Reputation Monitor User Guide

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1 August 18, 2015 Return Path, Inc.

2 Table of Contents What is Reputation Monitor... 3 How Reputation Monitor Works... 4 What is a Sender Score... 5 How is a Sender Score Calculated... 5 Reputation Measures Factored into your Sender Score... 5 Reputation Measures Overview... 5 Complaints... 5 Message Filtered... 6 Sender Rejected... 6 Infrastructure... 6 Volume... 7 Unknown Users... 7 Spam Traps... 7 Blacklists... 8 ISP Bulk Rate... 8 Feedback Loops (FBL)... 9 SNDS Complaints... 9 Getting Started... 9 Use the Tool... 9 Blacklist Alerts... 9 Feedback Loop Feature...10 SNDS Complaints Feature...10 Sender Scores...11 Sender Scores Table...12 Sender Scores Data Drill Down...13 Sender Scores IP Details...15 IP Details Graph...16 IP Details Table...17 Sender Scores Measures of Deliverability...19 Complaints...19 Unknown Users, Sender Rejected, and Message Filtered...21 Infrastructure...21 Return Path Inc. Page 1 of 36

3 Volume...21 Spam Traps...22 Blacklists...22 ISP Bulk Rate...22 Feedback Loop (FBL) Complaints...23 Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) Complaints...23 Research Senders...25 Research Senders IP Address...25 Research Senders Domain...28 Research Senders CIDR Range...30 Glossary...31 Appendix...33 Return Path Inc. Page 2 of 36

4 What is Reputation Monitor Reputation Monitor is an monitoring and management system that helps you understand the metrics that make up your sender reputation, which metrics are causing reputation problems, and what to do to fix them. Most mailbox providers and filtering applications use reputation as the primary factor in blocking decisions. Therefore, senders with better reputations receive higher inbox placement rates. Unless you have access to reputation metrics, you are not able to diagnose and fix problems impeding your placement rates. By using Reputation Monitor, you can focus your efforts on the reputation problems causing the biggest impact on inbox placement. Return Path Inc. Page 3 of 36

5 How Reputation Monitor Works Reputation Monitor gives you information about key metrics that drive reputation: Complaint rates Message filtered rates Sender rejected rates Infrastructure Issues (rdns and host) Sending volume Unknown user counts Spam trap hits Blacklist hits ISP bulking rates FBL complaint rates SNDS complaint rates Many of these metrics are factored into your S ender Score. In Reputation Monitor, view your Sender Score to see how mailbox providers view you as a sender and see how you compare to other senders. Return Path Inc. Page 4 of 36

6 What is a Sender Score A Sender Score is like a credit score. Similar to how financial institutions view credit scores when looking to extend favorable credit to a customer, mailbox providers use the metrics underlying the Sender Score when deciding whether or not to place senders s in the inbox. How is a Sender Score Calculated Return Path generates a Sender Score using a proprietary algorithm that takes into account a wealth of data within Return Path s Provider Network. The data making up the Sender Score is provided directly from mailbox providers, filtering companies, and spam trap networks and includes over one hundred million mailboxes and tens of millions of unique IPs. The algorithm looks at over 100 variables, which get condensed into the measures of deliverability reported in Reputation Monitor. Scores are based on a scale of 0 to is a perfect score. Reputation Measures Factored into your Sender Score Complaint rates Message filtered rates Infrastructure Sending volume Sender rejected rates Unknown user counts Spam trap hits Note: Sender Score correlates 90% to deliverability. Reputation Measures Overview Reputation Monitor gives you insight into a variety of reputation measures. A description of each of the 11 reputation measures is as follows: Complaints The complaint rate represents the rate at which subscribers complain to mailbox providers. ISPs record complaint rates as spam complaint messages divided by delivered mail. If the complaint rate is too high, filtering will occur. This includes directed to the bulk folder and that is temporarily or permanently blocked. Return Path Inc. Page 5 of 36

