All about email

Email in 2017 is quite different from email of the past. In the past, anyone could send email from anyone, and often Bill Gates sent you a personal email offering you $10000. 

SPF Filtering Solves The Bill Gates Email and Reduces Spam

Only servers permitted by your DNS SPF record, can send email for your address. This reduces others from sending spam using your email address, as they won't have access to your secure SMTP server. Make sure all servers who send email are in your SPF record. In addition to your normal email provider, this should also include your web host (order and email notifications), mailchimp (if you use them), CRM, invoicing system, etc etc... Not sure what an SPF record is? Well even IT experts struggle with it, but it's them you need to contact. Once you have considered all the servers who are allowed to send email on your behalf, please contact your domain provider to create your SPF record. (Charges will likely apply, but it will reduce your spamyness). (Website World customers get SPF records automatically, so you only need to contact our support for this if you have more complicated requirements external to our core systems)

Blacklisting and Send Mail Policies

When any one mailbox gets hacked, and then sends too much spam, a whole mail server can become blacklisted. This is a real pain for the ISP/HSP, and all the other customers who share the mail server. It happens regularly to the biggest ISPs. It requires significant manual effort to go and clean up after hacked accounts. It is not a failing of the ISP to have hacked customer accounts, it is simply the problem of their customers picking bad passwords, or their passwords being learned when their computer gets hacked after clicking an infected attachment in an email. Send mail policies attempts to reduce this problem by limiting the amount of email anyone can send in a day. 200 emails would seem an impossible number to send, but a small percentage of customers do send more emails than that, for example when sending the monthly invoices. In order to reduce spam, we need to restrict the send rates. But in order to support invoices, we need to increase send rates. For those email accounts with increased permissions, greater care should be taken over their personal security.

Bulk Emailer Services

Typically more than 200 emails are sent for a monthly or weekly newsletter to customers. For this, you need to use a special service that is allowed to send larger quantities of emails. There are strict rules to adhere to, including the laws, as well as the rules of the provider. These rules are in place to help keep inboxes clean, but also to ensure the safe delivery of your email. If a newsletter server becomes blacklisted, then it makes it hard for others to send good emails. A bulk email provider has tools to to manage your database, and manage the unsubscribe requirement. Customers should specifically opt in to receive emails, however, there is a grey area where emails are collected physically at a trade show, and entered in afterwards, or due to a phone call. It is hard for the provider to police every sender, but you can be sure that if you cause a server to be blacklisted, that you will very quickly be banned. 

Email Campaign Management

Email campaigns are a different way to send newsletters to your customers. You add customers to the campaign at different times, but each customer in the campaign, will receive the emails drip feed, telling the same story, in the same order. Customers do not get the same emails on the same day. They get only the email relevant to them for their stage in your cusotmer life cycle. 

How Can I Clean Up After Being Hacked? 

Rule 1, don't get hacked. Rule 2, refer rule 1...  You can prevent getting hacked, by picking strong passwords, with more than 2 words, mixed case, and numbers or special characters included. Even with a strong password, you need to keep it safe. So do not open attachments from anyone, unless you know exactly what it is. So only open attachments from friends and customers and suppliers, if you think they have sufficiently personalised the email so that you are confident the attachement was really sent by them. But everyone makes mistakes, so what do you do then? Your best solution may be to change your email address, and phase out the old address... Or you can go to the big effort to search for blacklist servers, and manually register with each and appologise, and manually request they unblock your email address... 

Increasing Readership of My Emails

Your email is more likely to be read, if the subject is catchy and informative. What is your email actually about. Hopefully something more interesting that your "monthly news'... List a few of the more interesting news topics. Your email is more likely to be read if the first line is a personalised introduction, demonstrating that you actually have a relationship with the recipient. If you are including links or attachments, then please consider the issues above, and make sure you include enough personalised content, so that the recipient can trust clicking links or opening attachments. Sending a newletter as a PDF or Word document is obviously a really bad idea. Avoid peak times. Recipients are more likely to delete emails in the morning cull. They have so many emails, that they want to get their list down to a manageable size before actually reading any. So therefore, it's better to send emails later in the working day, but not too late. And Fridays/Saturdays should be avoided, unless you are targeting weekend activity.

Free Gmail Account and Domain Email

You can use your existing free Gmail account with your domain email. Either you change to GSuite (a paid service for teams of employees) and get your DNS MX records pointed to google... OR... if you are running solo in your business, you can get an ordinary POP account from your web host or domain provider, and then add that account to your existing gmail account. In GMAIL, Click SPANNER icon top right, then settings, then Accounts, then Add a mail account...

 

Posted: Wednesday 12 July 2017



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