Hammering Out Which Domain To Use
When sending email, domains are a key part of how people remember and experience your brand. For example, if your company (named “ACME”) primarily sells anvils, you would be wise to include the words “acme” and “anvil” in the domain name that you send your emails from. Simple stuff, I know.
But what if your business sells multiple things or has multiple departments? What if you have multiple sub-domains to manage? And what if your company grows from a one-man consulting firm to a software team and needs to update the domain name it's been using? (Actually that's us, and we know it. Look for a domain name change in 2018.)
As you can see when it comes to domains, things can get complicated. But whether you’re getting launched on GreenArrow, or another email platform, or whether your biggest customer is Wile E. Coyote—we have some helpful tips below. (Because like the Roadrunner, GreenArrow is also known as Accelerati Incredibilus.)
In our digital age, reputation is key.
If you’re like me you check and compare online reviews all the time. I check before visiting a new restaurant, choosing a new doctor or even when I’m buying a simple kitchen tool on Amazon. Chances are you've thought about how nice it might be to have access to the resources and reputation of a much bigger company.
And in the world of email, you can do exactly that! SMTP relay services such as Amazon SES, SendGrid, Sparkpost or GreenArrow Cloud offer access to their reputation. These services can, therefore, be a very useful tool in your email sending toolbox, but they're not for everybody. Today’s post gives you the pros and cons of do-it-yourself vs. outsourcing your email.
Lock It Up (But Don't Throw Away The Key)
As we readied this post for publication in September 2017, Equifax announced a security breach that impacted over 145 million U.S. consumers. As I checked my social security number, I had a flashback to 2014, when a group called "Guardians of Peace" leaked information from Sony Pictures. The Sony leak included personally identifiable information of employees, salary data, copies of upcoming films, and emails containing confidential information.
Incidents like these are a good reminder of why we need to take cyber-security seriously. Turns out the Equifax breach was caused by a failure to patch a two-month old bug, however the proper use of cryptography could have reduced the scope of what was compromised at Sony Pictures. Below you'll find a crash course on cryptography, with an eye to explaining how we keep our data secure.
What's in a Name?
As humans, we love to name things: children, pets, streets, mountains, rivers, oceans, deserts, and IP addresses. Yes, IP addresses. If you're running an email server, then each of your IPs needs a name. But you need to choose that name wisely, because choosing the wrong name (or not setting it up correctly) can affect your email deliverability.
Thankfully, you don't need to be super-creative or spend hours pouring through baby name books. Just follow a few simple guidelines (listed conveniently below) and you should be well on your way towards choosing the perfect name for your babies... I mean, IP addresses. :-)
What's a Routing Rule?
If you send email using VirtualMTAs (which allow senders to send email from multiple IP addresses), you already know the importance of having a configuration that works for your specific business needs. For many senders, setting up a single IP address and a single VirtualMTA interface may be everything they need to see long-term success out of their marketing platform.
But what happens when things change? Suppose you’ve been blessed with the burden of HUGE growth and now have a volume of email that exceeds what one IP address should deliver. Or perhaps your one IP develops a reputation problem, and Yahoo (or some other ISP) just suddenly stops taking your email. And what if you suddenly need multiple email streams, each handled differently than the other? How can you possibly adjust to all of these changes?
My wife and I have a new hobby—powerlifting.
Most people relax during the summer, but Paige and I decided to push ourselves (and the bar) to the limit by entering our first powerlifting competition. However, within minutes of entering the building and before touching anything heavy, I really messed up! Well, almost. And that reminded me about my work in email server security. When you don’t have the essentials figured out, you could end up with a bar in your chest like I almost did.
We need to talk.
I think we need some space. I like you, but I need time to process our relationship.
If Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Gmail and Hotmail could talk, sometimes they might sound just like this. There are plenty of reasons why they might put on the brakes and begin to limit the rate at which they accept email (i.e. rate limiting). But why do ISPs rate limit senders? And how can you respond without landing in the digital dog house?
Has this ever happened to you?
I love aged Sumatran coffee. It's often marketed as a Christmas blend, so it can be particularly hard to find in spring and summer. So when our resident coffee guru pointed a particularly tasty version, I jumped on it. After ordering my pure caffeinated gold and closing out the order confirmation page, I realized that I wasn't 100% sure that I'd ordered the right grind. I went to check the confirmation email, and saw....nothing. As I waited the ten seconds for it to show up, I had a thought: with transactional email, time literally is money. The faster that confirmation email comes in, the better the odds of the customer following through and completing their transaction.
Ten seconds can feel like a major delay in today’s digital age, and each additional second it takes to deliver an email increases the risk of a lost sale, an abandoned account signup, or a confused customer placing a double order. How fast is your email?
I love eggs.
Fried, scrambled, poached or boiled, they're one of my favorite foods. But as we all know, eggs are fragile, and not every egg makes it to the table (or even to the frying pan).
In the same way, not every email makes it through to its recipient. Lots of things can go wrong: the recipient's email address may be entered incorrectly, the ISP that hosts the email account could be having technical issues, or a spam filter could be blocking the message from getting through.