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Any suggestions regarding proper newsletter deliver?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2016-03-18
Hey Guys,

We have an application here that delivers monthly newsletters for our clients.  The subscribers add the newsletter campaigns through our customers websites.

My question revolves around proper delivery of newsletters to ensure that we are not breaking SPAM rules and not being flagged as spammers.

Currently the newsletters that are sent out have the FROM: field set to the clients email address (ie. JoeShmoe@aol.com)  To my understanding this would violate SPF rules as our servers are not allowed to send on behalf of AOL.  We also do not have any bounce tracking as the bounce path remains the same as the FROM address, what would we need to change in order to be able to receive the bounce-backs?

How do companies like Constant Contact, Vertical Response, Net Atlantic do it this way and they seem to always ensure the message will get through?

I hope there is someone out there that has experience with this subject that can shed some light on our situation.

Thank you,

Drew
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Question by:1Parkplace
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:bevhost
ID: 22628894
If you want your own mail server then you'll need your own domain.

do make sure that the DNS entries match exactly what the server is calling itself in both forward A and reverse PTR lookups.  See http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1912.html section 2.1

do make sure that postmaster and abuse mailboxes work.

do make sure unsubscribe works.

do have an SPF record that works.
Test Here...
http://tools.bevhost.com/spf/

don't harvest email addresses or send mail to people who are not expecting it.

I use phplist from  http://www.phplist.org/

do use a normal mail server such as postfix or sendmail.


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Author Comment

by:1Parkplace
ID: 22629118
Hi Bevhost,
I guess I should have been more specific... We do have our own domain, we do have an established reputation as an email sender.  We have a very legit MTA, StrongMail MTA.

We have unsubscribe functionality on all newsletters, postmaster and abuse mailboxes dont really apply in this situation as we are sending "On Behalf" of the customers...  As well, SPF records do not apply in this situation.

We do not harvest email addresses, all email addresses are provided by the end-users.

We have a proprietary CRM system, so modifications in functionality are welcome, we can change whatever we need to, which is the need from input from the experts :)

Thanks!
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:bevhost
ID: 22629929
Can you give examples of mail not getting though?
Do you have any specific problems.?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:bevhost
ID: 22629943
postmaster and abuse ALWAYS applies.  
Make sure these work for the domains you are sending for.

Also, have the domain admins add your server to their SPF record. Why would it not apply to you?

If the domain has no SPF record then my MTA (for one!) will assume that the SPF record is..

v=spf1 a/24 mx/24 ptr ?all

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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:bevhost
ID: 22629961
You may want to consider using headers like this..

From: bounce@mailhouse.com
Reply-To: sales@customer.com

OR

Sender: bounce@mailhouse.com
From: sales@customer.com
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:bevhost
ID: 22629967
Is the MAIL FROM envelope address set to you or the customer?
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LVL 51

Accepted Solution

by:
Mark Wills earned 500 total points
ID: 22641683
Put a reply to and a unsubscribe, along with e-mail sent on behalf of... down the bottom in fine print.

SPAM laws differ around the world, so need to check your local laws... Basically they all center around :

Consent - make sure you have consent to contact the recipient and can prove you have obtained it
Identify - include accurate information to identify yourself or your organisation as the authorised sender of the message
Unsubscribe - make sure your messages have a functional unsubscribe facility, so that recipients can unsubscribe at any time.

have a look at : http://www.spamlaws.com/

and in Australia, there is a good guide and links which kind of includes / covers US and Europe... http://www.gtp-icommerce.com/viewStory/Spam+Laws+in+Australia
have a look toward the bottom - gives you tips and advice on how to do business without contravening spam... and includes a section 3rd party sending...

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