• This blog post was originally published on Sep 16, 2019 and was updated on May 7, 2020. PowerMTA now has built-in Engagement Tracking, which we cover in detail in Part 2.

You may have heard about the email analytics tools that SparkPost has created to provide predictive insight into your messaging and your customer relationships. We have been talking about the Health Score, Engagement Recency and Spam Trap Monitoring quite a bit, but were you aware you could get this awesomeness in your Momentum and PowerMTA deployments as well? We’ll go into the specifics for Momentum and PowerMTA in the following parts. Here’s an overview of how the various parts can plug together. Your Momentum Nodes can be upgraded to have the “Signals Agent” onboard. This is configured to talk to your specific SparkPost account, sending packets of data up to the “SparkPost Ingest API”. This feeds the events into Sparkpost analytics. The “Events Search” and metrics/reports that all SparkPost users are familiar with – such as Summary, Bounce, Accepted, Delayed – will show your traffic within just a few minutes. It’s amazing to be able to use Sparkpost Event Search tools to track down specific messages and event sequences in your mail streams that were actually sent by your on-premises MTAs. But wait, there’s more! the real power becomes obvious once you have a few days of running under your belt. SparkPost Signals gives you charts showing your daily variations in:

For PowerMTA, the process is similar; a small addition to your config starts an upload process that streams events up to your specific SparkPost account, via the SparkPost Ingest API. Starting from version 5.0 release 4, PowerMTA has its own engagement tracking, enabling events for opens and clicks as well as email delivery, bounces and so on. This gives you active Health Score, Engagement Recency Cohorts, and Engagement reports just through configuration – no coding required!

You can also still integrate your own open / click tracking events via the Ingest API; check out parts 4 and 5 of this series for an example of how to do that.

No stop signs, speed limits…

The SparkPost account you use should be new and unused for other traffic, to keep things straightforward. You don’t need to set up Sending Domains, Bounce Domains, Tracking Domains or any other usual sender configuration of your SparkPost account – after all, you’re already sending the messages via your existing MTAs.

The keys to the kingdom

One thing we’ll need from our SparkPost account is an API key. This needs one (and only one) permission, known as “Incoming Events: Write”. If you don’t see this permission on your account, contact SparkPost to have it enabled. Keep that key-value safe (see security notes here) – we’ll use it to set up our on-premises connector.

You get Signals, you get Signals, and you get Signals!

You can invite more users into your SparkPost account so that many people within your organization can benefit from their own view of SparkPost Signals and analytics reporting. OK, that’s the basic steps needed to get your account ready for SparkPost Signals usage with on-premises solutions. Part 2 dives into the details of setting up PowerMTA for SparkPost Signals.

~ Steve