Michael Weisel serves as Chief Technology Officer and is the architect of Gold Lasso’s systems and product development. He is responsible for all technology related decisions and specializes in email delivery and systems management.

What’s Email Throttling — and Why Do You Need It?

What is email throttling?
Throttling is the ability to control your campaign sending at a more granular level by limiting the number of messages sent to a recipient’s mail server based on time intervals. In other words, the throttling process slows down an email on your server or through your service provider over the course of several hours.

What are the benefits?
Throttling typically results in improved deliverability and fewer bounces. But its success depends on a number of factors. There’s no magic formula for when to throttle, how many to throttle, or who to throttle to. It’s a constant process of tweaking, testing and analyzing data — but the effort should be rewarded with a concise set of metrics and analytics to work with. After a few campaigns, you should begin to see what times of the day are more successful for your transmissions as well as which recipients have improved deliverability. Keep in mind that all of this depends on the cleanliness of your lists, the content of your messages and your sending reputation.

How does throttling work?

Gold Lasso uses two kinds of throttling — at both the hardware and software level — for even greater control. At the hardware (Mail Server) level we use settings that have been researched and tested based on how ISPs are configuring their mail servers to throttle. By the same token, the recipient mail servers are configured with a threshold as to how many concurrent connections as well as how many transmissions per connection they will allow. If you exceed these levels, your messages can be throttled back to the originating (sending) mail server with the possibility of deferment or bouncing of the messages. If the messages are throttled properly from the onset, however, you limit your risk of this happening.  

How do I plan my throttled campaign?

Planning is essential to a successful campaign. Your campaigns should be set up to go out over a specified time (e.g., 10,000 messages per hour over a 10-hour period). You don’t want to spread your campaigns too thin so that they run in to one another. And you may not want your campaigns to go out all night long either. Here’s a good rule of thumb: divide your campaign into 10 equal parts over 10 hours. If your lists are smaller you could send every 30 minutes over a five-hour period. And if timing’s not a priority for you, you could “trickle out” your emails over several days.

Who should use this feature?
Everyone should use it to some degree, especially if you have a large number of emails that are going to the same domain (e.g., 20,000 @yahoo.com addresses.)  Because Gold Lasso uses both hardware- and software-level throttling, all of our clients get the benefit of hours of research and tweaking on the hardware side. And even though Gold Lasso is automatically throttling on the hardware side, it’s a good idea to throttle at the software level as well for even better results. Even if you’re only sending out 1,000 emails in your campaign you may see improved deliverability.  The only exception to this rule is if your lists are extremely clean. But even with an extremely clean list, you may get even better results by throttling. It’s definitely worth a shot!

For more information on throttled campaigns, please contact your designated eLoop Account Manager.

Continue reading
  12341 Hits
12341 Hits

Quick Unorthodox Fix to the Spacer.gif Debacle

Since Microsoft decided to set Email Marketing back a few years by using Word's rendering engine , I see a fitting simple yet unorthodox kick in the hiney to them is in order. 

If you have ever worked your tail off to optimize your email message only to test it in Outlook 2007 (which for a split second before the preview kicks in gives you a nice false sense of hope) and watch it fall apart then here is a quick and simple solution that will work almost 100% of the time when spacer.gif’s are involved. 

Get ready for this solution because if you blink, you may miss it.  Rename your spacer.gif to spcer2.gif (or another file that doesn’t exist.)  I know that it’s completely unorthodox but it works.  I even tested it using Spam Assassin and it doesn’t change anything by having a few images that point to a preverbal black hole in Cyberspace.  If the message has a colored background, you may see a slim white line at the bottom of your message that may need to be tweaked a little bit, however if the background is white you will never notice it.

Continue reading
  10439 Hits
10439 Hits

Gmail Themes - more potential rendering issues

I came across this one and it seemed good enough to share, I hope Pivotal Veracity adds Gmail Themes to their rendering testing offering soon:

"The introduction of Gmail Themes-which allows users to change default background, text and link colors in their inbox-has made it even more difficult to code HTML emails so that they render consistently in Gmail. The problem arises when subscribers use certain Themes and marketers don't define the color of every background, text and link. Under certain circumstances you can end up with light text or links on a light background, or dark text and links on a dark background, making the email difficult or impossible to read.

For instance, here's a Nov. 21 JC Whitney email viewed in Gmail with the "Classic" theme (top URL) and the same email viewed with the "Contrast Black" theme (bottom URL):

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_y48VWOPr6lU/SStz_B7JLBI/AAAAAAAADHE/I_YdmiHdikY/s1600-h/112108+JC+Whitney.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_y48VWOPr6lU/SSt0UUvFXfI/AAAAAAAADHM/J1zvJkWoHEs/s1600-h/112108+JC+Whitney-black+background.jpg

 In this case, the preheader text and product names disappear (because it's black text on a black background) and the vertical navigation menu becomes practically unreadable (because it's yellow links on a light blue background). So what was a well-designed email with a good balance of images and HTML text is now partially illegible.

