Revisiting Domain Reputation: Do Redirects Help?

You may remember my recent post wherein I mentioned that a client had a rather unique problem with Gmail delivery; their ability to get ExactTarget-served mail to the inbox ultimately seemed to be negatively impacted by mail being sent by them OUTSIDE of ExactTarget. In response, a reader asked, "How does one ensure that 3rd party affiliates are not pulling you down? Would a redirect protect the parent domain name?"

I'm not entirely sure that you can work with third party affiliates and ensure that their activities referencing your brand and domain won't have any impact on your core mailing efforts. To be honest, I think the best advice is to avoid working with third party affiliates. So many of them are problematic, and ultimately it's about how much mail they can shovel, as opposed to making sure the mail is sent only to people who want and value the mail.

A redirect probably wouldn't be enough to keep you entirely clear of problems; smart spam filters (like Cloudmark, for example) will "fingerprint" content and tie it to reputation. In that scenario, if you have two people sending the same content, a poor reputation for sender #1 will cause deliverability issues for sender #2, even if their reputation is better overall. If a certain fingerprint of mailing content gets enough spam complaints, that content ends up with a poor reputation, and that causes problems for other folks attempting to send that same content.

Another reader asked, "How did you determine that it was the client's other mailings causing the problem?" Our client actually worked with Return Path, who helped them to identify the issue. This is the kind of thing where Return Path's Email Brand Monitor solution would help you to gain full visibility into all mail streams that reference your mail or brand.

In addition to marketing mail, It’s important for an organization to have a handle on all outbound mail streams like corporate, support, and transactional as well--not only for possible reputation issues but also brand protection. You don't know what mail might be referencing your domain without your knowledge! It could be good guys, perhaps somebody in the marketing department off on their own initiative, doing things you don't realize. Or it could be bad guys, cybercriminals sending out phishing messages spoofing your brand and domain name.

Looking for more practical email advice? Check out 5 Proven Email Practices to Drive Revenue.


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