As a sender in today’s environment it is important to stay up on any and all Anti-Spam Laws that may affect your business. The safest way to stay ahead of the curve is to follow the strictest anti-spam laws keeping it simple so that you don’t have to focus on different laws for different regions. With a global market and ISPs that have a global footprint making it difficult to rely on regional TLDs to know where each recipient resides makes it all the more important to follow the strictest of laws. Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) definitely meets that need.

SparkPost Canada Laptop Sticker CASL Deadline(psst: you can retrieve your very own Canada laptop sticker by clicking here)

A Reflection on the Past: CASL 2014

In December 2010, Canada passed CASL, which was Canada’s version of the United States CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Beginning with phase one in July 2014, CASL set clear requirements for all commercial emails. Like CAN-SPAM, all non-transactional emails must include a working unsubscribe link and must be clearly branded, making it easy for the recipient to identify the sender. However, CASL’s big step away from CAN-SPAM is an opt-in law, meaning that senders are only allowed to send email to people who’ve agreed to receive messages from them.

One myth is that CASL only applies to Canadian companies or Canadian senders. However, CASL actually applies to recipients not senders. A US company sending to a recipient residing in Canada will be affected the same as a Canadian company sending to a recipient residing in Canada.

Since July 2014, a sender only had to provide proof of consent for subscribers acquired after July 2014. CASL gave senders 3 extra years to re-establish consent for subscribers acquired prior to July 2014.

A Look to the Future: CASL 2017

As of July 2017, that grace period will run out. Below are some details on how you can be compliant with the full CASL requirements before the CASL deadline.

*All implied consents now have an expire date – Previously CASL only required that implied consent proof be recorded for subscribers acquired after July 2014. Now ALL subscribers are held to the same standard.
*Individuals can now sue brands that send spam – Previously individuals reported complaints to the Canadian government and it was up to them to pursue the case. Now individuals and organizations can directly sue the sender for both actual and punitive damages. Not complying with CASL may result in fines of $200 per violation, up to $1 million per day.

Consent in Detail

CASL segments consent into two types:

Express consent
Express consent means that a person has clearly agreed (orally or in writing) to receive email from you. Express consent will never expire unless the recipient withdraws said consent.

Implied consent
Consent can be implied if a recipient has purchased a product or service from a brand. This implied consent allows a sender to send promotional emails for a period of 2 years to that recipient.Consent can also be implied if a recipient has inquired about a product or service from a brand. This implied consent allows a sender to send promotional emails for a period of only 6 months.

If the recipient has not either expressly consented or renewed their implicit consent during that time frame by purchasing or inquiring again the sender must then remove the recipient from their promotional subscriber list.
CASL requires that senders keep a record of the consent they gain from recipients, including dates and location consents were collected. If a sender is challenged on consent the burden of proof is on the sender not the recipient. Therefore it is key to keep dates and locales of all consent especially implied.

Making the Most of the Present: CASL Next Steps

You want to clinch your preparedness? Below are a few follow up items you can complete to be ready for July 1, 2017

  1. Last chance to get that consent. Any sender that has relied mainly on implied consent to build their promotional list in the past should segment off any addresses that do not meet the above requirements for Implied consent. You should then run a final re-engagement campaign to gain express consent. Then any address that does not subscribe to your re-engagement attempts should be permanently removed from your list. Also attempt a final re-engagement prior to consent expiring for ongoing subscribers.
  2. Audit your templates. Check all your promotional templates to ensure they are fully branded with your business name, physical address, telephone number or email address and include a working unsubscribe link (unsubscribes must be completed within 10 days).
  3. Audit your list. Ensure you are only sending to recipients who have consented.
  4. Audit your data. Ensure you are recording date, time, location and consent type.
  5. Audit your suppression process. Ensure you are removing recipients as soon as their consent expires.

For more information on CASL compliance, visit this site and check out the FTC’s website for information on CAN-SPAM.

