Noob Diary - Updated Daily!

Discussion in 'Diaries & Journals' started by noobking, May 8, 2012.

  1. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Thanks roundabout for giving me a chance to record my daily activities.

    Let me introduce myself first. I am doing display and social for about 3 three years, but also doing some small mailing using aweber and icontact with a profit around $200 per day, all the lists are generated by myself using PPV. I am enjoying this "free"; traffic and want to scale it, that is the reason why I am into mass mailing.

    But I found in this arena, most of the things are different and I am completely a NOOB. After spent lots of time in this forum, I learned a lot, but it is only theory.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ok, let's get back to the diary.

    Day 1 (05/08/2012)
    Today I solved many problems I've never thought of.

    The first thing, for me, was to choose one ESP that was good for starters and can scale easily in the future.
    I was offered GI data and encouraged by one of admins in this forum, so I decided to use kobeni and join its contest.

    I've never used any ESPs before so I even don't know what are the steps to use a ESP. But for kobeni:
    1) Contact kobeni, David is a very nice guy to work with.
    2) Sign the license agreement, receive invoice, pay it by credit card or paypal.
    3) Waiting for welcome email from kobeni next morning which lists some instructions about how to use their software.

    Right now I'm still waiting for welcome email. The cost of license is $300 for first month and then $1100 for the following months.

    Today's second problem for me was to choose dedicated server provider and domain name registrar.

    Domain: I decided to use namecheap.com. DynamicDolphin and Moniker.com were also recommend by lots of people in MF.

    Dedi provider: It seems it's always mailer's secret of their server providers. Luckily I got one suggestion from admin but I also searched webhostingtalk.com.
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=974330

    Burst.net seems a good choice, they claimed they had some big mailers running on their servers. Someone also suggest leaseweb.com. I appreciate it if you suggest me some other options (please PM me)

    As to server specs, I think it should be included in kobeni's welcome mail. But according to above webhostingtalk's thread, seems usually mailer would need:
    CPU: Core2Duo, Core2Quad
    RAM: 4gb-8gb
    HDD: 250Gb
    OS: according to your ESP
    Control Panel: If using Linux, do I need?
    Bandwidth: I'm not sure how much for mailing, is 5Tb enough? (100Mbps port)
    IP address: 32?
    Managed service: ?
    RAID: no
    2nd drive: no

    I learned one lesson when communicated with ISP sales, don't say you use it for mailing
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When speaking of IP, I'm curious about what /27 /28 /26 stand for, today I finally figure it out;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classless_Inter-Domain_Routing

    Tomorrow's Mission:
    1) Contact Erin and Laura to setup network accounts
    2) Waiting kobeni's welcome mail to see what I can do.
    3) Order server and domains

    Questions:
    1) I see a thread on MF about private whois debate but I'm confused, can I use private whois? If not use private whois, do you guys use real address or virtual office address? I see some guys use mailbox address. Can I use skype-in phone number?
    2) Namecheap and dynamicdolphin are resellers of resellerclub.com. So do you think I can handle the complaints if I also register a reseller at resellerclub.com and buy myself domains?



    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Day 2 (05/09/2012)

    As expected, I received welcome email from kobeni's team this morning which lists instructions about what I should do next.

    Obviously I need to buy servers and domains. Servers' specs were listed in welcome email.
    All the afternoon, I was hunting servers. At last, I got one main server @ $150 and one backup server @ $79.9, which I think is a very good deal. Also registered some domains at namecheap and moniker for mailing.

    I didn't do too many things today but got more questions:

    1) It seems forming a limited company is a good way to protect myself. In canada, not like US, there's only one type of limited company: incorporation. But i'm only studying at Canada (I'm from hong kong), so I can't form incorporation in canada but can quickly set up a limited company in Hong Kong.

    my question is when mailing, can I use Hong Kong limited company's name as company's name, and rent a US PO box as opt-out address? Or if I don't want to register a company and don't want to post my real name, can I make up a fake company name and use a PO box address? i want to make sure I'm doing legally.

    2) mailing domain contact. I spied some mailer's email and saw they use " Sys Admin" or " Domain Contact" as their mailing domain contact, is it legal?

    3) I plan to mail GI data. so how many IP's do you suggest I can start with? 5 ip or /27?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  2. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    Yes and no.

    No in the sense that you don't want to sound like a spammer and scare the salesman. Nobody ever got a server by saying "Can I have a /24 please to blast millions of emails out"

    Yes in the sense that the ISP is going to know you're mailing regardless, and let's face it, anybody who asks for more than a couple of IPs is most likely a mailer. So you are fooling no one by looking down at your feet as you ask for a /24.

    Your best bet as an experienced mailer is to provide references of other ISPs you are currently with, and give the salesmen their addresses for a "cleanliness check". The salesmen most likely won't, he's too busy and doesnt want to reject a sale, but do it anyway if you can as a sign of good faith.

