Vegan spam? Again? I can't even.

This isn't the first time I've blogged about vegan SPAM, which is a sentence I never thought I would write. But here we are, and it's making my brain hurt.

From VegNews: "Hormel Foods Corporation—known best for its canned meat product SPAM—is developing new plant-based meat alternatives. Under an exclusive partnership with food-technology company The Better Meat Co., Hormel’s venture company 199 Ventures will work to bring new plant-based meat products to the market using The Better Meat Co.’s unique fermentation technologies."

Read more about it here. Also, WHUT?!

CheetahMail merges with CM Group

CM Group has announced a merger with email service provider/customer engagement platform Cheetah Digital (aka CheetahMail, once upon a time owned by Experian, later spun out standalone, with leadership and a lot of higher-level positions more recently filled by ex-ExactTarget and Salesforce folks). This would seem to bring Cheetah under common ownership with Campaign Monitor, Emma, Delivra, Sailthru and Selligent.

This is very clearly being presented as a merger and I'm not seeing any information about a potential cost for acquisition. Usually these kind of things happen because private investors want to cash out -- I'm assuming there's something to that here, and I suspect we'll see more on this in the tech industry press in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Read the press release here.

Pictured: The Guaranty Building in downtown Indianapolis, which was one of the first headquarters for ExactTarget, now Salesforce Marketing Cloud. If you look closely, you can see the "Cheetah Digital" oval sign on the pillar to the right of to the front door. I spent a lot of time in this building, once upon a time. And in that fantastic cocktail lounge located on the lower level. (Image from Google Earth.)

[ H/T: Keith Kouzmanoff and Andrew Bonar ]

Spamhaus: When doorbells go rogue!

From Spamhaus: Here's a bonkers tale about a spamming doorbell. Oof, crappy "internet of things" devices are a scourge unto the internet. Alex Grosjean shares this very interesting story of tracking down where the spam was coming from on a home broadband subscriber's network. And why ISPs ought to be blocking port 25. And why IOT devices need to be more secure.

[ H/T: Kiersti Esparza and Atro Tossavainen ]

Now hiring: Epsilon

Epsilon (owned by French multinational advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe since 2019) is "seeking a Deliverability Manager who can help Epsilon maximize deliverability across multiple platforms by ensuring necessary processes and projects are fulfilled successfully."

Responsibilities include working with clients and client teams to introduce and implement deliverability projects, products and solutions, investigating, diagnosing and resolving deliverability and spam escalation issues, and more. 

For more information and/or to apply, click here.

Be careful: Using Spamhaus with open resolvers is bad news

Do you use any of the Spamhaus blocking lists (DNSBLs) to protect yourself from inbound spam and email threats? If so, you're not alone. The Spamhaus data is quite popular and used by many ISPs as a front door gatekeeper for IP (and domain) reputation.

Google Postmaster Tools (GPT) is back

Multiple sources are reporting that Google Postmaster Tools (GPT) has returned. I've confirmed it myself; graphs and data are back. As previously mentioned, Google Postmaster Tools went down around October 4th (and DMARC reports ceased to be sent, around the same time).

In my Google Postmaster Tools dashboard, I'm getting a warning that says "Data shown with missing records. Some data may be unavailable," suggesting that Google could still be working on loading missing data.

Google began to send DMARC reports again starting on October 9th or 10th.

Spam Resource is going weekly

If you subscribe to Spam Resource via email, thank you! No matter how you choose to consume this content, I appreciate you. But the email subscribers are helping me keep my skills sharp, allowing me to build and run my own mailing list manager software, and write my own automation to send out the actual posts as email messages, from my own server.

THE DRIP: How to Build a Winback Campaign with Pardot

Lucy Mazalon from THE DRIP recently explained the good marketing reasons that would drive you to want to implement a winback campaign"Marketing considered these leads qualified once, and sales even progressed the conversations. You could say they are the “low hanging fruit” – the most likely to be interested in your product or service – could you capture their interest again?"

Taking holiday prep to the next level: 2021 edition

Just recently, I shared my top five (plus) tips on how to be prepared to maximize deliverability success this holiday season. It's a starting point, and I hope you found it useful! But what if we take that to the next level? And by "we," I mean not me. Somebody else beat me to it -- Konstantinos Karagkounis, Deliverability Operations Lead at Emarsys.

Cloudflare plans to eat Proofpoint's lunch?

Here's one I almost missed, from a couple of weeks ago: According to Wired, Cloudflare is moving into the email security space. The goal? To better protect against email-delivered threats (think phishing). They see a gap there; one I've noticed myself.

Google Postmaster Tools and DMARC reporting offline

I've received multiple reports from different folks that Google Postmaster Tools (GPT) and Google's DMARC reporting have both been offline since sometime around October 4th. GPT is still accessible but has no data later than 10/3, and for those used to receiving DMARC reports from Google, none have been received since 10/3.

I'll share more information when known. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any updates.

(As an aside, Google has a helpful DMARC overview and tutorial for domain administrators. It's worth reading!)

[ H/T: Hagop Khatchoian, Benjamin Billon and others. ]

Saturday, October 9th, 2021 Update: Hagop Khatchoian and others have confirmed that Google is sending DMARC reports again. No word on GPT data yet; I've re-registered my domains with GPT again to test, but it'll take some time for me to be able to personally verify if data is flowing. What are you seeing?

Monday, October 18th, 2021 Update: GPT is back, more detail here.

What is an EML file?

Remember EML files? I do. Back in the day (we’re talking the late 1990s here), Microsoft’s Outlook Express email client for Windows seemed to be the primary place where EML files came from -- and might even have originated the format. Then the new millennium happened, we moved our music libraries to MP3 format, and nobody mentioned EML files for a time.

iPost: 5 Ways to Improve Email Deliverability

Don't just take my word for it! I like to check in with other smart folks from time to time and see what they have to say about email deliverability. This time around, I recommend checking out this recent article from iPost's Andrew Kordek, where he shares five solid tips that will allow you to improve your email deliverability. Check it out! It's very good advice.

I first met Andrew back when he worked for daily dealer Groupon, somewhere around a hundred years ago. THAT was a heady time, let me tell you. After a long stint at digital agency Trendline Interactive (which he co-founded), he is now Vice President of Customer Engagement for email service provider iPost, an "Email & Messaging Platform Built for Franchises, Agencies, Associations, Restaurants, Entertainment, Publishing, and Retail."

Where did Facebook go yesterday?

Is it on topic for my blog? Maybe not, but it has come up in conversation enough times already that I think people are interested about it. So here's a quick bunch of links for you, in case you're curious and would like to learn more.

1Password gets its own ‘hide my email’ feature

"It’s like Apple’s new Hide My Email feature, but it works everywhere," according to The Verge. And it's powered by email platform Fastmail, perhaps a bit of a niche provider, but I mean that in a good way. Founded in 1999, Fastmail hast a long history in the email space (unlike Hey.com) and they seem to know what they're doing (look at their recent added support for BIMI). If you want to "hide my email" but don't want to do it via the Apple ecosystem, it sounds like this is really worth checking out.