7 High complaint rates are the most frequent causes of delivery problems and poor reputation scores. Subscribers complain for various reasons, but particularly when your program fails to meet their expectations. Subscribers complain by selecting the Report Spam button, sending a complaint message to a filtering application, or to a complaint driven blacklist. Message Filtered The message filtered rate is the percentage of deployed that was accepted at the gateway by the ISP, but filtered into the bulk folder or not delivered to the inbox. Sender Rejected Rejected mail is defined as any message blocked during the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) conversation. Mailbox providers primarily reject based on key reputation drivers such as complaint rates, spam trap hits, unknown user rates, third party filtering, and blacklisting statuses as well other metrics shown within Reputation Monitor. Infrastructure Infrastructure refers to the actual hardware used to deploy s. Two key measures are evaluated to make up the infrastructure reputation measure: Reverse Domain Name System (DNS) and host type. Reverse DNS: Reverse DNS (rdns) lookup is a process in which an IP address is matched to a domain name. Reverse DNS checks are popular methods for catching spammers who use invalid IP addresses. If a spam filter or program cannot match the IP address to the domain name, it may reject the . Host Type: The Host Type classifies the IP and associated host domain in terms of its static or dynamic nature. Dynamic IPs or host names such as residential or cloud networks are riskier because they dynamically allocate IPs. Return Path Inc. Page 6 of 36

8 Volume Sending volume represents the frequency and quantity of mail sent. Red flags for mailbox providers are: Sudden increases in quantity of mail sent, inconsistent behavior in quantity of mail sent, and regularly high quantities of mail sent. From a mailbox provider s perspective, the more consistent you are as a sender, the better. Unknown Users Unknown users are invalid addresses in your database. A high unknown user rate is an indicator of weak data hygiene or suspicious address collection practices. An example of an unknown user is: (the owner of this domain would not have signed up for an program). Most mailbox providers tolerate an unknown user rate up to 10% and view high unknown user rates as characteristic of spammer mail streams. Spam Traps There are two varieties of spam traps: pristine and recycled. Pristine spam traps, sometimes referred to as honey poets, are addresses created solely to capture spammers. These addresses were never owned by a real person. Many spam trap operators will post (seed) pristine traps across the internet on various participating websites. They are usually hidden in the background code of web pages and are acquired by a spambot scraping addresses. Hitting pristine traps may indicate the presence of a bad data partner. Return Path Inc. Page 7 of 36

9 Recycled spam traps are addresses that were once used by a real person. These addresses have been abandoned and recycled by ISPs as spam traps. Once ISPs reactivate (recycle) the abandoned address, mail is once again allowed to be received by the address. If you are hitting recycled spam traps, this typically indicates that your data hygiene processes may be weak. Blacklists A blacklist is a list of IP addresses that ISPs, spam filtering companies, or anti spam organizations create and maintain to assist with spam filtering or blocking. IP addresses listed on important blacklists will probably be denied inbox placement. A blacklist is considered important if it will directly influence delivery at specific ISPs. ISP Bulk Rate The ISP (or mailbox provider) bulk rate is the rate at which an IP is seen in the junk or spam folder. The bulk rate is calculated by dividing the total sent to the bulk (junk or spam) folder by the total seen from the IP address in the inbox for that particular mailbox provider. Return Path Inc. Page 8 of 36

10 Feedback Loops (FBL) Some ISPs offer a feedback loop (FBL) service for senders. When a subscriber complains about an , the mailbox provider forwards that back to you so you can research the nature of the request to reduce the incidence of complaints. SNDS Complaints Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) reports the number of complaints from Windows Live and Hotmails users during a specific activity period. Using both spam trap hits made up of once active Hotmail addresses and complaint counts calculated using complaint rate and volume metrics provided in these SNDS reports, SNDS data gives you additional insight into factors contributing to your sending reputation. For information about setting up a SNDS Passport Account, see the Getting Started section. Getting Started Use the Tool To get started using the Reputation Monitor tool, identify all of the IP addresses used for your mailing program and provide them to an Account Manager. You can only add IPs they own. Blacklist Alerts Blacklist Alert is an automated program that checks your IP addresses against the most important and influential blacklists to see if you have been added to or removed from these lists. If any of your IPs are placed on a blacklist, you will receive an notification with information about the list. Blacklist Alert runs nightly, displaying the status of IP addresses in the user interface and notifying you of their status through . To set up Blacklist Alerts, contact an Account Manager. Return Path Inc. Page 9 of 36

