The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Debunking 13 Email Deliverability Myths to Help You Succeed

The below information has been gathered from countless hours of assisting our clients with their day-to-day deliverability needs.  A lot of research and hands-on experience has gone in to debunking these very common deliverability myths.  Unlike when Geraldo uncovered a big goose egg in Al Capone’s vault, I’m hoping that these revelations will help you boost your deliverability and provide necessary information to lead you to success.

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Gold Lasso Partners with GoodMail to Strengthen Email Trust

Gold Lasso is proud to announce its newest partnership with GoodMail Systems to enhance recipient’s trust. GoodMail Systems has created an industry standard class of trusted email entitled, CertifiedEmail ™.

CertifiedEmail™ provides a safe and reliable means for consumers to easily identify authentic email messages for legitimacy from both commercial and non profit senders. Adding this feature to Gold Lasso will add an additional layer of confidence to both senders and recipients. "As marketers are increasing their usage of email communications we feel that there is a growing need for our clients to be assured that their emails are received. CertifiedEmail is one of the easiest and best ways to deliver emails directly to the inbox past content and volume filters with all links and images rendered by default," says Elie Ashery, President and CEO of Gold Lasso.

Goodmail Systems CertifiedEmail is the ultimate defense against phishing. By using a blue ribbon envelope icon that is unique to CertifiedEmail™ lets recipients know that the email is really from the sender that appears and that it can be trusted. A great part of this feature is that this does not need downloads or plug-ins for graphics, it is directly built into the recipients email application. 100% deliverability is guaranteed across the following ISPs; AOL, BT, Cox, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Road Runner and Yahoo. In the not-so-distant future, Goodmail will also have a video streaming feature available.

“At Gold Lasso we are always striving to provide clients with an easy-to-use product that is jam-packed with features. We are especially excited about Goodmail’s longer term product roadmap and how CertifiedEmail will be used to deliver a secure multimedia inbox experience for recipients,” said Ashery.

This exciting feature will be added to the Gold Lasso platform as of April 1, 2009. If interested, please contact a Gold Lasso Representative at 301-990-9857 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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2008 Predictions Review – Hit or Miss?

Every New Year’s I take the avalanche of information I gather from clients, business partners and  hundreds of articles and white papers I have read of the previous year and try to make some bold predictions for email marketers.  Like any modern soothsayer, my predictions are a medley of hits and misses, such as my accurate such as the call for more email marketing legislation in 2008, and complete flops such as my 2007 suggestion of wider adoption of RSS by email marketers.  More importantly, however, they are the basis for my predictions for the upcoming year (2009 will be posted next week).

2008 Prediction 1: The Death of the ISP White List (Hit and Miss)
While still in use, ISP white lists have been fairly marginalized as reputation-based systems have taken a much larger foothold for managing spam.  In fact, Gold Lasso hasn’t noticed a real deliverability difference between clients who follow best practices and do not participate in a formal white listing program, than clients with the same practices and do participate in one.  This might explain part of the reason there was a fire sale of Habeas to ReturnPath.  The only ISP white list that will continue as is in 2009 and that I know can guarantee 100% deliverability is GoodMail.

2008 Prediction 2: Email Rendering on Mobile Devices Will Be a Continued Issue (Hit)
Even with the advent of the second generation iPhone with improved HTML email rendering, designing for the mobile screen was a big challenge for email marketers in 2008.  With click rates in some cases exceeding open rates, mobile devices threw email marketers through the rendering loop forcing many of them to abandon open stats and to better segment their mobile subscribers.  

2008 Prediction 3:  Authentication Technology Will Become Mandatory (Miss)
Even though email authentication is mandatory for all members of the Direct Marketing Association, it’s still not being used by a large number of senders especially marketers that use in-house email marketing systems.  Based on discussions with clients and other industry veterans, I have concluded that many IT professionals still don’t know how to implement email authentication technologies let alone understand what they are for.   In addition to the lack of education, email authentication technologies still face an uphill battle as a result of a number of domain registrars preventing their customers from attaching the necessary text files to their DNS entries.  Overall, authentication is gaining ground but it still has a long way to go to make a difference in the war against spam.

2008 Prediction 4: More Legislation Might Be Around the Corner (Hit)

In June of 2008, the Federal Trade Commission tightened and clarified some of the language in the CAN SPAM Act to make it easier for consumers to opt-out of commercial email.  In addition, the FTC took another step toward making a clear distinction between commercial and transactional email.  While all these new clarifications are good, this poorly crafted legislation continues to fall short of its original intention of staving off spam.

2008 Prediction 5: Social Networking Sites Will Become the New Inbox Providers (Miss)

This prediction was bold and premature, yet I believe it will soon come to fruition and I’m sticking to it for 2009.  There’s no doubt social networking sites are chipping away at traditional personal email as Millennials, Gen Xers and Yers are adopting the medium as one of their main choices for personal communication.  However, if social networking wants to entice older generations, increase visiting times and eventually sell more ad space they will have to open their networks to include traditional email communication.  This day is coming and I’m banking on it!
 

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Yahoo! Resurrects Sender Score Certified / Bonded Sender

Earlier this year it was announced that Yahoo! would be joining Sender Score Certified. Well the time has arrived!

During the first week of January 2009, Yahoo! will begin using Sender Score Certified status in their filtering decisions. This means that Sender Score Certified members will receive preferential treatment in reaching the inbox at Yahoo! Mail. This new benefit comes in addition to the long standing benefits at Hotmail, Cloudmark, IronPort, Road Runner, Cox, SpamAssassin, Barracuda, and dozens of other email networks worldwide. This is extremely exciting news for all Sender Score Certified members and folks that had forgotten it existed.  This has potential to be a weapon in your deliverability arsenal that could increase your email program's ROI almost overnight. 

Details on how this data will be used will be sent to Sender Score Certified members very soon.  In my opinion, I have seen little value in this service for the past couple of years for the individual however this announcement could mean a new dawn for a rebranded and repurposed "Bonded Sender" program.

If you are not currently a Sender Score Certified member now is a great time to apply .  It does cost a small licensing fee from Return Path to be SenderScore certified however at the end of the day, if delivery to the Yahoo! inbox is important to your program, it is strongly advised that you at least apply to see if you qualify for the program.

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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.

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!