Getting Blocked? It’s Probably Not Your Content

Mar 02, 2007 1:40 AM  By

(Magilla Marketing) Too many marketers fail to take basic steps to ensure their e-mail gets delivered and, as a result, seriously risk getting their campaigns blocked, according to Craig Spiezle, director of online safety for Microsoft.

For one thing, most marketers fail to separate their mailings by type and function of message, he says. For example, it is probably a good idea to send marketing e-mail from one set of IP addresses and shipping confirmation e-mails from another. Those who don’t risk getting all their outbound e-mail blocked when maybe just some of their marketing e-mail is drawing spam complaints.

“What has changed in not just the last year but probably the last six months is the malicious content of the mail,” says Spiezle, who also chairs the 2007 Authentication and Online Trust Summit, to be held April 18 and 19 in the Boston Sheraton. “What does that mean to marketers? It means the rules of deliverability have changed dramatically, and marketers who are working on content filtering alone may not be getting their e-mail delivered.”

The reason: In the battle against spam-delivered viruses, phishing attacks, and the like, ISPs are increasingly using senders’ reputations to determine whether to block incoming e-mail. “What’s happened is all the receiving networks have had to get more aggressive, and if you’re working on the old paradigm of, ‘Hey, I’ve got good content, so I’ll get through,’ that won’t necessarily lead you to success,” Spiezle says.

Spiezle also recommends sending various types of marketing e-mail from different IP addresses. For example, marketers should send e-mail to people who have opted in to one of the company’s programs from a different IP address than, say, e-mail to a third-party or affiliate list.

He adds many marketers get their e-mail blocked simply because they send too much. “Often we dig into this stuff [blocked e-mail as a result of consumer spam complaints] and we find that, yes, the customers have opted in or triple opted in but now they’re complaining because you’re mailing them three times a week.”

Spiezle says that more than 40% of e-mail is SenderID compliant, and close to 7 million domains worldwide have adopted the authentication standard. SenderID is one of several e-mail authentication schemes under which e-mail senders have been urged to identify the computers authorized to deliver mail on their behalf so that ISPs can more easily block e-mail from forged sources.

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