Authentication follow up - you’ve been busy

When we launched our new email authentication system last week, we had no idea how well it would be received. To be honest, authentication can be a tricky concept to get your head around and I was a little nervous about how popular it would be.

Sometimes I love being wrong. In less than a week hundreds of authenticated domains have been set up, many with an authenticated domain for each and every client. It's been fantastic to see and a great result for everybody. Your emails have a better chance of being delivered, ISP's know who you are and your domain is being protected from abuse.

A number of customers have also been kind enough to send in instructions and screenshots walking through how they added the records with their own hosts. This is hugely appreciated. If you've set things up and don't see your host listed, we'd LOVE for you to send through the steps and screens so it will be that much easier for your fellow Campaign Monitor designers using the same host.

Of course, it hasn't been smooth sailing for all. Almost every host out there has a different front end for managing your DNS. Some make it a breeze, others like to see you sweat. We've even discovered a few hosts that don't support TXT records (and therefore authentication) at all. Sigh. We've put together a quick authentication FAQ for those of you that are having trouble getting your records added. We've found that with a little persistence even those claiming not to support it can bend their rules if you ask nicely.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 4 Comments

Improve your deliverability with email authentication

What if I told you that with a few minutes work you could instantly reduce the chances of your email being marked as spam, build trust with your recipients and protect your brand from being abused via email. Sounds pretty good doesn't it. Well, that's exactly what you can do with the new email authentication feature we just launched.

What the heck is email authentication?

Email was built in much more innocent times when spam came in a can and phishing was something you did on the weekend to relax. This meant the system was left fairly open, making it very easy to manipulate - it's just as easy to make your email come from bill@widgets.com as it is from bill@microsoft.com. Unfortunately this great flexibility has also been it's greatest undoing.

Enter email authentication, a simple method that proves you sent the email.

While it's by no means a silver bullet to the spam problem, authentication is an important first step in adding that much needed accountability layer into email. In a nutshell, it involves you adding some simple records to the DNS of the domain name you send email from that says who is allowed to send email on your behalf.

Without getting into too much of the boring details, there are two main authentication standards out there you need to support called Sender ID and DomainKeys. What is important is that different ISP's use one or a combination of both, so to get the best results we've made it dead easy to support both standards.

What's in it for you?

All the large ISP's like AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo! and Gmail are using email authentication as an important layer in their spam fighting arsenal. By setting up Campaign Monitor as an authenticated sender, you can instantly bypass certain filters, giving your campaigns a better chance of arriving in the inbox. Not only that, but many ISP's like Yahoo! and Hotmail will flag your email as authenticated, which helps to build trust between you and your subscribers and improves the chances of your emails being opened.

For example, here's an authenticated and non-authenticated email in Yahoo! Mail:

Email authentication in Yahoo! Mail

Authenticating your sending domains in Campaign Monitor

I know the concept of authentication can make some designer's eyes glaze over (mine included), so we've made the entire process as pain-free as possible. While I'll give you an overview here, we've also put together a complete guide in the help system, along with instructions on updating your DNS records in some of the popular hosts (we'll be adding more soon).

To get started, select the client you'd like to set this up for under "Manage Clients" and click the big green "Add a domain to authenticate" button.

Get started by clicking the big green button

Once you enter the domain name you want to authenticate, we'll generate the 2 records to add to your DNS.

Add the new records to your DNS

Once you've added the records, we'll automatically check them out and confirm that they've been added correctly. As soon as they have, that domain will be available as an authenticated domain when sending email for that client.

An authenticated domain being used

That's all there is to it! We'll take care of the rest and make sure each ISP knows the email is definitely coming from you. You'll now be able to bypass some spam filters, build trust with your recipients and ensure your domain name cannot be used fraudulently by others.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 16 Comments

“Campaign Monitor is awesome!”

Holy crap, Campaign Monitor is awesome! Just tried it out by sending some emails today. I can already tell that I may be a long term customer for you.