11 Feedback Loop Feature Reputation Monitor s Feedback Loop Feature creates aggregated reports for all IPs listed in Reputation Monitor and offers automated, custom reporting. Also, the Feedback Loop Data feature allows you to view all complaints in one dashboard. If you are signed up for the Feedback Loop Feature, they can redirect feedback loop messages to Return Path for processing. The Reputation Monitor tool then displays the 30 day complaint count for each mailbox provider in the FBL Complaints section. For assistance in setting up this feature, contact an Account Manager. SNDS Complaints Feature SNDS (or Smart Network Data Services) complaints are reports of complaint counts and complaint rates from Microsoft Windows Live and Hotmail users. Spam trap counts are also reported in this feature in Reputation Monitor. In order to receive SNDS data in the tool, you are required to set up a Passport Account for SNDS. For more information about how to set up an SNDS Passport Account, see the Appendix. Return Path Inc. Page 10 of 36

12 Sender Scores Sender Scores is the main page in Reputation Monitor. On this page, there is a table listing information about your IPs. By default, the information in the table is listed by Blacklist: High to Low. You can sort it in a variety of ways by using the drop-down box: Score: Low to High Score: High to Low Score Trend: Down to Up Score Trend: Up to Down IP: Low to High IP: High to Low Description: A-Z Description: Z-A Volume: Low to High Volume: High to Low Blacklist: Low to High Blacklist: High to Low Return Path Inc. Page 11 of 36

13 Sender Scores Table A brief description of elements found on the Sender Scores table is as follows: IP Sender Score The sender score for each IP is listed at the left of the table. It is green if it s a positive score, orange if it s an average score, and red if it s a negative score. Trending Arrow An arrow pointing up or down shows you whether or not the IP is trending up or down during the last seven days. Arrows are green if the trend is positive, red if it s negative. Description The description helps you recall which mail stream or server group the IP belongs to. When you have not specified a description, the From: domain for the IP displays in the table. To create a custom name, select the IP link to navigate to a new page. Then, select the edit link and type a custom name. Volume The volume column of the table shows the number of s sent from the IP in the last 30 days. For more information about sending volume, select the blue question mark icon in the tool. Return Path Inc. Page 12 of 36

14 Top Problem The Top Problem column shows the reputation measure having the biggest impact on the IP s score. For a description of each of the top problems, see Deliverability Measures or select the blue question mark icons in the tool. Icons To the far right of the table, there are the ISP and/or BL icons. The orange ISP icon denotes that an IP is placed in a bulk folder. The black BL icon represents that an IP is listed on a blacklist. Selecting the icons take you to the detail page. Download Data By selecting the link found at the bottom left side of the page, you can download the information found on the Sender Score page to a CSV file. Sender Scores Data Drill Down You can also discover quick view information about an IP by selecting anywhere on the IP s row (except the IP, Top Problems, and icons links). Selecting a row causes it to slide out to reveal additional, snapshot data. Return Path Inc. Page 13 of 36

15 Points Lost A flag icon shows you how many points up or down the score moved for the chosen IP in the last seven days. The red flags in the point column are displayed next to the reputation measures having the biggest impact on the Sender Score and overall reputation. Icons By viewing the information in the drill down, you can find out where and at what percentage an IP is bulking. They can also find out where an IP is listed on a blacklist. View All Deliverability Measures To view the details page, select View All Deliverability Measures. Note: In some cases, an IP can have a high Sender Score, but still bulk at an ISP. This can occur for several reasons, including content filtering. Return Path Inc. Page 14 of 36

16 Sender Scores IP Details Selecting the links in the table brings you to the Sender Scores > IP Details page. This page shows you all of the metrics that impacted the Sender Score, gives you insight into the raw data for each reputation measure, and gives you the ability to fix any issues with your reputation. At the top of the page, you can find the number and name of the chosen IP. Edit Description By selecting the Edit link next to the IP, you can edit the description for your IP. Or, you can choose to have the description resolve to the rdns. To add or delete an IP, contact an Account Manager. Sender Score Icon The Sender Score icon and description gives you a quick view of the chosen IP s sending reputation and current risk. Sender Scores are updated several times per day. The date and time stamp indicates the last time the IP was scored. Return Path Inc. Page 15 of 36