–  Tonya

P.s Don’t forget to claim your sweet Canadian laptop sticker!

One of the cool things I was reminded of at Insight, SparkPost’s annual user conference, is just how diverse the community of email pros really is.

One way that diversity is reflected is in the simple fact that email is a global medium. That globalization is remarkable, but it introduces its own set of challenges: understanding the needs of different markets, deciphering the code of international deliverability, and navigating the legal and regulatory frameworks that govern different jurisdictions.


We recently shared several best practices for sending email outside of North America in a webinar about international email marketing, but the shifting landscape of global email and data privacy regulations is complicated enough to warrant some extra attention. Lucky for us, an expert panel at Insight 2015 shared updates on several significant international email marketing and data privacy rules in Canada, the European Union, Australia, and Russia. Here are some of the highlights.

First off the blocks was Matthew Vernhout of Inbox Marketer, and an expert on Canadian anti-spam laws (CASL). He highlighted several dramatic enforcements of CASL violations, as well as changes to Canada’s Digital Privacy Act. As Matthew pointed out, CASL enforcements are becoming a significant issue in light of a recent, record CAD 30 million fine against the Avis Budget Group for what was judged to be misleading advertising in an email marketing campaign. One facet of the enforcements worth noting is that the Canadian authorities have been making a distinction between willful violations that warrant substantial administrative monetary penalties (AMP) and the inadvertent violations that fall instead under the lesser category of undertakings.

Next, Dennis Dayman of Return Path discussed the implications of a recent court decision invalidating the long-standing “safe harbor” provisions that govern data collected on European citizens, but stored in U.S. data centers. Although Dennis suggested that the sky may not be falling quite yet, he also was very up-front that the the full impact of this ruling remains to be seen, as it has the potential to upend current practices by many American Internet companies who operate in Europe.

James Koons of dotmailer reviewed the sometimes confusing state of affairs in Russia. Russian Federal Law 242 quite explicitly requires all data collected on citizens of the Russian Federation to be stored on servers within the country’s territory. However, James also noted that current penalties described by the law are so small in monetary terms as to suggest that some businesses may be tempted perform a cost-benefit analysis of compliance and fines. Additionally, he noted that there is some ambiguity about the regulations affecting extraterritorial data transfers, because Russia is a signatory to relevant European regulations that do allow transfer of data, as long as certain conditions are met.

Finally, Dean Maidment of Taguchi Digital Marketing covered updates to Australia’s wide-ranging privacy principles. The long and short of these regulations is that Australian citizens now have a far-reaching right to demand a copy of all data that makes an individual “reasonably identifiable,” and the Australian framework may well be interpreted very broadly. His advice to companies doing business in Australia is to be highly proactive about preparing for enforcement of this regulation—and to be ready for even more sweeping interpretations in the future.

With these ongoing changes to privacy and anti-spam laws around the world, it’s clear international email marketing requires careful planning before clicking the send button. The overview from these experts about key regulations that affect email and data collection programs is a great starting point for getting up to speed.

To learn more, be sure to check out our helpful webinars on international email marketing and CASL. And our friends at the Email Experience Council (EEC) have provided detail on several of these global regulations.

What else would you like to learn about topics like CASL and safe harbor? I’d love to hear from you!


Email Security Cloud Blog Footer

Developers and marketers responsible for sending email are expected to understand and comply with anti-spam legislation like Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). This can be particularly difficult when myths and misconceptions abound. In an effort to eliminate the confusion, we dispelled the top 10 CASL myths regarding CASL compliance.

It’s been over a year since the anti-spam provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) have taken effect, and many companies still have questions about the regulation. CASL is considered one of the toughest anti-spam laws written to date, so it isn’t a surprise that marketers are challenged to separate fact from fiction. In this blog post, we’ll go over the top 10 CASL compliance myths in an effort to help set the record straight and give US marketers the confidence they need to send email to Canada.


