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  • 09/12/16--15:20: The perfect email
  • More and more I’m moving away from consulting on technical setup issues as the solution to delivery problems. Delivery is not about the technical perfection of a message. Spammers get the technical right all the time. No, instead, delivery is about sending messages the user wants. While looking for something on the blog I found an […]

    The post The perfect email appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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  • 03/29/17--17:39: Filters do what we tell them
  • In the email space we talk about filters as if they were sentient beings. “The filters decided…” “The filters said…” This is convenient shorthand, but tends to mask that filters aren’t actually deciding or saying anything. Filters are software processes that follow rules dictated by the people who create and maintain them. The rules flow […]

    The post Filters do what we tell them appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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    Most companies and senders will tell you they follow all the best practices. My experience says they follow the easy best practices. They’ll comply with technical best practices, they’ll tick all the boxes for content and formatting, they’ll make a nod to permission. Then they’re surprised that their mail delivery isn’t great. Too many senders, ESPs […]

    The post Permission trumps good metrics appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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  • 06/26/17--16:40: Filtering by gestalt
  • One of those $5.00 words I learned in the lab was gestalt. We were studying fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and, at the time, there were no consistent measurements or numbers that would drive a diagnosis of FAS. Diagnosis was by gestalt – that is by the patient looking like someone who had FAS. It’s a […]

    The post Filtering by gestalt appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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    excFollowing on from my reading between the lines post I want to talk a little bit about using the channels. From my perspective the right way to deal with 99% of issues is through the front door. Last week I found myself talking to multiple folks in multiple fora (emailgeeks slack channel, mailop, IRC) about how […]

    The post 5 steps for addressing deliverability issues appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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  • 09/05/17--18:18: Improving Gmail Delivery
  • Lately I’m hearing a lot of people talk about delivery problems at Gmail. I’ve written quite a bit about Gmail (Another way Gmail is different, Gmail filtering in a nutshell, Poor delivery at Gmail but no where else, Insight into Gmail filtering) over the last year and a half or so. But those articles all focus […]

    The post Improving Gmail Delivery appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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    There are a bunch of online communities – mailing lists, Slack channels, etc. – where “people who do email” interact. Some of them are open to anyone to subscribe, some of them are semi-private and require an invitation, others are closed and only available by invitation and yet others are associated with trade associations and […]

    The post Interacting in professional fora appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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  • 01/15/18--07:45: Tempo
  • When we say that you might just be sending too much email and fatiguing or annoying the recipient into unsubscribing or hitting spam, this is the sort of thing we mean. Three emails (to the same email address) in four minutes might be a bit much. If you can’t combine the content you want to […]

    The post Tempo appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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  • 01/12/18--17:51: Filters evolving
  • I started writing this blog post while sitting on a conference call with a bunch of senders discussing some industry wide problems folks are having with delivery. Of course the issue of Microsoft comes up. A lot of senders are struggling with reaching the inbox there and no one has any real, clear guidance on […]

    The post Filters evolving appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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    All to often we think of filters as a linear scale. There’s blocking on one end, and there’s an inbox on the other. Every email falls somewhere on that line. Makes sense, right? Bad mail is blocked, good mail goes to the inbox. The bulk folder exists for mail that’s not bad enough to block, […]

    The post What kind of mail do filters target? appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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    It is a regular occurrence that senders ask filters and ISPs for mitigation. But there seems to be some confusion as to what mitigation really means. I regularly hear from senders who seem to think that once they’ve asked for mitigation that they don’t have to worry about filtering or blocking at that ISP for […]

    The post What does mitigation really mean? appeared first on Word to the Wise.


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