Hello, nice to meet you!
ReturnPath hosted a “Sender Score User Group” meeting in San Francisco in 2008. I was five years into figuring out deliverability issues on my own at that point. I remember being excited to finally have a group of peers who could help navigate the burgeoning industry.
My name is Matt McGlynn. Since the early 2000s, I’ve helped send more than 7B emails as the in-house deliverability expert for Care2.com. During that time, I’ve watched massive changes rock the email marketing field: sender reputation tracking, ISP consolidation, engagement tracking… All of these factors figure prominently into our approach to inbox rate management.
A few war stories
There’s no way to send millions of emails per day, for 15 years, without having a few problems along the way.
We had an issue with Project Honeypot in 2010. Every day, a Honeypot listing would cost us SenderScore Certification for yet another IP address. After some segmentation and personalization, I found the Honeypot address. (It turned out to belong to a former active user on our site; the address was improperly converted to a Honeypot listing during a domain donation, so far as we could tell. While the Honeypot people claim this is impossible, it apparently is not. I ended up writing a detailed white paper about this experience for circulation to ISIPP’s “Deliverability Professionals” email list at the time, and can share that document again if you’re interested.)
I managed the recovery from a Spamhaus SBL blacklisting in 2014. The Spamhaus SBL is the Death Star of deliverability problems. Our inbox rate dropped by more than 50% overnight. My philosophy on list hygiene, as advocated elsewhere on this site, is heavily informed by a private email exchange I had with the technician at Spamhaus during this recovery.
How can we help you?
I’ve written bounce policies and throttling policies, “warmed up” and migrated SMTP IPs, set up authentication headers (SPF, DKIM, DMARC), managed DNS, worked with numerous email address validation providers (xVerify, FreshAddress, Webbula) and inbox metrics/analytics systems (ReturnPath, eDataSource, MailMonitor), configured and managed MTA software (qmail, postfix, PowerMTA), and run dozens of “what happened?” investigations to figure out why bounces spiked, or why inbox rates dropped.
One thing is certain: the industry continues to evolve. Today’s solutions might not fit tomorrow’s problems. And yet there are a handful of core principles that remain critical to success: engage and delight your subscribers, keep toxic addresses off your list, and hire someone to proactively manage all the technical infrastructure pieces. It is far easier to prevent deliverability problems than to fix them.
Simple, right? 😉
Contact me if you need a hand.