Derrick Schwabe, Identify Digital Media

Read this post Posted by Mathew Patterson

Suppression lists are live

Our brand new suppression list feature was rolled out a few hours ago. All went very smoothly and you can check them out under your Manage Subscribers tab. You'll notice that each client-wide suppression list is populated with all the unsubscribes from any previous lists in that client's account. This ensures that moving forward anyone who previously unsubscribed cannot be added to any new subscriber lists.

Quick Tip: Scrubbing your lists against the suppression list

While we've populated your suppression list with any previous unsubscribes, we haven't scrubbed all of your lists against it. If you'd like to scrub any of your subscriber lists against the suppression list, here's a quick tip. Head into the "Unsubscribe Options" for that list and you'll notice a new section where you can adjust how it integrates with the suppression list.

New unsubscribe options

If you turn suppression list integration off by selecting "Only unsubscribe them from this list", save your settings and then turn it back on again, you'll be given some additional options. The second of these options allows you to scrub all your "Active" subscribers against the suppression list. Here's a quick screenshot of how this looks:

Additional suppresion list options

By ticking that checkbox, we'll automatically scrub your list and remove anyone who has ever unsubscribed from any lists for that client. We hope you enjoy the new feature, we think it's a great addition and plan on adding it to MailBuild real soon too.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner

Email eye candy

Flirt WriteTips PPR Monthly Photographic Journal

Here's some more evidence for the great and growing depth of design talent working with email newsletters. The latest few take the total to over 150 different designs.

Subscribe to the gallery's RSS feed to keep up to date as the list grows.

Read this post Posted by Mathew Patterson

Introducing client-wide suppression lists

To keep things as easy to manage as possible, we've always kept unsubscribes at the list level, not the client level. This means that if a customer is subscribed to List A and List B and they unsubscribe from List A, they will still be subscribed to List B. This approach has worked very well for the majority of you guys. Most of you only have one or two lists per client and more often than not there isn't much cross over anyway.

The problem with this approach is that as your list management needs get more complex, the chances of an unsubscriber being accidentally sent to again increase. On top of this, there are plenty of other list management scenarios out there. You might want to ensure anyone who unsubscribed is never contacted again, no matter how many lists they're in. What if you've got a big chunk of unsubscribers from a previous system that you want to ensure are never added to any of your lists in Campaign Monitor? The list really does go on. From tomorrow, all of this will be possible from your Campaign Monitor account.

The Answer: Suppression Lists

Tomorrow we'll be introducing a new feature called "Client-wide supression lists". This is basically a client-wide do not email list. Here's a screenshot of how you can access this list from your subscriber list index page:

Client-wide suppression lists

Any address in this list will never be added to your subscriber lists and you can add and remove addresses from it whenever you like. By default, any unsubscribes from each list will be added to the suppression list for that client automatically. Here's how the page to manage your suppression list will look:

Manage your client-wide suppression list

This keeps you safe by ensuring you can never re-send to a previous unsubscriber accidentally. The best part is, you don't need to lift a finger to start taking advantage of this feature, it will work behind the scenes automatically.

Choose which approach works for you

While the suppression list will be turned on by default for each list, we've give you the ability to turn it off on a list-by-list basis. If you'd like to revert back to the old approach, no problem at all. You'll be able to adjust how this is handled in the Unsubscribe Settings for that list. Here's a quick screenshot of the new options:

New unsubscribe opttions

I hope you all find the new suppression list feature useful. We think it's a big improvement over the current approach and like any good update, works seamlessly behind the scenes without you actually needing to do anything.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 8 Comments

Check your mail. No, the other one!

It's been 3 long months since we asked for your help designing the new Campaign Monitor t-shirts. After hundreds of great entries, a vote-off, getting them designed, building an online store and finding a printer, it was very satisfying seeing the first batch shipped from our office this afternoon.

If you're one of the many customers who ordered a shirt, expect to get one of these babies in the mail soon...

The shirts are on their way

A final big thanks to everyone who contributed ideas, voted and eventually bought themselves a tee. As well as the shirts we've been selling through our store, we've also shipped plenty to those of you contributing awesome designs to our gallery or are helping out in our forums. If you're interested in the background story for these tees, check out this post on the Freshview blog.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 3 Comments
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