Jun 26, 2009

Verizon is dead.

What a month!

After the tele2.fr emails about to die out soon (see post), Verizon is now out for good.

I received an alert from Retrunpath:
[...]Verizon's telephone business in the Atlantic North East, sold back in 2007, has completed their transition of email addresses. The migration of Verizon addresses to Fairpoint Communications started a few months ago and was completed during this last week. [...]

The error code received on the SMTP log is the following: 550 4.2.1
It should be considered as a Hardbounce (dead email).

Still on the Returnpath alert email:
[...] There is no 1 to 1 conversion of Verizon to Fairpoint Communications so simply changing the domain will not suffice in this case.[...]

You can trash right away all Verizon email addresses in your DB

Jun 25, 2009

What is a Spam?

I've been discussing Spam on this blog for months now.
I've given out, what are according to me the best ways not to be considered as a Spammer.

Now that time passed and that, working at an ESP, I've seen number of very different emails and clients being Spam blocked by ISPs and Spam reported by users.

Now the question that's on my mind currently is "what is the REAL definition of a Spam?"

First thing, as anyone living on the 21st century, I had a look at wikipedia for a definition, there it is

This is mostly a technical definition and a collection of facts.

Unfortunately I think all is not that simple, I think the definition of a Spam varies according to the point of view.

Let's try and see how we would describe a spam according to who we are:
Sender: Well, unless you are one of the Spammers sending Viagra advertising knowing you are spamming millions (billions) of people, you probably think you broadcast legitimate emails.

ESP: Same thing here, unless you are an illegal, underground ESP, you probably trust your clients (you probably have plenty of disclaimers in your contracts as well) and therefore consider you broadcast legitimate emails on behalf of your clients.

End users: We are all end users, so we probably all know what WE would consider as a Spam, basically any email sent to us that we didn't ask for or sent by someone we don't know.

ISPs and Spam filters: I kept those as last (although they should have been placed before the end user in the email chain) because I feel like this is the place where the problem is the less straitforward.
Several reasons for this:
First one is ISP loose money due to Spam, second reason is Spam filters make money out of it.
There's more and more Spam filtering company that make black or grey listed broadcasters pay for unlisting.
We can also mention the emailreg project launched by Barracuda which doesn't make everyone happy.
We also can mention all the certification programs that have flourished over the last years.
ISPs and Spam filter's definition of Spam is some kind of mix of:
Bad content, bad coding, bad keywords, poor sending domain reputation and poor IP reputation.
But even then, some of my clients match 100% of these criterias (I mean in good of course) but they will NEVER achieve 0% spam filtered emails

I guess the real definition of a Spam is an unsolicited email, but it's all a matter of perception after all.

Jun 12, 2009

Say goodbye to tele2.fr

As it was the case in February (see post here) with club-internet, tele2.fr email addresses will be the next victim of the SFR/Tele2/Cegetel merging in France.

I currently have no exact date from which these emails will stop to receive incoming messages, currently, no new tele2.fr email address can be created and the closing down should come shortly.

On the webmail's login page the following warning is displayed:

In June 2009
all @tele2.fr addresses will disappear

All users are invited to transfer their important messages on their @sfr.fr email address.

It's the third time domains dissapear this year in europe (after club-internet and Lycos europe domains)

Cabestan sent an alert to all its users to advise them to send quickly and email to all tele2.fr addresses they might have in their DB asking them to change their contact information.

Jun 5, 2009

YOU are responsible for who broadcast your ads

Gmail published recently an update to their Bulk Senders Guidelines concerning affiliate campaigns.

In a few words, this article states that brands are responsible for broadcasts made with their offers inside.

This is a general trend today across most ISPs, Freemail providers and anti-spam solutions.

Up to recently, only (or mostly) the sender reputation imported when sending bulk emails.
Now, link reputation, brand keywords and content itself gets more and more important in the filtering process.

This means that not only should you - as a brand - closely monitor who you use to communicate on your offers, but you should also be very cautious when sending third party advertising on who you advertise for.
Either way, lack of caution would lead to a big drop in your reputation as a direct marketing entity.

For those of you who want to read more, I already discussed this subject twice in October 2008 and November 2008