By providing dedicated IP addresses, Unica protects your reputation from the actions of others

9 Depending on your volume or campaign type requirements, Unica may recommend multiple IP addresses to increase throughput or to use different addresses for different types of mailings. N1B0002 What volume of can we send? There is no limit on the number of messages that you can send. Unica does request volume forecasts during account startup (and periodically thereafter) so that Unica can ensure that our capacity is properly scaling to meet and exceed forecasted demand. N1C0002 What is CAN-SPAM? CAN-SPAM is the acronym for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003, the United States federal law which defines standards for commercial . CAN-SPAM allows you to send marketing s to anyone, but you must always provide a way to opt-out of the mailing list. In summary, you must be compliant with the following for all s advertising or promoting commercial products or services. No false or misleading header information (including the To, From, and domain name). No deceptive or misleading subject lines. must provide an opt-out method and honor these requests within 10 days. If you have a landing page for the opt-out mechanism, this landing page must be available for 30 days. Clearly identify messages as advertisements. Provide a valid physical postal address. For more details, see the official Federal Trade Commission (FTC) web site, specifically the page The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business. Many other countries have consent-only laws, requiring that you send s only to those who have given permission for you to contact them. N1D0002 How does Unica handle CAN-SPAM? CAN-SPAM compliance is your responsibility; however, Unica provides several methods to assist you with compliance. The majority of the CAN-SPAM requirements concern content that must be in the , for example, a physical mailing address. You can create templates where all the CAN-SPAM compliance elements cannot be edited by the content developer, ensuring that all mailings contain the correct information. Unica also occasionally audits your templates and may provide suggestions to improve your CAN-SPAM compliance

10 Unica has built-in unsubscribe functionality, including easy ways to construct opt-out landing pages. (Currently available in Unica Interactive Marketing OnDemand only.) Also, if a recipient responds to a message with "unsubscribe" or similar text in the subject line or beginning of the , or if a recipient is listed in a feedback loop complaint, Unica will automatically exclude the recipient from future mailings. While you should still maintain list hygiene and remove recipients who have selected to opt out, Unica will enforce these requests. N1E0002 How do I exclude opt outs and complaints? You need to maintain your recipient list and constantly confirm that anyone who has chosen to opt out from your mailings, or has reported your mailing as spam is removed from your list. Unica provides the means to assist you with maintaining your recipient lists. Using Unica emessage, you can create flowcharts in Unica Campaign referencing the tracking tables to remove recipients. Using Unica Interactive Marketing OnDemand, opt out is automatically tracked using the existing opt out features. You can also create exclusion segments. N1F0002 What does Unica do outside of my campaign to exclude contacts? Unica monitors the following types of opt out requests and enforces them during the mailing process. Clicks through unsubscribe links in mailings created with Unica applications Replies to mailings with "unsubscribe" or similar text in the subject or initial content of the Feedback loop complaints (results when someone marks an as spam from an ISP for which Unica has established a feedback loop) Unica also excludes all messages to wireless and mobile service providers listed on the Wireless Domain Name List, as mandated by the FCC as part of CAN-SPAM. N What is the difference between transactional and batch s? Transactional s are messages that relate to some business transaction, such as an order confirmation or a shipping notification. Transactional s are usually sent one at a time. Batch s are commercial marketing messages sent to a large number of people. Batch commercial marketing s are subject to CAN-SPAM requirements. Transactional s are generally not subject to CAN-SPAM. N100E1 deliverability glossary N The following are several common terms used with deliverability

11 Term Deliverability Delivery Defer DomainKeys DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Feedback Loop (FBL) Hard bounce List hygiene Sender ID Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Soft bounce Definition The measure of the success rate at which your s are delivered to a person's inbox. The act of sending s. Occasionally ISPs defer sending s to their final destination. When an ISP defers an , the message is kept in limbo for a period of time. After the time elapses, the ISP may send the message to the recipient or block it altogether. There are many reasons why ISPs may defer messages, including as a method to throttle traffic for the ISP or as a buffer to see if recipients mark messages from the same sender as spam before letting more messages through. An identification system using public keys advertised in the DNS, specified by RFC An identification system which verifies the DNS domain of the sender and the message integrity, specified by RFC DKIM uses a public key to identify all sent messages. DKIM helps to stop spoofing attempts. Also known as a complaint feedback loop, this is a service provided by ISPs to inform you of when their users mark your s as spam. Unica establishes FBLs on your behalf during account startup. A failure of delivery of an that will never succeed. This is usually because the address does not exist. This can occur if an address was entered incorrectly or if the account is closed (for example, someone changes their ISP). Ensuring your list of recipients does not contain bad addresses, people who have opted out of the list, people who have not responded for more than two years, and so on. An sender validation system, created by Microsoft and industry partners, designed to stop spoofing attempts. An sender validation system designed to stop spoofing attempts. SPF is defined by RFC To enable SPF, an administrator adds a DNS text record to the public DNS record. ISPs can then verify the sender's identity against the public DNS record. A failure of delivery of an that might succeed. These are often due to network issues, if your has been deferred by the ISP, or the recipient's inbox is full

12 Term Spoofing Definition Altering the header of an to make it appear that it comes from a different sender. Spam trap An address known by ISPs as an incorrect address. If you are sending to a spam trap address, ISPs assume that you are mailing people who did not request s, that is, sending spam. There is no directory of known spam traps. The best way to avoid spam traps (which hurt your reputation) is to not use rented or purchased lists and to not send to addresses that have not shown any activity in recent history

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