Myth #1: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will give us a large fine for any violation.

False. CASL is intended to protect consumers from fraud, spam and malware. The CRTC, which is responsible for enforcing CASL, is looking for gross violations in an effort to do just that. It is not out to get legitimate businesses on what could be considered gray area violations or points that are as yet unclear.

Myth #2: Using confirmed opt-in will make our email collection data CASL compliant.

False. Confirmed email opt-in is a best practice for obtaining good data, and it helps companies achieve CASL compliance but it does not, in-and-of-itself, make you CASL compliant. CASL also requires that specific information be available to recipients at the time they subscribe. Companies must provide a postal address, a statement about how to unsubscribe, and contact information.

Myth #3: The expressed consent we received before CASL went into effect is still valid.

True – with a caveat. Prior to CASL, email marketing was regulated under Canada’s privacy regulations. Expressed consent was more flexible under the earlier privacy regulations. However, CASL considers expressed consent that was received before July 1, 2014 to be compliant if it was compliant with Canada’s privacy legislation.

Myth #4: The full law goes into effect in 2017, so we still have time to prepare.

False. While the full law goes into effect July 1, 2017, the portions of the law that concern most email marketers are already in effect and being enforced. In fact, the CRTC is actively investigating cases of noncompliance.

Myth #5: CASL doesn’t apply to transactional messages.

False. This one’s a bit tricky. CASL will apply to transactional messages – if it doesn’t already – in some cases. The concept of “transactional messages” doesn’t exist under CASL. However, if a message contains any advertising or marketing content whatsoever, it is considered a commercial electronic message (CEM) and is subject to CASL. If you send a receipt or password-reset email to a customer and it includes a coupon, for example, that message falls under CASL. It gets a little more complicated in that CASL also says you don’t need consent for a message that confirms a transaction. But the other requirements for sending a message do apply; namely, identification and a functioning unsubscribe mechanism.

Myth #6: CASL applies to Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) sent to Canadian citizens living in and out of Canada.

True. CASL was drafted broadly to apply to any CEM sent to or from a computer system located in Canada. The exception is if a message is sent from Canada to a foreign jurisdiction with its own anti-spam legislation with which the sender is complying.

Myth #7: CASL only applies to electronic messaging.

False. In addition to CEMs, CASL also creates rules for the installation of computer programs. For example, these programs are required to include notifications such as what is being installed, who is asking for it to be installed, and how to uninstall it. CASL also prohibits the unauthorized alteration of transmission data, such as when a DNS server is poisoned and traffic is redirected to a proxy server that collects information.

Myth #8: We need to reconfirm our entire mailing list to be CASL compliant.

False. Your mailing list is fine as long as it meets the conditions of Section 66 of CASL, which details a number of conditions that prevent companies from having to reconfirm their entire list. These conditions align with the privacy requirements prior to CASL.

Myth #9: We can email a person for consent.

False. Companies cannot randomly send emails requesting consent. CASL deems these commercial emails. Consent must be provided in CASL’s specific form. (Click to Tweet this fact.)

Myth #10: Expressed consent is only one type of consent valid under CASL.

True. There are two types of consent under CASL: expressed consent and implied consent. Implied consent is obtained when addresses are freely provided, such as when a purchase is made from a website or individuals enter into a contract, for example. Implied consent expires two years after the data is collected. Expressed consent, on the other hand, is good until the recipient unsubscribes.

Want to know more about CASL? Become an expert and find out first-hand from a CASL Senior Enforcement Officer how senders like you are faring—and what to do today to prepare for the future. Check out our webinar replay with CRTC experts Dana-Lynn Wood, Senior Enforcement Officer, CRTC and Kelly-Anne Smith, Legal Counsel, CRTC, by clicking on the image below. Don’t have time to watch the webinar replay? View our short 12 slide deck on SlideShare.


