Yahoo has just announced that they will be dropping Return Path from managing their Complaint Feedback Loop (CFL). On June 29, 2015 Yahoo will transition the Yahoo CFL administration to their own Yahoo Customer Care. Yahoo does plan to port over all configurations as-is, stating no actions should be required and they will continue sending spam reports during the transition. However, senders should save existing CFL information as it will not be available after the transition.
As a customer of SparkPost Elite or SparkPost.com, no further action will be necessary. The Deliverability Services team will manage all SparkPost Elite CFL snapshots. SparkPost.com is double-signing DKIM for their customers so that only a snapshot of the SparkPost domain is needed and therefore managed by the Compliance team.
As a Message Systems On-Prem Customer that manages your own FBLs, you will want to visit the Yahoo site to take a snapshot of your current CFL configuration prior to June 29, 2015 as it will not be available once the transition is complete.
To save the existing CFL information:
- Go to http://feedbackloop.yahoo.net
- Sign-in with the email address you used for registration
- Go to ‘Manage Existing CFLs’ section (3rd tab at the top)
- Select all the information for existing domains
- Copy and paste the information to a file for future reference
#1 There is no uniform standard for expressing bounce codes
As a sender’s subscriber base grows and the number of ISPs you’re sending to increases, the number of bounce types grows exponentially. In the real world, there is no uniform standard for expressing codes, and each ISP uses its own variation. Senders, therefore, must be able to track and understand codes from many, many ISPs. Further, as bounces return to the sending system, the operator must remediate those bounces, or take corresponding action to resolve the problem. For example, if an address is reported as invalid by the receiving domain, it is critical for the sender to immediately stop sending – or risk getting blocked to a greater extent by that ISP.
#2 Feedback Loop Processing Is A Complicated Programming Effort
Processing feedback loops (FBLs) is another time consuming task. FBLs are records of recipient responses to email — when you mark a message as spam, for instance — and most domains send a standard Abuse Reporting Format (ARF) report to the originator. But as with bounce codes, report formatting and content varies by reporting domain, making FBL processing a complicated programming effort. Low cost MTAs have little or no FBL functionality, at best providing a mechanism for routing FBL reports to a folder or dedicated mailbox.If the operator wants to automate the process for interpreting the FBL information and implementing remediation policies, that would require designing, building and maintaining an application to do so.
#3 Bounce and FBL processing represent a very expensive hidden cost of owning a legacy or an open source MTA
Some ISPs publish their rules to help guide senders into optimal sending practices. Others don’t publish rule sets at all. Some change their rules frequently, others seldom do. Given there are more than 12,000 ISPs worldwide (about 7,000 in the U.S. alone) and millions of IP domains, it’s impossible for senders to:
a) Keep track of rules worldwide, and
b) Continually tweak/update their sending infrastructure to reflect constant changes.
#4 Momentum includes dedicated bounce and FBL processing and remediation modules
SparkPost provides a simple mechanism for managing this critical part of your messaging infrastructure. We monitor unclassified bounce codes from the worldwide ISP community, and regularly upload new interpretations to our customers’ systems. The module automatically sorts bounces to approximately 20 classifications. Because the classification is available to the policy engine, a simple script can be written to manage remediation policies. The entire process is completely automated, or Momentum operators can choose to customize rules for their own environment.
Additionally, Momentum has an Adaptive Delivery® module, which uses rules and the data streamed through the FBL and bounce modules to optimize outgoing traffic, throttling it down or accelerating it based on ISP feedback.
With commodity infrastructure, users find that they know when messages leave their own campaign management or CMS application, but have no idea how long it takes their MTA to send the messages after that. In some cases, it could take several hours — and this is deeply frustrating for their clients. All of these issues are easily addressed by the SparkPost solution.
By Kim Matz & Kate Nowrouzi
Message Systems’ Adaptive Delivery® solves the ongoing deliverability management issues faced by Email Service Providers (ESP) today.
It’s the only solution that monitors temporary failure codes, hard bounces and spam complaint rates, and automatically manages your traffic flow. Adaptive Delivery slows traffic when a receiving domain returns warning messages or bounce and complaint rates rise. When warning indicators lower, Adaptive Delivery slowly and automatically raises traffic rates. Over time, Adaptive Delivery builds the traffic volume the receiver is willing to accept. Momentum ensures issues with one domain do not impact the rest of the traffic by managing traffic to each receiving domain independently via the most sophisticated and comprehensive queue management and traffic shaping capabilities that are core to our solution.
Here’s an example of an alert generated by Adaptive Delivery:
The alert pertains to:
Trigger: 421 4.7.0 [TS01] Messages from 255.225.255.255 temporarily deferred – 255.225.255.255;
Action: adjusting throttle down
The system provides SMTP notifications to staff members when conditions are met that warrant human involvement. Not every bounce or deferral requires immediate attention – understanding the difference between normal delays and critical blocks is key to off-loading manual monitoring duties from already overloaded staff… only Adaptive Delivery can do this.
