URLs getting flagged as spam - ExchangeDefender (and more?)

I apologize if this is a repeat topic, but I could not find another forum entry that was particularly on point for what we've seen.

We have an inhouse Exchange Server, but due to increasing spam issues, a few months back, we added the ExchangeDefender service, which (if I understand the tech correctly) pre-screens the mail for both directions for potential spam.

We can sign into our accounts on a website to safely review or release emails that get caught as Spam (can include false positives, which can then be tagged as a 'trusted' sender by address per user) or SureSpam (nearly always outright bogus emails).

Our last few campaigns have nearly 100% been caught as SureSpam (Preview emails or Live). At every campaign I find, I tag the sender as trusted, but the service sees the Sender as the varying cmail#.. address, not our campaign's defined Sender. 
(Interesting side note: I always get the invoices from Campaign Monitor when the blast goes out without any issue. This is my only reminder to then go check the other website for the blast itself)

Once I had a campaign successfully in my Outlook, I tried forwarding it to two personal email accounts for reviewing in other environments.  Those got rejected for outgoing by ExchangeDefender for

"Looks like exchange defender blocked this due to detecting a spam url.
-----------
outbound4.exchangedefender.com #553 5.3.0 Rejected. Please contact your service provider: Your message contained a SPAM URL and
was blocked by ExchangeDefender. ##"

Since the URLs in the campaigns all look like gibberish behind the scenes, I can understand why it's flagging them.  We still seem to get pretty good open rates, so I know our blasts are getting out to customers, but I also doubt ExchangeDefender is unique in interpreting these URLS.

EXAMPLE
Campaign Blast LINK: http://hitchcockshoes.createsend1.com/t/y-l-jkvthd-l-u/
End User VIEW: http://wideshoes.com/catalog.cfm?page=n … de%20shoes

Granted still very "wordy" with all the tags.. but still.

So.. I guess:

A) I'm reporting this to find out if there is any way to work with these ever-changing cmail or createsend# domains and/or be sure other email services aren't blocking them as well.

B) I'm wondering if this is already a known issue, or if other users have experienced this before.


and as a tangential (C):
Through my investigation, I've also come up with another request. 
It would be great to have a report, similar to the campaign compare, but be able to see bounce/spam/unsubscribe rates & maybe the top three domains with counts per campaign.  It would help with determining potential trends or issues with particular email services, without having to jump down into each campaign, manually record data and jump back up to repeat..

Thank you for your time!
Elizabeth

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 3 years ago

Hi Elizabeth, it's good to hear from you. Some spam filters can be a bit overzealous, especially if they go as far as screening outbound mail!

A) I'm reporting this to find out if there is any way to work with these ever-changing cmail or createsend# domains and/or be sure other email services aren't blocking them as well.

Yes - if you could kindly get your tech team to whitelist our sending IP addresses, this will hopefully resolve the issues that you're having here with receiving emails. This sort of blocking occasionally happens when sending campaigns to and from a given domain.

It would be great to have a report, similar to the campaign compare, but be able to see bounce/spam/unsubscribe rates & maybe the top three domains with counts per campaign.

Thanks for the suggestion - at present, the bounce summaries do contain a list showing top bouncing domains, however as you say, you have to go into each campaign's report individually to view this.

Out of interest, do you find this information actionable, eg. do you follow up with bounced subscribers?


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ebbhitch, 3 years ago

Sorry for the delay, I missed that anyone replied to my post!

We do not own the ExchangeDefender Spam service, so we cannot whitelist anything.  We have no control over them.  I can try to contact them, but as a service client through another vendor, requesting a single update, I don't know if I'd have as much sway as you would as the service provider (representing multiple clients all over the world).
Can you work with the service so they do not filter your IPs or the "strange" URLs that get created in each campaign?


As for your second question, we do not take action on bounced emails right now. We don't actually get that many and our list is not big enough to know if numbers bouncing per campaign deserve an action or can be chalked up to circumstances.  If we suddenly saw that 20% of the bounced domains are always AOL, that might tell us that something more significant has happened and requires addressing.

(I'll make sure I try to sign up properly for email notification again if you reply here again)
Thank you!

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 3 years ago

Hi there ebbhitch, we're happy to investigate what's happening here with ExchangeDefender if you could kindly get in touch with details from one of your blocked campaigns. We're always more than happy contact providers like this if it's evident that they're blocking us in error.

Thanks, ebbhitch! Hope this response makes it to you soon :)


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ebbhitch, 3 years ago

I have submitted a message to support, restating the original content and trying to clarify the multiple impact scenarios.  I find it hard to believe I'm the only person to ever have this issue and report it (maybe with ExchangeDefender, but with any Anti-Spam service?)  I hope something can be resolved or even just clarified, to assist us and anyone else who may come across similar issues in the future.

Thank you very much!

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 3 years ago

Hey there, it looks like Davida on our team has been working with you via email. Fingers crossed from our end too that we can get things working here!


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ebbhitch, 3 years ago

Just an update in case anyne else finds this post.  The issue here is not Campaign Monitor's own blast delivery servers/IP exactly.  Yes we have to whitelist the domains within our account login's each for ExchangeDefender, but that has worked well enough.
 
The problem is more along the lines of ExchangeDefender identifying the URLs created within any blast as looking like a a SPAM url.  So even when recipients write us back by replying to the blast, it increases their chances of being caught up as spam.  Which requires finding and releasing manually.   With the 'from' domains (not what we define in the blast, but the actual createsend or cmail type of domain), not matching the convulted links within the blast (that don't match what the end users would see in their own clients) etc, I have to assume that's causing the problem.

I'm trying to find examples that I can then get the ExchDef partner we work with to submit to them for more information or assistance and prevent this from continuing or even getting worse.
  Since we cannot manipulate how those links are created and we cannot white list every email subscriber, we are stuck.

Please! If anyone has ever had another issue like this with other spam assisting services, please post and let me/us how you ended up having to address it.

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