It’s Marketing 101: getting the right message to the right customer at the right time. As marketers, we think about that in display advertising, we think about it in media placements, and of course we should think about it in email marketing, too.

international email

When it comes to marketing in different international markets, that rule applies doubly. But, let’s face it, for a lot of us, sending email outside of the U.S. and Canada is an intimidating prospect. Too many email marketers try to guess at the privacy regulations, ISP rules, language preferences, and even time zones of their customers. And some email marketers don’t even try. They either avoid international marketing like the plague or—even worse—they ride roughshod over these important issues.

Let’s make this real for a moment. Imagine living in China, and getting email alerts at all hours of the night because marketers in North America either overlook or don’t care about the fact that you’re trying to get some sleep. Would you really want to keep engaging with that company? No! In fact, this very issue has become such a problem that many Chinese ISPs have begun to limit the amount of messages they accept at certain times to avoid their customers being woken up by late-night emails.

So what are email marketers to do? A great place to start is “Your Passport to Global Email Marketing Success,” a recent webinar SparkPost hosted with Dennis Dayman of Return Path and our own Len Shneyder. Dennis and Len shared tried-and-true best practices and forward-looking ideas for sending email outside of North America. The webinar was chock full of great information, and I definitely encourage you to check it out.

I personally was struck by a few questions from the audience that came up during the webinar Q&A. Here’s my take on the what email marketers are asking about sending messages to markets around the world.

1. How do I deal with opt-outs internationally? Is there CAN-SPAM or something similar outside of the U.S.?

Yes. To start, there is CASL, Canada’s ground-breaking anti-spam legislation. You definitely need to read up on that if you are sending email to Canada. (It goes without saying that SparkPost has your back on this one. We recently hosted a fantastic webinar about the ins-and-outs of CASL.) CASL is significant, but many other countries have their own privacy regulations that also require opt-out, such like the EU Data protection directive. Long story short, do your research before you send!

2. How much time can pass between an opt-out request and when it should take effect?

In the world of relevant and modern marketing tools, opt-outs should take effect immediately. There is no reason for delay, and every email you send after a customer has opted out could be a serious black mark on the recipient’s view of your brand. Having said that, you are afforded a grace period of 10 days or so in many national email regulations (though details may vary).

3. What’s the best time of day and day of week to send emails? Does it vary country to country?

Test! Test! Test! We can’t emphasize this enough. There’s no such thing as the perfect time of day—your recipients change, demographics change, who’s receiving it changes, and the importance they attach to it changes. All these things change and are testable!

4. Do I really need to use double opt-in for an international email list?

Yes. Email best practices dictate that double opt-in or confirmed opt-in is the right thing to do. Remember that in many markets, both customer expectations and regulatory policies require much more diligence than the relatively laissez-faire approach to opt-in and list buying that some marketers have taken in the past.

5. How do I keep on top of the changes taking place around the world and different worldwide email regulations?

Several organizations are great resources for staying on top of email marketing best practices around the world. Every email marketer should start following their social media feeds or newsletters—or even consider joining them as a formal member.

Though sending email outside of North America takes care and awareness of audience expectations and international regulatory issues, with the right information, it can be done! Check out the resources I highlighted in this post, and you’ll have a great start to planning a successful international email marketing strategy.

What’s been your experience with international email marketing? I’d love to hear from you. And do check out our “Your Passport to Global Email Marketing Success” webinar. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.


Happy Holidays! We’re taking the day off, however, if you’re up to your ears in eggnog, football or family, then kick back with your favorite beverage and take a break to view one of these webinars. ~ The SparkPost Team

Learn how to create individualized experiences at every digital touch point in our Personalization 2.0 webinar with Forrester. Learn how to get ready for CASL enforcements round 2 in our ‘What CASL Means for Email Marketers’ webinar with the CRTC. Learn how to go beyond demographic data with your analytics to truly personalize your customer’s experience in our Contextual Marketing 101 webinar.
personalization20_200x200 CASL_200x200 ContextualMktg101

An opt-in lesson from Porter Airlines

PorterAirlines_200x200_063015A recent settlement between Porter Airlines Inc. and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has brought up the discussion about how important it is to include a working ‘unsubscribe’ in marketing messages as well as be able to prove opt-in. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that you tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future email in a clear and conspicuous way. You must also honor the request promptly. Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) has required the same and has taken it one step further in that you must be able to provide proof of the actual opt-in.

