Nightmares Before Christmas

On the nights before Christmas…

when the relays are groaning under the loads
and ISP admins start to turn into toads

they tear out their hair and cry in despair
“why’s all this mail coming out of thin air?”

it’s Christmas time, the season of selling
it’s also a time to hear Barry’s yelling

Senders, here’s a short poem for you
chock-full of advice and a twopenny clue

don’t pull out that old dusty list
crumpled and worn, all clutched in your fist

that list is so old and so full of churn
your delivery will wither and burn, burn, burn

don’t up and start sending to people who left
else you’ll be subject to the mallet’s true heft

your reputation will suffer a mighty big blow
and like most things, it takes time to re-grow

it’s time you don’t have this holiday season
so please, please, do listen to reason

send email to people that signed up and want it
send timely, relevant and desirable content!

Most of all, don’t you make Barry cry
lest you wish to spend Christmas wondering “why?!”

engagement is king, it has proved to be true
send email right, and Merry Christmas to you!

The Strange Case of the Help Request Gone Awry

Over on Spam Resource, Al Iverson received a curious query. Someone named Jeremy asked, “Al, Help! I submitted a support ticket to [an ISP] for my IPs which were getting tempfailed, and 24 hours later they were completely blocked! Why?”

Al Iverson reached out to me to help answer Jeremy’s question. Click here to see my answer.





“Sometimes, asking an ISP for help regarding bulk- or list-mail sending IP addresses can backfire. If messages being sent from your IP address are being temp failed, do yourself a favor and check their reputation scores on the various sites first, and evaluate your mailing practices and content. Check your complaint rates. Ask yourself what you would think if the mail you send landed unexpectedly in your own inbox. If you bring your shoddy IPs to the attention of an ISP, be it Hotmail, AOL or Yahoo! or any other, you run the risk of handing them a perfect blocking opportunity. They have no obligation to deliver your mail, and have very good visibilty into the quality of your mail stream. If their stats say your mail stream is poor, they will do the opposite of what you were hoping for, and hard block the IPs instead.

“The take-away here is that an honest evaluation of your mailing lists can save you a lot of grief. A block is a lot harder to undo than getting them blocked in the first place, and fixing your mailing practices without involving the ISPs will result in better delivery and more revenue for you, the sender. If you don’t know how to do this, consider hiring a consultant or an ESP to help you.”