17 Drop-Down Box In the upper right corner of the IP Details page, there is a drop-down box that you can choose any IP being monitored for your account. Selecting any IP from this menu automatically updates the IP Details page with information for the chosen IP. IP Details Graph The graph shows a visual representation of the latest 7 day average for the Sender Score of the chosen measure of deliverability. Every individual point on the graph represents the seven day average or seven day count (volume and spam traps) for the chosen measure of deliverability during the date range selected. Though this does not allow you to see any spikes that happened on a specific day, it allows you to see overall trends. Hover over the graph to discover information about a specific point. A red line running horizontally across the graph intersects with the green or blue lines changing the values of the graph to represent the chosen points. Note: The graph is updated once a day at 3:00 a.m. MST. Return Path Inc. Page 16 of 36

18 Graph Elements The y axis at the top of the graph shows the percentage for the chosen measure of deliverability, the chosen date, and the Sender Score. The y axis at the bottom of the graph shows the date. The x axis on the left of the graph shows the percentages for the chosen measure of deliverability. The x axis on the right shows the sender score from Sparkline Icon By selecting on the button next to the sparkline icon, you can toggle between the measures of deliverability graphed. Blue Tabs The blue tabs on the bottom of the graph show the number of s seen for that time period in Inbox Monitor. IP Details Table When you drill down into the IP Details page from the Sender Scores page, you will find a table listing specific information about the reputation for the chosen IP. By default, the table is listed by the problem most affecting the IP s reputation to the problem least affecting the IP s reputation. Return Path Inc. Page 17 of 36

19 The table offers users multiple touch points for discovering important information about the reputation of the chosen IP, including: Drilldown menus offering detailed information about the deliverability measure Icon links to help text to aid in your understanding about each deliverability measure Links to suggestions about how to fix deliverability issues A link to graph the information so you can see trends Comparisons between you and the ideal sender Average rates for measures of deliverability today and the last 7, 15, and 30 days Links to view information in Inbox Monitor (if applicable) Flags showing points lost from your Sender Score You Versus Ideal This row offers you a quick view of how you fare against the ideal sender. Depending upon the measure of deliverability, this quick view shows percentages, pass versus no pass, volume numbers, and more. If a measure is negative, it is colored red. The column shows the reputation measures for you and the ideal sender over a seven day average. Note: The Ideal is the average measure from the top senders in Return Path s Provider Network. These senders represent the top 1 2% and have secure infrastructure and high deliverability. Return Path Inc. Page 18 of 36

20 Sender Scores Measures of Deliverability This column shows key deliverability measures affecting your reputation. You can drill down into each to find information uniquely related to that metric. Each of these measures are shown in the tool as reported over the last seven days. Complaints When you select the Complaints link, the row slides down to reveal average rates for you and the ideal sender for today and the past 7, 15, and 30 days. Complaints > Top Complaints To see all complaints for a chosen IP, select the More link. Selecting this link causes a new page to open. This new page shows a table listing domains, subject lines, and the number of the complaints seen. Return Path Inc. Page 19 of 36

21 Note: The top complaint drill down is limited to the last 10,000 complaints received for an IP. This is so that you can see the subject lines about which your subscribers complain about most. Sort and Filter Top Complaints Using drop-down boxes, you can sort the page by: Complaints: High to Low Complaints: Low to High Domain: A to Z Domain: Z A Subject A Z Subject Z A You can also group the information found in the graph by: Day Domain and subject line Domain, subject line, and day Return Path Inc. Page 20 of 36

22 Unknown Users, Sender Rejected, and Message Filtered When you select the Message Filtered, Unknown Users or Sender Rejected links, the row slides down to reveal a list of your average rates compared to the ideal for today, or 7, 15, or 30 days. Infrastructure When you select the Infrastructure link, the row slides down to reveal your score (pass or fail), reverse DNS, and host name as well as the score (pass or fail) for the ideal sender. For more information about Reverse DNS and Host names, select the blue question mark icons. Note: A standard rdns check is performed to provide a simple pass or fail indicator. Volume When you select the Volume link, a row slides down to reveal the volume of s you sent during the past seven days. Note: Volume reported will always be smaller than the actual sending volume. The data presented in the tool does not include all mailbox providers. Return Path Inc. Page 21 of 36