Porter allegedly sent emails that did not contain an unsubscribe mechanism. In other instances, the mechanism was not clearly or prominently set out. They also did not honor the requests within 10 business days. In some instances, Porter was unable to provide proof of obtaining consent for the email addressed that received its commercial emails.

Porter cooperated with the investigation and immediately took action to correct the issue, but they still agreed to pay $150,000 for the alleged violations.

Unlike in the US, Canadians are encouraged to report spam to the Spam Reporting Centre. This ensures the CRTC has enough information to conduct their investigations.

This brings to mind whether senders in the US must comply with the more stringent requirements of CASL, or is following CAN-SPAM enough? The simple answer is YES, American senders must comply with CASL. As a best practice, senders should always follow the more stringent of the two unless they are 100% sure they are not sending ANY communications across the border. The problem is that it’s impossible to know where a given recipient is located. With Global ISPs such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc., you cannot be 100% certain that you are not sending to a Canadian.

Given that Canadians are encouraged to report spam to their government, no sender is safe from investigation — as Porter Airlines found out. Even if you participate in the CRTC investigation but are found to be lacking in the requirements, you may very well find yourself with additional costs and lose those subscribers that don’t meet the criteria.

CASL’s three requirements you must follow in order to send commercial email are the following:

  • Consent – be able to provide express or implied consent
  • Identification – clearly identify yourself or the organization sending the message
  • Unsubscribe – must include a working unsubscribe mechanism on every commercial message sent

For more information on how you can comply with CASL you can go to WWW.CRTC.GC.CA/ANTISPAM.

For more information on CAN-SPAM you can go to

For more information on the Porter Airlines Settlement go to

New publications, survey and web events provide insights into shifting consumer messaging preferences, debunks CASL myths and more

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – December 23, 2014 – Message Systems, the global leader in email infrastructure software for cloud-based businesses and large enterprises, recently hosted a webinar entitled, “CASL Myths: How to Legally Send Email to Canada.” Featuring Shaun Brown, partner at nNovation, Matt Vernhout, chief privacy officer at Inbox Marketer, and Autumn Tyr-Salvia, director of standards and best practices at Message Systems, along with moderator Patrick Gorman, senior editor at Chief Marketer, the panel debunked many misconceptions about sending email to Canada and addressed the most commonly believed myths about CASL, Canada’s anti-spam law.

In late November, Message Systems released the results of a survey it had conducted with a consumer audience to uncover preferences and opinions regarding transactional notifications. In a blogpost entitled, “Survey: Email Still Reigns for Notifications, Message Systems Vice President of Corporate Communications Barbara Burlington presented findings showing that email is the preferred channel for initiating communication with brands for non-emergency customer service issues, with a plurality of 32 percent of respondents choosing email, with the choice of phone not far behind at 29 percent.

The comprehensive technology white paper, “What Sets Momentum Apart,” has been expanded and updated with new sections and material on features and capabilities that were added to the flagship platform with the release of Momentum 4 earlier this year. Readers will find authoritative information on Momentum’s analytics tools, a deep-dive into the platform’s message origination features, details on the Supercharger multi-core server support module, new information on mobile push capabilities and updates on the Adaptive Email Network.

Finally, Message Systems CMO Steve Dille and Mike Gualtieri of Forrester Research recently hosted the webinar, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Data-Driven Email Marketing,” which presented findings that while 78 percent of marketers today believe that data-driven marketing is key to new growth, many still operate their email channel with little or no insight into what today’s recipients really want.

