Port25 Summit Europe: Deliverability experts share their insights

What does deliverability and email marketing take in 2019?

We asked some of the speakers and users from the community at the Port25 Summit 2018 to give us a sneak peak of what and their best advice what deliverability takes in 2018 and beyond, including new protocols, legislation, business and new techniques. Here is what they had to say.

Re-examining the role of the dedicated IP

The result of Microsoft’s migration to the Office365 backend is a new sensitivity to volume fluctuations. In the wider industry there is a gradual shift towards domain-based reputation, awareness that IPv4 is a finite resource, and the impending dawn of IPv6. These factors should trigger a re-examination of the role of the “dedicated IP”.

Mere monthly volume is no longer enough to justify the use of a dedicated IP address for a single customer. Instead, a more holistic approach is required that accounts for sending frequency and cadence, B2B traffic and IP whitelisting, and the increasing prominence of CSA and ReturnPath Certification.

This shift in perspective on dedicated IPs emphasizes the importance of ensuring clients using shared IPs are successful. Increasing the number of actively used IPs can improve send speed and redundancy in the case of blacklistings, and allows more accurate grouping of clients into pools with peers sending comparable traffic.

Thanks to PowerMTA’s cold-virtual-mta directive and MX roll-up feature, warming new IPs using shared traffic is easy to control. Where a dedicated IP is justified, having available pre-warmed IPs eliminates the need to depend on clients to send to the right volume of data at the right time.

– Tamara Bond, dotmailer


Senders should start using DANE

There have been some big steps in email security over the last few years, but verifying the authenticity of the receiver of emails is still an ongoing concern. HTTPS solves the problem by using certificates issued by trusted CAs, but that has some drawbacks (use of stale information, poor scalability) for use with email delivery.

Enter DANE (DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities) – a protocol that allows receivers to publish their authentication credentials securely using DNSSEC.

Using DANE, senders can obtain credentials securely and use them to authenticate the receivers before delivering email to them. DANE is being widely adapted, can be quickly deployed and scales well. If you are a sender concerned with secure delivery of email, you should start using DANE!

– Avinash Kulkarni, Sparkpost

Documentation will get you a business advantage

What is the thing to do in 2018 / 2019 to continue to have email marketing success? It is documentation, documentation, documentation. Cannot say this often enough. The basic principles of email did not change from previous legislation. A valid consent was always required for legal email marketing.

But what is now more important than ever is to have detailed records about the source of a consent, information how data will be used and to be able to prove that you have done everything correctly etc.

Since more email receivers and data subjects in general are now more sensitive about their data you need to be able to provide requested data.
From a business perspective, it can be competitive advantage if you do everything correct according law. While similar business companies might be exposed to high sanctions and loss of customers, you can profit of by being able to provide documentation of required data and being more relevant and trustworthy.

– Rosa Hafezi, Legal Counsel CSA (Certified Senders Alliance)

Respecting customer data holds the key to the inbox of tomorrow

The discussion around GDPR and data regulations in 2018 was everywhere. As a result European citizens now better understand their rights to own and control their data and they will be more critical of marketing that doesn’t address their needs and requirements.
Undifferentiated and badly targeted communication will be ignored at best, or reported to the authorities at worst – so marketers should now raise their game. But it’s more than just a case of avoiding prosecution. Marketers that demonstrate they respect customer’s data rights and use the data to send relevant messages are bound to very quickly gain respect and much more likely to reach the inbox.

– Kieran Cooper, Sparkpost

Handling “groupon sized” volumes with your MTA

Back in 2009, groupon started with a decent volume of 10 million messages per month which we were happily delivery using q-mail. But with the rapid growth in volume, we quickly reached the boundaries of qmail and needed to look for alternatives. We found port25 and the PMTA-Solution.

We tried to get the maximum out of it. This wasn’t only because of our ambitious SysOps and Development Teams. It was majorly triggered by Groupon not stopping to grow its business (and the amount of emails).

With some tweaks on the hardware side and changes in the server setup we could send a lot more volume. In the end we were able to overtop the maximum hourly messages by the factor 2.5.

Groupon was able to deliver up to 250 Million messages within a requested timespan of 4 hours. This is more than some ESPs send in a month for all their clients.

– Marius Bauer, Cheetah Digital

Think Deliverability and Beyond

Marketers have to think beyond deliverability, because the traditional email batch and blast is no longer effective enough.

The beyond part is a two part strategy to become a smarter sender:
1- Target the your audience segments in the right cadence (timing and frequency) with content are likely to act on.
2- Experiment and test, also with innovations in email such as Google AMP and BIMI.
– Kate Nowrouzi, Sparkpost

Treat the inbox like an event.

The inbox is like an conference or an event. You want to set the stage from the beginning. Show that you care about them, and make clear what value they’ll get out of this day. There can be value in ideas, tips & tricks, building relationships and so on.

Sometimes it’s the small things, sometimes simpler is better. A plain text part besides the HTML part goes a long way. No typos.

I just received the opposite the other day: a scooter rental company sent me an email with a $1 credit with them. When I read it in my mail client it just says “please view in a client capable of displaying HTML”. When I reluctantly switched to the HTML part, it said I had to read it on my smartphone to get the promo. Wow. Are you telling me how I have to read my email? Talk about sending a customer packing.

– Robert Wenner, Port25

Jordie van Rijn

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and Analyst. He is the Founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch " by Entrepreneur magazine.

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