    As a noob mailer, you're best to simply say you'll be mailing your optin database and need the IPs, and after that it's all up to their sales policies for determining what you get...

    There's really no need to hide your identity, especially after the California ruling (thread on here)... your address should be in the main body of your email as per Can Spam. So whoever you are sending to, knows who you are either way. Best keep your domains off of WhoisGuard.
     
  3. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Day 3 (05/10/2012)

    not much progress today

    ordered main mailing server yesterday evening and it was live this morning, pretty good!

    I regret only ordering 4 IPs when configuring this server. I should buy 16 IPs( there's an option). When asking for more IPs, i need to fill IP justification form...i don't know if every ISPs justification form is same, this ISP ask me how many subnet I need, what's the subnet number and subnet Mask #....

    Hope tomorrow backup server can be live and i can get allocated on IPs so that i can get started..

    One quick question, is it possibile that ISP give you blacklisted IPs? If so, how can you ask for clean ones?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  4. spamalot

    spamalot New Member

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    Yes, it's possible to get blacklisted IPs. Not sure if they will give you new ones without charge, I'm just starting too.
     
  5. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    the most likely BL you'll be on when you get your new IPs is Barracuda which is easy to get delisted from and it's also good excersise for noobs. Go to the delist page and fill it out a few times - just be glad you only have a few IPs....

    :nurse:


    for the noobs who don't already have this link:http://www.barracudacentral.org/rbl/removal-request
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  6. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Day 4 (05/14/2012)

    I thought everything would be ready today and I can start software training, however, this morning ISP (my server provider) sent me an email indicating that they can't host mass mailing server in this network and they can offer me /27 ips and same specs in another network, obviously my mailing life delayed again.

    From my lesson, if you're looking for a server provider as a noob,
    1) check their TOS, if you don't see any "zero tolerance" or other similar word about bulk mailing then go to step2
    2) talk with sales like what roundabout said

    If sale doesn't like bulk mailing, you can choose two way: 1 check next ISP 2 ignore sales and continue to register as their TOS isn't that so restrict.

    Injector: this term has been appeared lots of time on MF and i was confused about it for a long time. From my understanding, injector refers to front-end, like interspire(IEM), activecampaigns(AC)

    DBL and URIBL: what is the difference between DBL and URIBL? And before buying any domains for mailing, i was even worried what if the domain i bought was in DBL and URIBL?
    I should not be worried too much if I have looked at DBL's FAQ earlier.

    For mailing GI, you only need to set up rDNS, SPF, DKIM. Most of platforms already have made these setups automatically (except rDNS), if you want to know how to set up, here's a blog you can check:
    Some questions:

    1) I have formed a limited company, do I need a webpage publicly stating my privacy policy? (solved, I set up a privacy policy page)
    2) I see some mailers are using sub-domains other than domains as their sending domains, why do they like using sub-domains? saving cost or better delivery?

    Much thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  7. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Day 5 (05/16/2012)

    Two hours ago, new server was finally online. This ISP is very happy to allocate me /27 ips, but it took them about 84 hours to delivery this order.

    By tracking ASN, I can see this server is located in a very famous colocation DC. They also offer dedicated server.
    For the same specs, ISP charged me $174 with /27 ips, this DC only charge $99 with free /27 ips ( my /27 ips are clean)...

    Anyway, i can start my mailing life tomorrow!

    Question: can anyone respond to my Day 4 diary's questions?
     
  8. dynamik

    dynamik Member

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    Utilizing sub-domains gives you more bang for the buck ( so to speak ). As you are assigning multiple IP's to existing domains instead of purchasing new domains for each individual IP address, you would be basically assigning new domains (even though they are sub-domains- it's still a recognized, isolated mx server in some sense). Naming schemes and network assignments are a unique factor in people's setup/s, there's a lot of room for configuration there.

    You just have to establish what is feasible for you in terms of your capital at hand. General rule of thumb - No more than 8 assignments on a single domain. Research some of the millions of existing network ranges that are around, look at what is typical and ask yourself - would this appear normal from an outsider and or someone whom is technical?
     
  9. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Day 6 (05/18/2012)

    As scheduled yesterday, this morning i got trained by ED from kobeni for their platform.

    Maybe because of this is my first platform, I feel it's pretty powerful and straightforward.

    It is intergrated with namecheap and moniker so it's easy to do some dns changes. DKIM and SPF are set up automatically.

    What confused me a lot is rDNS. Kobeni staff told me for GI it was not necessary to set rDNS up and it was easy to get flagged by ISP if we request.

    However from what I read on MF and other forums, it seems even it's for GI, rDNS is necessary.

    So my first question is, rDNS is necessary for GI, right?

    I googled the whole afternoon about rDNS and figured out how to set up rDNS.

