Having issues with "delivering" bulk email to good opt-in addresses.

Having isolated issues with "getting thru" to good opt-in addresses during beta tests. Current dedicated server has a neutral rating and MX IP has fair rating due to improper email design. Looking for solutions that can get us fixed so we can go to market. Have big name clients waiting for this! Need expert insight with bulk email and mass mailing. We are a start up now in the 15th month of operation with a focus on lead gen using a form of A-I to contact a prospect using an email format and then qualify and set a follow-up call back for the sale rep or eliminate the prospect from the database all based on an exchange of A-I dialog. The problem is we are getting blocked out or are falling into a feedback loop. Need to know how we can increase our deliver rate to our opt-in prospects.
Dr-JAsked:
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Alan HardistyConnect With a Mentor Co-OwnerCommented:
A poor rating means the following:

"Poor = A problematic level of threat activity has been observed from your IP address or domain. Your email or Web traffic is likely to be filtered or blocked*"

It may be that the IP you have was poor based on the previous owner and over time, this should improve, but for now, I am not aware of how you can improve the rating yourselves.

What does your email magnitude show up as?
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BobintheNocConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You'll need to figure out where the 'blocking' is being done.  On your exchange side, you just have to verify that it's smtp engine is configured and running---a simple test is that it can deliver a single email.  There's not much you can do on the exchange side of things to improve your reliability of delivery, however there are a few things you definitely want to verify.

Make sure you have a PTR (reverse lookup record) registered for the IP address that your exchange server is using to deliver mail---assuming you don't have any other hardware in line, like a barracuda spam filter or smarthost.  Typically, your ISP is the authority for the reverse lookup zone and you have to request the creation of the PTR record.

Also, verify that the smtp server is using an external DNS server, in case your internal DNS structure has some false/fake dns zone.  Using an external DNS ensures that you'll resolve the destination domains with 'real' world IP addresses.

How is it that you're determining failures of delivery?

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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Please check to see if you are RFC compliant, checking your FQDN, Reverse DNS record, IP address on blacklist sites and then if all is good, your mail should flow properly:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/A_2427-Problems-sending-mail-to-one-or-more-external-domains.html
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Dr-JAuthor Commented:
Hello...we have had this dedicated server for less than 3 weeks. Our business is following up with people who have opted in to receive financial quotes. In the past few weeks we have sent our less than 700 messages...most of which are not open...in fact...only a few responses...it appears that the responses always come from the first 10-15 sent in each group...so we started looking at the pattern...we check with our server company...we are not blacklisted...but we do have a poor IP reputation on Senderbase.
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Dr-JAuthor Commented:
Follow-up...if it is the poor rating on senderbase..how can we get this cleared up?...Thanks...also...any other suggestions are welcomed!
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Dr-JAuthor Commented:
Not sure what an email magnitude is?
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If you go to the senderbase site, lookup your IP reputation and then click on the More Details link by Results for: (IP Address) - just above the result, it should show the email magnitude.
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Dr-JAuthor Commented:
It show a daily 1.8 and a monthly of 1.3
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Well - you are sending out less than me - our server has a magnitude of 1.9!

So - I expect you have inherited a slightly dirty IP address and you will have to wait for the reputation to improve, which is sadly a case of sitting and waiting.
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BobintheNocCommented:
Not sure if this is accurate, but are you suggesting that based primarily on the RESPONSE to your campaigns, you're suspecting that the mail is not being successfully delivered to the recipient domains?

You'll want more evidence that your mail isn't being delivered.  Are you using Exchange as the server?  If you don't want to log the message activity to confirm that the mail was rejected, you might consider using 'seed' addresses spaced out throughout your recipient list.  Create some free email accounts, include them in your campaign, and see if they get the messages.  Whatever sorting method you're using, be sure to space your seed addresses throughout the delivery cycle, not just at the beginning.

Also, vary the actual emails slightly with each campaign, an embedded code or something to allow you to specifically identify the exact mailing ran.

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