23 Spam Traps When you select the Spam Traps link, a row slides down to reveal the number of spam traps that caught your s over the past seven days. This number is compared to the ideal sender s. Pristine traps are weighted more heavily in the Sender Score because pristine traps indicate malicious activity. Blacklists When you select the Blacklists link, a row slides down revealing a list of active and prior blacklists as well as when prior blacklists were first seen and removed. For more details about why your IP has been blacklisted, you can select the Details button, which brings them to the blacklist site. To begin the process of removing an IP from a blacklist, you can select the Request Removal button. Note: Important blacklists are noted by a red icon with an exclamation point. ISP Bulk Rate When you select the ISP Bulk Rate, you see a row appears, revealing a list of bulk rate percentages seen at top mailbox providers. Your bulk rates are compared to the ideal. Return Path Inc. Page 22 of 36

24 If you have Inbox Monitor, you can select the ISP links to find out more information. Note: ISP bulk rates do not impact the Sender Score. Feedback Loop (FBL) Complaints When you select the Feedback Loop (FBL) Complaints link, you see a row appear, revealing a table showing the source of the complaint(s), the number of complaint(s) from that source, and the last date of the complaint(s) from that source. To discover more information about the feedback loop, select one of the source links to be brought to a new page. There, you can drill down into the information you need by sorting and filtering the items in the table. Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) Complaints When you select the Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) Complaints link, you see a row appear, revealing SNDS reports. You must have an SNDS account set up in order for this information to populate the tool. Note: SNDS data does not impact the Sender Score. Return Path Inc. Page 23 of 36

25 How to Reduce Complaints Sign up for feedback loops. Identify the campaigns generating the most complaints. Make adjustments to decrease complaints. Track the data sources that are generating the most complaints. Review those sources. Take action to decrease complaints, such as reviewing infrastructure to ensure that SMTP servers are secure. How to Prevent Future Complaints Ensure that the unsubscribe mechanism is clear, concise and easy to find. Use a List Unsubscribe header to help facilitate unsubscribe requests. Review peer initiated web forms to limit the number of addresses uploaded. Examine the point of collection to ensure expectations are clearly set regarding frequency and content of mailings. For more in depth instructions about how to reduce complaints, view the help text by selecting the blue question mark icon or see the Appendix. Return Path Inc. Page 24 of 36

26 Research Senders The Research Senders page helps you find a basic overview of the reputation of any IP address, domain name, or Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) range. The domain/ip pairs listed in Research Senders are from the message level data Return Path receives from its partners (from spam traps and FBLs). Use this page to check your partner companies IPs. Note: The CIDR range is a shorthand method for representing a group of IP addresses. Research Senders IP Address Type an IP address into the search bar to pull up some basic information about the IP. Return Path Inc. Page 25 of 36

27 Sender Score Metrics Below the search bar, you can find a quick view for the searched for IP s hostname, their sending volume, and whether they are Return Path Certified or Return Path Safe. A green check is shown if a searched for IP is Return Path Certified or Safe a red x if it is not. Whois You can select the Whois link to discover more information about the searched for domain. Graph The graph shows a visual representation of the volume (blue line) versus the Sender Score (green line). Return Path Inc. Page 26 of 36

28 Table A table shows reputation measures for the searched for IP, and those reputation measures impact on the Sender Score. For more information about these reputation measures, select the blue question mark help icon. The impact of these reputation measures exhibit on the table as Low, Medium, or High in these ways: If the impact is low, the word is colored green and no icon appears. If the impact is medium, the word is colored black and an orange square icon appears. If the impact is high, the word is colored red, and a red octagon icon appears. Return Path Inc. Page 27 of 36

29 Research Senders Domain Type a domain name in the search bar to pull up some basic information about the domain. Sending Domain Information Below the search bar, you can find a quick view of whether the searched for domain has an MX Record, SPF Record, Sender IP Record, or SSL Certificate. A green check is found next to the item if it exists for the searched for domain and a red x is found if the item does not exist for the searched for domain. Return Path Inc. Page 28 of 36