“This webinar will be of interest to anyone looking to harness the power of data to create more personalized, relevant and valued messages and content for their customers,” explained Mr. Dille. “I encourage marketers and email professionals everywhere to take advantage of the great content we produce here at Message Systems to optimize their programs and advance their professional development.”

Message Systems clients are among the highest volume senders in the world. They are also typically very aware of their customer engagement and manage their sending practices carefully. They are MAAWG and OTA members, follow CAN-SPAM guidelines and are typically the progressive leaders in the email delivery space. That is exactly why this article will be of interest to them and to anyone interested in good delivery and engagement practices.

On July 1st 2014 the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation act (CASL) will come into full effect, so you should be aware of how it may impact your business. The launch of CASL ushers in a new era of government enforcement to protect a citizen’s mailbox. This is not just a set of rules and guidelines; it is an enforceable law.

If you are not aware of the CASL project, here is a little light reading for you.

The legislation has been in the works for several years and is finally now being put in force. Now Canadian citizens can take strong legal action against any one of the people or companies that send Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) AKA SPAM. This is real and the Canadian government is very serious about protecting Canadian mailboxes.

Even more important, this does not just affect people *IN* Canada, it applies to all Canadian citizens regardless of where their email inbox lives. That means that if you have been ignoring it because it is a “Canadian” law, you should think again. Sending UCE to any Canadian citizen, regardless of where their mailbox lives, needs to be addressed. Of course, sending one piece of UCE is really not criminal as long as you follow the accepted CAN-SPAM guidelines as well. When a user unsubscribes you need to unsubscribe them. Continuing to send mail to a Canadian who has specifically unsubscribed is when you run into some hot water – and it is very hot water. CASL has real penalties that hurt where it counts.

“The maximum amount of [cash penalty], per violation, for an individual is $1 million, and for a business, it is $10 million.”– CASL FAQ

Canadians like me have been inundated with mail in the past week by senders wanting to confirm approval for mail. Any of the mailing lists Canadians subscribe to have been sending a small reminder to confirm their request for email. Any responsible sender who knows you are Canadian, has been reaching out to make sure you are ok with their newsletters and marketing messages. No one wants to get caught on the wrong end of this big stick.

Even my power company is asking for permission to send:



We value our relationship with you, and in anticipation of the federal anti-spam legislation, that we will be required to comply with, we kindly ask for your consent to continue to provide relevant information including: publications, announcements, invitations, promotional messages about our products and services, and other messages, which will be collectively referred to as Communications.

Be assured, we will only send you relevant Communications which we believe you will be interested in receiving. If we do not receive your consent before the new anti-spam laws come into effect July 1, 2014, our ability to continue sending you Communications may be restricted.

Please click here to provide your consent

Or copy and paste the URL below into your Internet browser:




This is the first time in history that citizens have had the power to directly and financially impact an offending SPAM sender. While CAN-SPAM allowed for some financial fines, they are hardly punitive. Fines in Australia and Europe are tougher, but still not nearly what Canada is talking about. If you skipped over that link above to the CASL website, you may want to go back and take a look as there are good resources for individuals and business about the act.

The history behind CASL goes back several years and really owes some lineage to the CAN-SPAM project enacted in the US in 2003. While the rules have good intention, and all responsible senders do their best to follow them, active spam senders are aware of how difficult it is to actually enforce them and penalize the offenders. CAN-SPAM is effectively a list of standards of good practice as opposed to an enforceable law. The good news is that the responsible senders who follow CAN-SPAM make it very easy to join and remove yourself from a mailing list. CAN-SPAM was the first kick at controlling SPAM and UCE and has been effective with legitimate senders, but has been relatively “toothless” on actual illegal senders. Relatively few known “spammers” have be affected by any real penalties or jail time.