Without Adaptive Delivery, ESPs leave money on the table and their very valuable deliverability team spends time on reactive tasks like:
- Updating bounce definitions;
- Monitoring hard & soft bounces;
- Monitoring Feedback Loops for complaint spikes;
- Adjusting throughput, connection rates and throttling to comply with ISP requirements; or,
- Creating and executing ramp up/warm up plans to build positive reputation on new IPs.
Only Message Systems’ Adaptive Delivery allows them to focus on strategic projects that drive serious revenue.
Watch the video below to see how some of our clients have benefited from using Adaptive Delivery.
About The Authors:
Kim Matz is VP of enterprise sales, US East at Message Systems. An experienced technology industry executive, Kim heads up Message Systems’ email services provider practice, working with many of the largest ESPs in North America. Kim writes frequently on issues and trends in the ESP space.
Kate is director of Product Policy at Message Systems. A recognized authority on email deliverability and anti-spam practices for the past 14 years, Kate worked for many years on the anti-abuse team at AOL and was also a network engineer at the pioneering ISP UUNet/ Verizon Communications (credit proulx). Kate is a member of M3AAWG and OTA and continues to be an active voice in the worldwide messaging community.
Want to find out more about what Adaptive Delivery can do for your business? Download our free white paper on Improving Delivery & Reducing Costs Through Automation!
Weekly Email Marketing News Digest
Great start to 2013… and the second post of the year for our email marketing news series! From tactics, predictions and new technological email features, there’s a little bit of something for all email marketers.
Good email marketers know that email marketing is great for lead nurturing and stretching your customer lifetime value. Incredible email marketers know the cool tactics that will drive customer engagement and clickthrough. Here’s how:
- The Reward Delivery – Everyone loves a freebie. Using email marketing to increase customer loyalty through member rewards and promotions is a great way to get that buy-in.
- The Double Opt-In – Confirmation opts in. Do you really want to risk annoying customers with this? Yes, you do. And a lot of the time, the customer is actually looking for this. For brand loyalists, it gives them peace of mind. It’s also a good way to ensure that you have accurate email addresses to ensure email deliverability. Yahoo.com may seem easy to spell, but Jack Hogan, CTO, LifeScript, found there are more than 500 ways to get that spelling wrong.
- The Welcome Series – The Welcome Series is a great way to give the customer an overview of what to expect from the newsletter or mailing list they opted into. If your potential customers are opting in, it means they are looking for news about you – and that means higher clicks.
- The Amazing Email Marketing Integration – Marketing in silos? Not so hot anymore. Integrating your email marketing efforts with social and across other channels brings about a much higher clickthrough rate. It’s all about cross-channel these days – that’s how the conversation’s taking place.
Here’s a list of what the movers and shakers in the online world are saying about integrated marketing. We’re particularly interested in this comment:
“In 2013 we will see social media teams working much closer with e-commerce teams, and ‘integrated digital marketing’ will take shape. The laggards will be email marketers who will still feel comfortable in their established metrics and existing silo’d processes.”
Since this blog is all about email marketing, you’d think we’d take issue with this comment. But we’re going to go out on a limb and agree – email marketers will lag… IF they continue marketing in silo. We’ve been advocating cross-channel marketing for a while and we still stand behind that. Email still drives the highest ROI, – it’s not even an issue for debate anymore. Adding social and mobile tools to your arsenal will only increase the chances of customer conversion.
We’ve often featured articles that talk about improving deliverability from a content perspective – this one differs in that it takes a slightly more technical view and lists 7 areas you should look at when it comes to improving the chances of email getting into your customer’s inbox.
- Data source and collection practice
- Poor bounce management
- Poor complaint feedback loop management
- Content issues
- Poor data management
- Infrequent emailing
- Lack of authentication (SPF, DKIM)
Also have a look at the Top 5 Reasons Your Newsletter Will Go To Spam where the issues of cold IPS, unusual bursting, content, improperly setup infrastructure and incomplete list maintenance is covered in greater detail.
Yet another company finds itself in hot water for text spam. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act states that companies cannot use automated dialing systems without the consent of the consumers. Violations result in a $500 fine. Despite the heavy focus on mobile marketing due to its explosive growth, it is an area where companies can easily cross the legal line, despite recent updates to the Act. The answer to avoiding all this legal trouble then, lies again in .
Google’s constantly tweaking Gmail for improved usability. The new Compose Now view gives you the ability to add labels and stars to your email as you are writing it, saving time spent looking for the email and starring or labeling it only after it has been sent.
Learn more about improving your email deliverability and feedback loops in the Proven Tips for High Volume Sending webinar!