30 Table A table shows the searched for domain s sending IPs, hostnames for the sending IPs, authentication (if any) for the sending IPs, the sending volume for the IP, and the Sender Score. For more information about the values found in this table, select the blue question mark help text icons. Note: Volume corresponds to the number of s seen by Return Path s Provider Network in the last 30 days. Related Sending Domains At the bottom of the page, you can find a list of sending domains related to the searched for domain. To find out the above information for a related sending domain, select it. Return Path Inc. Page 29 of 36

31 Research Senders CIDR Range Type a CIDR Range in the search bar to pull up some basic information about the range. Table A table shows the searched for domains sending IPs, host names for the sending IPs, the sending volume for the IP, and the Sender Score. IP Links To discover more information about an IP found in the table, select the IP link. This brings you to the IP Details page in Research Senders. Return Path Inc. Page 30 of 36

32 Glossary Account Level: Someone who has the ability to access an operating system at the Account Level has a higher level of control than someone who is at a User Level including the abilities to make system wide changes and alter sensitive information. Bounce Undeliverable returned to sender. Bounce s can be soft or hard. Hard bounce is permanently bounced back to the sender because the address is invalid. Soft bounce is returned to the sender because the recipient's mailbox is full, the server is temporarily unavailable, or the recipient no longer has an account at that address. DKIM (Record): DomainKeys Identified Mail allows a sender to sign a message with cryptographic methods so that Mailbox Providers can validate who actually sent it and that the message was received intact. The private key is owned and stored by the signing sender. DNS: The Domain Name System is a naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the internet. The DNS handles requests for resolving domain names with IP addresses. A DNS server contains records for NS (name server) records, A (address) records, and mail exchange (MX) records. ESP ( Service Provider): An organization that provides servers to send, receive, and store for other organizations or end users, such as: The general public, its own members, or commercial companies. Filtering Companies: Companies that facilitate the process of organizing and processing for the purpose of combating spam. filtering companies may: Pass the message through unchanged for delivery to the user's mailbox, redirect the message for delivery elsewhere, throw out the message, or edit the message during processing. Hostname: A Fully Qualified Domain Name (or unique name) given to every computer connected to the internet via the DNS. Mailbox Providers: Organizations that provide hosting services. MX Record: A resource record in the Domain Name System specifying messages on behalf of a recipient's domain. Provider Network: Return Path s Provider Network is an open, collaborative network that collects real time data including feedback loop and complaint data from more than 100 million inboxes operated by ISPs in the Return Path Provider Network. All of the mailbox provider (ISPs and filtering companies) who participate in Return Path s Reputation Network contribute aggregate, non confidential data that Return Path analyzes and uses as sources for the reputation data. Return Path Inc. Page 31 of 36

33 RDNS: The term for using the DNS to determine a domain name from an IP address. Sender ID: As an authentication strategy, a Sender ID can be added to a sender's domain name in the DNS in order to validate the From: address of a sender's . Sender Score: Compiled through Return Path s Reputation Network and acting as a reputation rank, a Sender Score is an indication of the trustworthiness of an source compared to other senders. Spam Traps: s created with the purpose of luring spam rather than legitimate s. Because the addresses are typically published in a hidden location, automated address harvesters can typically find the address, but not legitimate senders. Spambot: An automated computer program designed to aid in the sending of spam s. SPF Record: Sender Policy Framework is a policy published in the DNS that states which IP addresses and mail servers are allowed to send mail on a domain's behalf. ISPs check for an ISP record in order to verify that the IP the came from is listed in the record. SSL Certificate: The Secure Socket Layer protocol ensures secure transactions between web servers and browsers. The protocol uses a third party Certificate Authority to identify one end or both ends of the transactions. Whois: An Internet directory service that provides information about a domain name or IP address, such as the domain name's administrative address, phone number, and technical contacts. Return Path Inc. Page 32 of 36