    Generally there're two ways, either let ISP set it up at their end(for small amount IPs) or request ISP delegate authority to your own DNS servers.

    Here's an article about rDNS setting from DYN:
    Few ISP's control panel offers a function where you can set rDNS directly ( I only know softlayer right now) and in most cases you need to submit a ticket to your ISP or DC.

    The following is what I thought about mass mailing rDNS setting under GI condition. Please correct me if it's wrong.
    If you swap out multiple domains under same IP, technically you could create multiple PTR records that point to the same IP and put in each the name of the site or whatever. Actually you just need create one PTR record for the one IP address and put it in the host name of the server. So if you get /27 ips, you only need to set up 30 PTR records across 1 domain or 30 domains, and you don't need to care if sending domains match PTR record, as long as there's PTR record.

     
  10. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  11. nickphx

    nickphx VIP

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    Some domains require rdns, some do not. Depends on what your list contains and what domains you want to hit.
     
  12. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Day 7 (05/21/2012)

    SuperGenii, thanks for your explanation.

    Today's first thing was to set up rDNS and forward DNS.

    Onpoint recommend use namecheap/moniker's default nameservers (I'm using namecheap), but you can't set up ptr records on namecheap's DNS, so I can only request my ISP set it up for me.

    I picked up an old domain from godaddy ( I know godaddy is not a good registrar for mailing, but I only use it for rDNS domain and don't mail from it, so it's not a big deal, right?) and chose 30 not spammy words like direct, en, news,..etc as sub-domain, submitted rDNS request tickets. ISP set them up quickly for me but until now I still can't lookup it (12hours).

    As i don't mail from this domain, so I need to set up forward DNS by myself. It's very easy, only need to set A record for each sub-domain pointing to its corresponding IP.

    I've got data, but it's mixed data. Onpoint platform has built-in list management function and can filter GI data...Problem is you can still find lots of TLD data in it after filtering...

    Until now, all the requirements have been finished. MY w4's AM didn't open their private mailing offer for me as I haven't mail their offers before.....so I selected one auto insurance and one debt offer, scheduled my first drop at tomorrow 6AM.

    Today i only have one question, how do you guys filter GI data from mixed data? or can anyone share a complete list of TLD+cable domain? ( I'm not in the US so i'm not familiar with those cable domains)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  13. Mailer619

    Mailer619 Member

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    Out of curiosity, what kind of data will you be using? Was it purchased from somewhere on this forum or data that you collected yourself...or something else?
     
  14. noobking

    noobking Member

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    I'm using icontact and aweber for data collected by myself.

    For mass mailing, in most cases, purchased
     
  15. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    Onpoint has an option after importing the data, as a ruleset, to select "GI Only"... if you check that, the TLD will be filtered out...
     
  16. noobking

    noobking Member

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    I did, but problem is even I check that, there're still lots of TLDs in the list.

    Update: I found this thread.

    http://www.mailerforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=253&highlight=managed+domains

    Excel is a great tool to filter data first.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  17. hanovermedia

    hanovermedia Member

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    This is super exciting to read. As I am ramping up my mailing I hope to get something from here. I hope to give something back in here when i can actually answer a question of yours.
     
  18. Mailer619

    Mailer619 Member

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    For your purchased data what did you buy? Opener/clicker lists, deliverables, feed data..or something else?
     
  19. noobking

    noobking Member

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    i got openers and raw data
     
  20. noobking

    noobking Member

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    Day 8 (05/24/2012)

    Data filtering wasn't that easy if your data was not well formatted.

    I got openers data which was not well formatted. Some only have email address, some only have email and ip...every contact is disordered.

    As far as I know, kobeni's list generating system didn't work well on this kind of data and you can still find lot s of TLD data if you select "GI only" function.

    The past two days i spent lots of time on formatting them. I've tried some list management software like send-safe list manager ( you can find nulled one if you search), bubbles software (http://www.mailerforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=235&highlight=list+management) but both didn't work well with unformatted data. But if you get well-formatted data, all work perfectly.

    Yesterday I gave this data file up for I've spent lots of time on it but not found an effective way to sort them out.

    I began to focus on those well-formatted raw data. By using kobeni's list generation function i pulled about 188,000 GI data from 2m scrubbed data yesterday evening. ( There was something wrong with my kobeni account's database today and it cost them one day to fix it....a whole day was wasted)

    Though it was scrubbed data, i still sent it to IW to scrub again in order to be safe. Results proved i was right. 20,000 data were removed and 40,000 were international data. So always clean your data again by yourself no matter where it comes from.

    Memorial day is coming so this evening i will schedule some memorial related offers for my first drop.

    Hope i can get a good result.


    Update: only get 440,000 GI from 8m mixed data. Too many big4 data.

    I have one question, if it is good to mix some small cable into GI? otherwise it's too difficult to get enough GI data
    or pure GI is good for delivery?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

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