Based on the findings of the 2008 Retail Email Rendering Benchmark Study, my estimation is that approximately 40% of all retailers have the potential to be significantly affected by this rendering problem.

The solution is to define all your background, text and link colors."

 

Continue reading
  13039 Hits
13039 Hits

Email Rendering in Outlook 2007: What a Pain!

Anyone that has Outlook 2007 on their PC has definitely caught themselves saying “Hmmm…something doesn’t look right here.” Why, you ask? Well, it’s simple.
 
The Internet Explorer-based rendering engine that has always been used for viewing email, has been replaced by Microsoft Word. While Microsoft Word was used for composing email messages in Outlook, the end result of this switch was a major discrepancy between how an email looks in creation and how they appear once received in the Outlook inbox.
 
As an email service provider, we feel it’s our responsibility to discuss the limitations imposed by Outlook 2007 since many of our clients are using that platform.
 
Here is a detailed list of commonly used elements that are NOT supported by Outlook/Word 2007:
 
    * Background Images (HTML or CSS)
    * Forms of any type
    * Flash or other plugins
    * CSS floats
    * Replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
    * CSS positioning
    * Animated GIFs
 
So what does all of this mean for you – the email marketer? It’s pretty much guaranteed that unless your emails are extremely simple, you will run into problems with Outlook 2007. One solution would be to reduce the complexity of your HTML design to accommodate Outlook’s limited display capabilities for the time being.

If all of this techie “mumbo-jumbo” is leaving you completely confused, keep these few things in mind.

  1. Do NOT panic! Your entire contact base is not going to switch to Outlook 2007 overnight. You have plenty of time to strategize and revisit your email designs.
  2. You will still be able to use your brand and “design” in your email design; you may just have to jump through a few hoops to get it right.
  3. If possible, try to get a trial of Outlook 2007 installed where you can do some testing.

 
Designing emails for effective rendering across all of the widely-used email programs may require more time, resources and strategy but it will prove to be worth the while in the long run. Most ESP’s (including Gold Lasso) offer cost effective solutions to assist in rendering optimization and testing. For more information about these solutions or rendering optimization, please contact the Gold Lasso client support team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Continue reading
  10950 Hits
10950 Hits

Deliverability is a Collaborative Effort

With new advanced spam filtration technology, getting email delivered to the inbox is the biggest challenge with email marketing. And contrary to a lot of sales talk, no email service provider (ESP) can guarantee deliverability. There is no magic formula or service that can guarantee to deliver your email directly to the inbox. However by following technology and list management best practices coupled with monitoring and relationship building can substantially increase your probability of reaching the inbox.

Gold Lasso has a dedicated delivery staff to help its clients follow technology best practices, manage black list and ISP relationships and contribute to the ISP and spam fighting community. Gold Lasso expects its clients to do their part by adhering to acceptable ISP list gathering practices, basic message design guidelines and list cleansing processes.
The Three Components of Deliverability:

Reputation:
Many consumer-based ISPs determine deliverability based on the sender’s reputation. It is important to understand that email reputation works similarly to the financial credit system. If you have a good sending reputation, your chances of good deliverability increase just as your probability of getting a good deal on a loan increase with good credit. You might be thinking how does an ISP identify me as a sender? An ISP uses your IP address since it uniquely identifies machines on the Internet similarly to how a social security number identifies you as an individual. Just as an IP address acts as a social security number a domain name functions as your face displaying to the world your unique characteristics. Pairing your domain name to a unique IP address provides a complete identity allowing for transparency with your recipients and ISPs. Based on this, ISPs have developed or outsourced reputation scoring systems, similar to a credit reporting agency, to determine the sending reputations of IP address and domains. The scoring system, based on a host of information such as authentication, volume of email sent, internal complaints, black lists, etc., assigns your unique IP address and domain a score that will ultimately decide if your email goes to the recipient’s inbox or to a black hole.

Content:
Although most ISPs use reputation filtering processes, corporate networks and consumer security software use content filtering as their main weapon for fighting spam. Gold Lasso provides basic and advanced content analysis tools to help client increase their probability of bypassing content filters. Clients need to be flexible with their message design and copy to be successful with content filtering deliverability.

Authentication:
Authentication uses a set of protocols to verify that an e-mail message has been sent by the domain name in the from line since spammers falsify the from line to conceal their identified. These protocols include Spenders Policy Framework (SPF), SenderID, DKIM and DomainKeys. They all rely on DNS records, either to obtain sending mail server addresses or public keys for decrypting a digital signature. Both ISPs and corporate networks use authentication to filter spam. Gold Lasso configures all client domains with these authentication protocols.

Continue reading
  7434 Hits
7434 Hits
The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.

Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!