How to troubleshoot marketing e-mail inbox rate / deliverability?

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by brokemailman, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. brokemailman

    brokemailman New Member

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    After previously using managed ESP's, we've recently switched over to our own server (CentOS 6) that's set up to send bulk e-mails with 12 IPs/SPF/DKIM. Campaigns are processed and sent via Interspire, but I've been testing with a desktop application also.

    Starting from fresh reputation was new for us, but we've been sending out 10/15k a day for the first week (in line with a lot of stuff about reputation building online). What's troubling me is that we're suffering from extremely low open-rates (1% - 3%, compared to 20% - 25% on the same lists with the same content from a managed ESP).

    I noticed that 2 of the IP's didn't have a correct rDNS setup, so that is being fixed by devs now, but surely that can't wholly account for the terrible rates I'm seeing?

    Mail-Tester.com is showing e-mails sent as 10/10 (everything correctly configured). SenderScore.org is showing all IPs as > 90 sender score (apart from the 2 with incorrect rDNS, which are showing as in the 60s)

    From this afternoon, mail I send (multiple attempts) isn't even landing in Hotmail's inbox. It lands in Yahoo fine, but where it goes (inbox or spam) is random, presumably due to the couple of bad IP setups.

    My questions are: 1. Where am I going wrong? 2. How can I better troubleshoot the issue? 3. Is there a better method for building up and maintaining inbox rates to major email providers?
     
  2. aklayman

    aklayman VIP

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    Hi brokemailman, there are lots of things that can go wrong, things I would check that you haven't mentioned, or things to try out:

    • When using new ips, with fresh reputation, it is recommended to start slow and sending only your most active users, in that way you will build up rep a lot faster, once you see yout open ratios going up, you can start speeding up.
    • Subscribe to any feedback loop you can when relevant
    • Senderscore is valid just for some providers, so if you for example send a lot of Gmail data this won't be usefull at all.
    • Good on rdns, be sure that all authentication is properly configured and analyze email headers to see if anything is wrong.
    • The domains you are mailing with, are the same or new? Domains also have rep and if new this will impact your inbox rate
    Hope this helps you a bit.

    Good luck
     
  3. brokemailman

    brokemailman New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    The domain is also new. The e-mails sent from this server are to customers opted into another services of mine who've chosen to receive updates from emerging new services from my network. They're not expecting the e-mail, but the accounts are all active and the bounce rate is essentially non-existant.

    I just can't figure out why even though the reputation is building on my IPs, I'm not inboxing in most cases or in Hotmail's case not delivering at all.
     
  4. DAgent

    DAgent Moderator

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    brokemailman,

    aklayman made excellent points regarding deliverability and they are all a must. Let me add one more thing that is sometimes overlooked.

    The difference between mailing from your own IP space and ESP´s is the ISP relationships layer. Meaning, for every recipient ISP, there MUST be a relationship established between them and you. Not only going through their forms to "announce" yourself as a sender, but a real relationship between their postmaster and yours. They have several client side filters (the ones who determine whether your email goes to the junk vs the inbox) that you will bypass if they know about your optin policies, what kind of content are you promoting to their users, etc. It´s an extremely lobbist scenario, and going with a full time deliverability manager who can pick up the phone and reach out to the right person, will make the difference of where your emails ultimately get delivered. This is, essentially, what an ESP does.

    I hope it helps!
     
  5. brokemailman

    brokemailman New Member

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    Thanks for the great replies already.

    From a completely fresh server, domain and sending IP's, what would be the best route to take for me to start hitting inbox early on? Poor deliverability is hurting other aspects of my business. If this server is beyond hope, I'll happily set up another.

    Thanks guys!
     
  6. postmaster

    postmaster VIP

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    I don't understand why one would leave the umbrella of a good ESP when you're only trying to deliver 15k emails. The cost would be pennies compared to the cost, time and effort venturing out on your own.
     
  7. brokemailman

    brokemailman New Member

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    It's not necessarily simplicity I'm looking for, I prefer to be hands on with everything and an all-round 'good' ESP is hard to find. I have now set up my own mail server on a dedi, perfectly configured everything (gotta love seeing that 10/10 on mailtester.com) and delivering to all e-mail providers without problem. Now just to slowly build on the reputation!
     

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