Thursday, 8 February 2007

Email deliverability - the landscape has changed. again

Ripped Blatantly from my E-consultancy post...

I have been doing some Email deliverability testing on a newly configured server/IP.

All good email marketeers know that the key to good Deliverability includes.

- A properly configured mail server
- Reverse DNS correctly configured
- Correct MX records setup
- an SPF record/SenderID record
- Correct To and From: records in the mail that match the lookup that the receiving server will inevitably check
- structuring the content and headers in accordance with WC3 and email RFC standards

As well as the usual best practice
- removing bounces regularly - keeping a clean list
- acknowledging unsubscribe requests promptly
- Whitelisting with as many ISPs as possible

So when I did some testing on a newly configured IP/server... the delivery rates relative to historic ones I have experienced (on other servers) was appalling. As much as 35% less in some cases.
Interestingly when i did switch to another IP (offered to me temporarilly by a friend at an ESP) the delivery rate increased up again 35%.
What makes things interesting is that the latter IP I used did not resolve correctly to my domain..... so technically it was not configured correctly... but gave me almost perfect delivery rates..

In other words an incorrectly configured ..."long established" IP address gives better delivery rates than a properly configured "new" IP.

So it would seem that Mailing IP's need a "history" in order to get accepted by some ISP's. Technical configuration, content and ethical practices are important... but not as important as having a solid mailing history associated with a specific IP address...

This will pose challenges for anyone starting a new business no?

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