Validity Universal Feedback Loop Service adds 2 new ISPs

Return Path (now Validity) manages a number of ISP feedback loops for ISPs all around the world. They've got a signup and management interface for this "Universal Feedback Loop Service" at fbl.returnpath.net. They have just announced that they've added Swisscom (bluewin.ch) and Telenet (telenet.be) to the list of ISP Feedback Loops that they have coordinated into this management interface. Senders, be sure to head on over to to fbl.returnpath.net.

That brings the grand total of ISPs/mailbox providers supported via the Universal Feedback Loop Service up to 24. This includes: BAE Systems (usa.net), BlueTie, Comcast, Cox, FastMail, Italia Online, Libero Mail, Virgilio, Laposte.net, Liberty Global, UPC/UnityMedia, Locaweb, Mail.ru, OpenSRS (Tucows), Rackspace, Seznam.cz, Swisscom, Synacor, Telenet, Telenor, Telstra, Terra, UOL, Virgin Media, XS4ALL, Yandex, and Ziggo.

When this launched a number of years ago, it was immediately innovative, a clear time saver for email senders -- allowing senders sign up for multiple ISP feedback loops all in once place, with a minimum number of steps. Thanks for Validity for continuing to support and enhance this valuable service.

Vodafone Germany: Domains and Infrastructure Changes

Per notification on the Mailop mailing list, Vodafone Germany (the German subsidiary of the global telecoms provider Vodafone) is bringing live new email sending infrastructure.

Vodafone Germany hosts mail for the following domains: arcor.de, arcormail.de, germanynet.de, gno.de, mail.isis.de, nexgo.de, nvvonline.de, onlineclub.de, oteloonline.de, oteloweb.de, rpplus.de, vodafone.de, vodafonemail.de. (I don't know for sure if this list is comprehensive.)

The SPF record for these domains is listed in the "spf.vodafonemail.de" DNS record and includes these IP address ranges: 2.207.150.227/27 2.207.151.33/27 145.253.228.160/29 145.253.239.128/29 31.25.48.0/24.

If you manually whitelist mail from various IP addresses and want to whitelist the IPs that send mail on behalf of Vodafone Germany, you'll want to update your list to ensure you're whitelisting all of these IP ranges.

Senders, if you're looking to segment mail out for Vodafone Germany subscribers, the list of domains above could be quite useful -- for example, for creating an MTA macro to adjust SMTP connection limits.

Honestly? Don't send to Gmail over IPv6

Yes, some people do it, and yes, for some people, it works fine. But.....

If you're standing up a new server and it has an IPv6 IP address, and it has no sending reputation, you'll find it very hard to get mail reliably delivered to Gmail inboxes. You're starting with two strikes against you -- both reputation and authentication requirements.

If you're going to try to do it -- start here:

  1. Make sure you have working forward and reverse DNS (for both IPv4 and IPv6, if you have both).
  2. Make sure you implement SPF.
  3. Make sure you implement DKIM.
  4. Maybe even implement DMARC.
  5. Start out very slow, very low volume, a few messages at a time. Do they go through? If not, maybe you've sent too many. Do not increase the limit per test until you stop seeing blocking.
  6. Give up and disable the IPv6 interface (or configure Postfix to route the mail out to Gmail via the IPv4 interface).
  7. Realize that this if solves all of your problems, maybe you should stop here, and crack open a cold, possibly alcoholic, beverage.

Ultimately, Gmail is very fussy about reputation and authentication, and even more so on IPv6. I've probably seen at least a half dozen complaints from hobbyist users this year that when setting up their new server, Gmail won't let their mail through, and it's almost always this issue. Is switching to IPv4 a perfect solution? No. But sometimes email isn't perfect. It depends on whether or not you want to fight it, or just get it done and over with.

If you're sure there ought to be another way -- or you want to ask other mail server administrators for suggestions, the Mailop list is where you do that. But I'm telling you now, if you're in a hurry to try to solve this, IPv6 is probably not going to be your friend here. 

Swaks: New version available

John Jetmore has updated his super cool "email swiss army knife" tool, Swaks. It now comes with .netrc support (that's a file where you can store login credentials; used by tools like ftp and curl). There's also support for TLS SNI, and it will warn you if deprecated functionality is used. Also, Swaks is now available on the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) repository.

Find more information and download links here.

New settings for smart features and personalization in Gmail

Gmail just announced that they're about to offer up the ability to disable personalization of various features across their web apps. It appears to allow users to reclaim a measure of privacy by telling Google not to parse certain messages or content. Senders take note: the first setting that can be disabled appears to affect Gmail tab placement:


Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I pretty much always think that improved end user privacy controls are a good thing. But there could be an impact on senders as far as how much data Gmail has access to when deciding what tab to use to categorize your email sends. Some of the other features like summary cards, information on bills due, maps and calendar links, could these also affect senders somehow? Perhaps not directly, but those features might drive interaction with email messages which in turn might boost reputation by boosting engagement. I guess we'll have to wait and see how large the impact actually ends up being.

Click here to read the announcement.

(H/T: Jennifer Nespola Lantz)

Body Found in Canada Identified as Neo-Nazi Spam King

Brian Krebs reports on the identification of the body of Davis Wolfgang Hawke, "a prolific spammer and neo-Nazi," and adds that "It might be difficult to fathom why, but Hawke may have made a few enemies over the years." Read the article and you'll see why it's not actually difficult to fathom why.

If there's any lesson to be learned from this grim news, maybe it's a reminder that spammers can often seem to be bad people in other ways, too. I know I've noticed this and I'm sure others have, too. Intentionally sending spam is just one aspect of a bad person's personality. They're a pain to deal with because they usually try to con us deliverability people into thinking that their ISP issues are our fault and they can get really sour when you don't accept that. I've heard stories of unpaid bills and mini-vendettas, too.

The whole thing reminded me of this blog post by Valerie Aurora and Leigh Honeywell, The Al Capone theory of sexual harassment, talking about sexual harassment in the tech world, exploring the theory that harassers can likely be identified by their engaging in other bad acts, thanks to the concept of “criminal versatility." 

Yep. Rings true to me.

Now hiring: Look for jobs on EmailGeeks.com

Email marketing agency and technology consultancy Red Pill Email recently launched email-marketing-focused jobs site, EmailGeeks.comFrom the press release“The email-marketing industry is a tightly knit community with a long history of professionals willing to help other email-marketing professionals,” said John Caldwell, president and CEO of Red Pill Email. “EmailGeeks.com is one way Red Pill Email is extending that decades-long tradition of industrywide service.”

I'll continue to post the occasional email deliverability job listing here on Spam Resource (feel free to reach out and request this) but I'll also include a link to EmailGeeks.com in this site's side navigation links. Thanks to Red Pill Email for helping to make it easier for smart folks to find good jobs during this challenging time.