Yahoo, Aol, Verizon Relaunch Sender Portal

Big news for senders from Verizon Media Group, operators of Yahoo and Aol free inboxen: they’ve announced the relaunch of their sender support portal – VMG’s answer to Microsoft’s SNDS or Gmail Postmaster Tools:

Today, we are delighted to unveil the new sender focused portal at It highlights features like AMP for email, BIMI, Promotions and others. It’s a place to find documentation and examples but also get support and questions answered.

Marcel Becker, Sr Director Product Management

The announcement hints that more is to come – can’t wait to see whether that will include some version of reputation assessment, or maybe even some spam trap data? Definitely something for email marketers and deliverability professionals to keep an eye on.

There’s Definitely a Way Out of Gmail Promotions and Into the Primary Tab.

But you’re not going to like it.

Let’s just get clarity on a key point, right from the top: the Primary tab is intended to be the place for personal, one-to-one correspondence, and for other mail that Gmail’s machine learning determines is personally important to the individual recipient based on that recipient’s historical interaction with mail from that same sender. That’s a very high bar for marketing mail sent in bulk, and it’s set there intentionally.

Continue reading

CRTC Shares Canadian Anti-Spam Law Enforcement Stats in 2019

Screenshot 2019-12-03 at 12.00.34 AM

ICYMI, the agency responsible for enforcing the Canadian anti-spam law released a nifty infographic breaking down some interesting stats about those enforcement efforts for the prior seven months.

The number one complaint e-mail recipients made to their government – by a long shot – was a lack of permission from recipients. And the senders in most of those cases were just ordinary businesses sending promotional mail.

Other key take-aways:

  • Almost $2.7-million in fines and penalties were issued;
  • Vicarious liability is a thing – leaders at the offending companies can be (and were) held personally liable for the infringing acts of the companies they run;
  • Text message spam is alive and well – 42% of all CASL complaints were about SMS spam.

Don’t mess with Canada.

Fight Me!

Spoiler Alert: They're all purchased lists.

Right In the Feels

Video: Revenue Vs. Reputation on Black Friday.

Big brands like Grailed and The Gap face the same difficult choice as emerging brands – how to resolve the often competing business requirements for revenue growth and good deliverability? Squeezing lists for every last dollar can be a quick shortcut to the spam folder, and risks your ability to reliably reach even your most engaged recipients.

The problem, of course, is proving the negative. We can’t see the dollars we leave on the table when we abandon best practices, and it’s tempting to justify it when our blind squirrel finds a few nuts hidden in our lapsed segments.

Is there a data-driven approach to resolve this dilemma? Watch and see.

Video: You’ve Done Everything Right, and Something Still Goes Horribly Wrong

Here is a pair of great hot takes from this year’s Braze LTR conference on how big brands bounced back fast when real-life deliverability disasters materialized.

Hear from COO & Head of Product at Grailed (and previously at Wayfair) Gregory Kim, and Head of CRM & Messaging at Canva Emily Stewart about how their careful attention to deliverability early on allowed them to recover gracefully and quickly after deliverability hell broke loose.


Gmail’s Big Flex On Prompted Unsubscribes

Hey, looks like I’m extremely late to the party. After I published this, a far more astute observer pointed out in EmailGeeks that the change was announced as a part of the larger update that Gmail rolled out in April – of 2018!

For some years now, Gmail has offered a prompted unsubscribe feature based on the presence and method of the List-unsubscribe header, and on sender reputation. The prompt would appear in the chrome of the client interface above an individual marketing message.

Reactions from senders were mixed when it was first rolled out. On the plus side, it arguably pre-empts some portion of spam complaints that might be more accurately characterized as malformed unsubscribe requests. On the minus side, senders generally prefer larger lists, even where significant chunks of them are inflated with unengaged recipients.

For the first time yesterday, I observed that Gmail has taken the functionality and made it much more robust. I’ve highlighted a pair of very interesting changes in the mobile screenshot below: Continue reading

“How Much Marketing Content Can I Put in my Transactional Mail?”

With the holiday mailing season nearly upon us, senders are thinking hard about ways to maximize their marketing touches – and not solely through raw increases in total volume. I fielded this question recently from an anxious customer, and it struck me that others may be posing a similar question to their own deliverability folk, or to the empty air if they don’t know any: Continue reading

Pop Quiz, Poindexter: How does an ISP make money on a free inbox?

This is an excerpt from I podcast I did with Gurbir, PJ, and the awesome team at Braze. Wanna hear the whole thang? Be my guest!