Deliverability StrategiesStriata provides advanced email deliverability services and strategies as an integral and ongoing part of every project. We also provide ongoing thought leadership and added value technologies to achieve the highest possible inbox penetration, increasing the return-on-investment for clients.
Sophisticated use of industry standard best practices and proprietary technologies allow Striata to maintain a 98.9% deliverability average for its commercial messaging services.
In business, the sending of one-to-one or one-to-few emails operates on a send-and-forget principle. By pressing the send button, one safely assumes that the email will arrive at its intended destination. High volume email, on the other hand, is a far more challenging endeavor and many organizations mistakenly assume that the simplicity and ease-of-use of business email applies to commercial messaging as well.
The challenge in high volume email deliveryThe goal of high volume email delivery is to ensure that the emails are successfully delivered and that recipients are likely to read the emails: directly into the inbox and not filtered out by spam and junk mail filters.
Effective strategies and technologies exist that apply methodologies to ensure inbox penetration. However, most organizations do not have the knowledge or capacity to keep up-to-date with the constantly changing landscape of email delivery, acceptance and compliance. The result is that email deliverability projects start with great promise of return on investment, but ultimately, targets are seldom achieved.
The only way to gain maximum email deliverability is to continuously action, monitor and implement all possible technical and strategic blocking and filtering tools in use, while making use of every available penetration tool.
Striata makes use of a number of major techniques used to block spam and prevent fraudulent email from being delivered.
Deliverability tools, techniques and authentication standards
The Striata Messaging Engine makes use of industry standard authentication technologies to ensure maximum inbox penetration.The following should be considered and incorporated into a deliverability strategy:
- Sender Policy Framework: SPF fights return-path address forgery and makes it easier to identify spoofing. Domain owners identify sending mail servers in DNS. SMTP receivers validate the envelope sender address against this information, and can distinguish authentic messages from forgeries before any message data is transmitted. Striata advocates the implementation of SPF records for all commercial email.
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM): DKIM validates the sender's identity and associates it with the message, while being transferred over the Internet - holding it accountable for the message. DKIM uses public key cryptography to allow users to verify and maintain message integrity, and identify legitimate messages. Striata's Messaging Engine is DKIM compliant and is able to sign outgoing messages.
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC): DMARC standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication using the well-known SPF and DKIM mechanisms. This means that senders will experience consistent authentication results for their messages at AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and any other email receiver implementing DMARC. A DMARC policy allows a sender to indicate that their emails are protected by SPF and/or DKIM, and tells a receiver what to do if neither of those authentication methods passes - such as junk or reject the message.
- Whitelisting/Accreditation: Whitelists are lists of trusted email servers. Messages from servers and relevant IP addresses that appear on the relevant whitelist or accreditation program are more likely to be delivered successfully. Striata provides ongoing whitelisting services for all our clients as part of our professional service offering.
- Greylisting: Each time a server receives an email from an unknown contact, that mail is rejected with a "try again later" message. While this delay is transparent to the end user, most spam is not sent out using SMTP compliant MTA's and therefore the spamming software will not try again later. The Striata Messaging Engine counters Greylisting by retrying immediately after receiving a temporary failure.
- Blacklisting or Real-Time Blackhole Lists (RBL): Blacklists are lists of IP addresses and domain names of known or suspected spammers. Subscribers to an RBL will know from which IP addresses to block traffic. Actively monitoring and managing blacklists helps prevent emails from being blocked. A key feature of the Striata Application Platform is the granular reporting that is available across all attempted email deliveries. A daily Blacklisting report checks both the delivery handshakes and over 250 known Blacklists for evidence of rejected emails or listed IP addresses and the Striata Professional Services team actively works on removing the Blacklisting.
- Throttling: As an anti-spam defense, certain email servers will only accept a limited number of simultaneous connections from another mail server. This prevents the mail server from being inundated with spam messages from a single source. The Striata Messaging Engine can be configured to reduce the number of concurrent messages to a certain domain and hence reduce the impact of throttling.
- Content filtering: Spam filters use various techniques to detect and block messages that are likely to be spam. For example, a message with the word "FREE", in the subject line may be a legitimate message but is likely to be blocked by most spam filters. Striata works with each client to ensure that spam filters don't reject or place messages to customers in the Bulk/Junkmail Folder based on message content. A key feature of the solution is a "Spam Checker" which provides a score based likelihood that the content will be flagged as spam.
ReportingReporting on delivery rates, reads, and click-throughs is strategically one of the most important deliverability tools. Reporting tells you if your deliverability strategy is working. If, after putting a number of technologies and strategies in place, you haven't seen acceptable deliverability rates, then reporting is your only clue into which part isn't succeeding.
The Striata Messaging Engine provides in depth reporting of all bounces, undeliverable and transient email failures. Custom reports can be developed via the web front end through a simple field selection tool.