CASL is an actual law that is enforceable, and that should have known spammers thinking twice about sending Canadians any unsolicited mail. It should also have good senders  carefully reviewing their databases and updating their practices. That double opt-in is now more important than ever. Ignoring an unsubscribe request 5 times could result in a fine of up to $50 Million CAD. Don’t be that guy.

It will be interesting to watch this play out.

What’s keeping you up at night?

No conference on digital messaging would be complete without a discussion on deliverability – especially in high volume seasons. Taking to the stage at Interact 2013 to address this specific subject were email veterans, Greg Kraios, Founder and CEO at 250ok and Matthew Vernhout, Chief Privacy Officer and Manager of Deliverability for Inbox Marketer.


Greg and Matthew set the tone for the session right off the bat by opening the floor up to attendees for debate, allowing for a rapid exchange of ideas and discussions. They highlighted 6 key issues of particular concern to email marketers.

#1 Privacy & Anti-Spam Legislation (status of CASL, expectations)

The email experts kicked off the deliverability discussion with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. An example of the prohibitions under the new law would be:

“sending of commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s consent (permission), including messages to email addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages sent to a cell phone”

US marketers were worried about how the legislation would affect them. Since the panel, the government has announced that the anti-spam laws will go into effect on Jul 1 2014. Under the law, prior consents will remain valid – a huge relief to marketers. For more details on what the CASL changes mean for marketers, check out this article by Marketing Magazine. As per Matthew’s quote in the article, “From a marketer point of view, it’s got big scary numbers, but if you’re following good practices and you’re following the opt-in process and you have functional unsubscribes, then compliance really isn’t going to be that big of a challenge.”

#2 Holiday Volumes (ISP expectations, client expectations, rate limits, response metrics)

During the holidays, both marketers and spammers increase email volumes. Olga Gavrylyako from Google agreed that Google saw much higher volumes of email, spam and phishing during the holidays. Greg stated the need to set expectations on how timely email would be on holidays like Black Friday. DMARC email authentication was also important for businesses – a company suffered a drop in customer engagement when its email template was hijacked and phishing occurred.

An issue that caused much debate in the email industry last year were incorrect email entries during point-of-sale. Many major brands were listed on Spamhaus for spelling typos in their email lists, so that is something marketers should watch out for.

#3 List Management Tips (dealing with bounces, pre-deployment tests, bounces, data collection, data hygiene)

Customer churn is 20-30% a year for email lists. Marketing is moving towards quality in terms of quantity in information collected. It is not the size of your email lists that matters, but how you use it. For example, marketing email pales in comparison with one-to-one email in creating customer engagement.

#4 Handling Traffic Changes (warming up new IPs, changing IP configs, rate limits, traffic shaping)

Matthew commended Adaptive Delivery® – the automated deliverability technology built into the Message Systems Momentum platform – in aiding IP warm-up, citing smoother delivery rates as well. When it comes to a new IP, businesses should send 10,000 messages a day according to Microsoft. Before sending email, it is also wise to sign up for feedback loops.

#5 Tabs & Junk Filters (expectations, challenges, tactics)

Educate the coding team so emails do not look like spam. Greg made the point that tabs have a positive impact on customers because emails are no longer competing with social messages. However, this appears to differ between businesses. An attendee saw a 20% dip in performance and subsequent drop in conversion rates using tabs.

#6 Transactional vs Commercial Emails (effective management of resources, data collection and use, pitfalls and hurdles)

In summary, it is a best practice to segment transactional and marketing emails.

The key takeaway of the discussion on deliverability was to collect proper email opt-ins. During the highly interactive session, interesting questions were raised by Dela Quist from Alchemy Worx: Should engagement indicate consenting to having an email in the inbox rather than open and click rates? And do you need to open an email to be influenced by it? While the jury appeared to still be out on those issues, the open debate inspired by Craig and Matthew’s session sparked much food for thought for the day and in the following Interact sessions as well.