34 Appendix Reputation Measure Best Practices You must have a good reputation to achieve a high level of placement. Many factors contribute to your reputation, which were covered throughout this user guide. Here are some additional best practices for how to fix any problems affecting your Sender Score and sending reputation. Complaints To reduce complaints: Provide explicit information about your program. Include a link to your privacy policy; using clear language, make sure the privacy policy sets correct expectations. Offer a quick and easy sign up process, limiting the number of mandatory fields and avoiding passwords unless absolutely necessary. Send an automated welcome/confirmation message within 24 hours, offering more details about your program and its values. Give subscribers the ability to manage their subscriptions with ease. Sign up for feedback loops to give data needed to pull complainers off of the list. Stay consistent. Use customization and personalization. Use targeted messaging. Infrastructure To fix a failed rdns test: Ask the system administrator to update the reverse DNS entry (PTR record) so that it returns a valid host name. To fix a failed host type: Ask your Internet service provider to assign a static IP instead of a dynamic IP. Contact the domain host and ask for a domain that clearly identifies the server. To fix other infrastructure issues: Keep your authentication records up to date for SPF, Sender ID, Domain Keys, and DKIM. Return Path Inc. Page 33 of 36

35 Volume To fix points lost due to a volume: Send mail on a more regular basis with a gradual increase in volume. Consider speaking to an Account Manager about Return Path s IP Warming Service if IPs are new. New IPs are expected to lose points because mailbox providers are cautious of new IPs. Unknown User Rate To correct a high rate of unknown users: Reject malformed addresses (i.e. addresses, and role accounts (i.e. Provide an preference center so subscribers can easily update their addresses. Mail partners from separate IP space to monitor their ongoing data quality and unknown user rates. Regularly audit any partner's sign up processes to ensure that they meet industry best practices for data collection. Offer multiple ways to unsubscribe including replying to and using preference centers. Provide website confirmation of the address that is requesting unsubscribe and set expectations for how long it will take to process the request. Confirm the unsubscribe request with a follow up message. Establish an ongoing process for consistent removal of subscribers that are old and inactive. Review infrastructure to make sure it is suppressing unknown users correctly and promptly. Establish hard and soft bounce rules appropriate to good sending practices. Remove unknown users on the first 5xx bounce when it contains statements such as " address does not exist" or "unknown user. Return Path Inc. Page 34 of 36

36 Blacklists To avoid placement on blacklists: Make sure deployment infrastructure is following industry best practices and standards. Check to see if the volume sending rate has increased. Check to see if the complaint rate has increased. Check to see if the unknown user rate has increased. Check to see if the rejected rate or bounce rate has increased. Fix any broken rdns, authentication, connection rates, and other issues that may be caused by a new server. Request a de listing. Message Filtered If messages are getting filtered or rejected: Investigate if certain content is generating an abnormal amount of end user complaints. Update and test content and URLs for quality. Investigate content sent from third parties. Spam Traps To avoid spam traps: Consider implementing a double opt in subscription process. Make sure the address collection process automatically excludes/removes: and addresses, addresses with misspelled domains (i.e. role accounts (i.e. and nonsensical addresses (ex. Establish hard and soft bounce rules appropriate to sending practices. Remove unknown users on the first 5xx bounce when the logs say: " address does not exist" or "unknown user". Establish an ongoing process for actively removing subscribers that are both old and inactive. Following a spam trap hit, isolate any new data that was sent within the last 24 hours to define which set of s or segment contained the trap hit. Return Path Inc. Page 35 of 36

37 Divide the segments into a smaller subset of addresses to determine which subset contains the spam trap hit. Mail each of the subsets in turn over a period of time to see if any continue to hit a trap. If the segment doesn t contain a trap hit, add it back to the main segment. Send a re optin . Remove the addresses or segment of addresses that do not respond. How to Set up a Passport Account for SNDS 1. Go to 2. Select Request Access. 3. Enter the IP address or range, noting the format requirements at the top of the page. 4. Select the appropriate address from the list provided. 5. Enter the previously created Passport Address and applicable contact information. 6. Submit the request. 7. Monitor the designated mailbox for receipt of the confirmation message. 8. Activate the link found within the message sent from the tool. How to Access the SNDS Tool Once users have activated service, they can view performance data. 1. Go to 2. Select View Data. 3. Sign in and view the performance data. Return Path Inc. Page 36 of 36

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