As ISP's and corporate IT departments employ more sophisticated filtering tools to block spam and other unwanted email from reaching the inboxes of their employees, the risk increases that your law firm's own legitimate email alerts and newsletters will be blocked and won't reach your clients. To minimize the risk of filtering, it's critical that firms maintain a stellar email "reputation."
To measure your law firm's email marketing reputation, you need to run a diagnostic test against one of the firm's email alerts, invites or newsletters and generate a reputation report. A thorough email reputation report will assess your email against at least the following 9 important criteria.
- Are key authentication protocols (SPF, SenderID, DomainKeys) enabled and working for your sending domain? (as we've previously blogged, it is anticipated that more corporations will begin using authentication compliance as a filter)
- Has your sending domain been registered with Abuse.net, where recipients often go to find an email address to which they can send complaints? (it is much better if disgruntled recipients email you first, than going straight to an anti-spam organization to report you)
- Does your forward and reverse DNS match? (forward DNS lookup is using an Internet domain name to find an IP address; reverse DNS lookup is using an Internet IP address to find a domain name).
- Do you have a valid HELO name? (the HELO name is the name the sending server calls itself when connecting to other mail servers)
- Is your sending IP address on any blacklists?
- Are any of your domains on any blacklists? (this will include a check of the sending domain (a/k/a "from email address" domain), and any domains in your headers or in your email (e.g., hosting images))
- What is your ReturnPath Sender Score?
- What is your SpamAssasin Score? (while the default is that a message with a score of 5.0 or higher is considered to be spam, this threshhold is adjustable, and some more aggressive users reduce it to 3.0)
- Are there any complaints against your IP address in the public "abuse" complaint newsgroups on Google?
If you're not sure about how your firm's email marketing reputation scores on the above metrics, eLawMarketing offers a diagnostic test to measure email marketing reputation and identify any red flags that could increase the risk of filtering.
To request a reputation report for your firm, either submit a request via the "comments" box below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and put the following in the subject line: Reputation Report (note: for an additional fee we can also tell you what filters your subscribers are using, and then measure your performance against these filters, so you know what you're up against).
So you know what you'd be getting in a reputation report, here's a link to download a screenshot of a sample email reputation report (with confidential details grayed out).