FeedbackLoop_Blog1Two new feedback loops (FBLs) were released today by Return Path:

  1. Telenor: http://fbl.online.no/
  2. XS4ALL: http://feedbackloop.xs4all.nl/

These new Feedback Loops will follow the same format as their existing hosted FBLs: IP-based, ARF reports. For those not familiar with ARF (Abuse Reporting Format) reports, this format obfuscates the address of the user who complained to protect their Personally Identifiable Information (PII). More detail can be found here.

It’s important to keep in mind that simply applying does not guarantee your subscription will be accepted. The goal of offering a feedback loop for these providers is to help responsible senders to actively manage their subscriber experience by removing users who complain about their mail and using the data to adjust their targeting, in order to reduce user complaints moving forward.

In addition to these two new FBLs, there is a new resource on the horizon for senders, which will be available via the M3AAWG website. The M3AAWG Feedback Loop Best Common Practices group, led by myself and Kate Nowrouzi (also of SparkPost), has developed the M3AAWG Feedback Loop Resource Page which will be available to the public through the M3AAWG website in the next couple weeks. The page will contain:

  • A definition of the term “feedback loop” for those who are not familiar with them
  • A description of the various reporting formats
  • A list of all currently available feedback loops and links to their applications
  • Additional feedback loop related resources

Keep an eye on the M3AAWG website, Twitter, and Facebook pages for an announcement of the new resources.

If you are a SparkPost customer, rest assured that you are subscribed to all available feedback loops. We also provide guidance on program improvement to keep your recipients happy and complaints low. Find out more here.

-Clea

@EmailClea

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The Messaging Malware Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) held its 33rd annual meeting last month in San Francisco. As part of the ongoing conversations and training that happen before the official start of the meeting, Autumn Tyr-Salvia, Director of Standards and Best Practices at Message Systems, gave a talk a talk on The History of Spam. Autumn premiered this talk in Boston at the 32nd meeting; the talk covers 4 decades in the battle against spam highlighting central figures on both sides of the struggle.

Autumn’s talk is a rich narrative and will help you understand how spam evolved and what the industry has done to combat it across multiple fronts. This kind of history lesson is invaluable as it helps you understand the climate in which you send mail, and it drives home the message that the kinds of threats that ISPs and mailbox providers face are really quite daunting. Legitimate email accounts for a small fraction of the total volume of email sent on a daily basis—mailbox providers are constantly trying to find new, programmatic ways to differentiate between legitimate, wanted mail and spam. On the flip side spammers are constantly trying to make their email look more like legitimate mail to bypass the filters on the road to the inbox.

Differentiation is an important concept to take stock of, brands coalesce around themselves based on how they differentiate from their competitors. Differentiation is equally important when you apply the concept to email delivery and deliverability: senders need to differentiate themselves from spammers by conforming to industry best practices and understanding how spam has evolved since the first shot across the bow.