⛄ Put a snowman in your subject line ⛄

I'm not going to lie; I think it's a bit silly. But, I get asked about this pretty darn regularly: How can I put symbols in my subject line? Well, it's kind of easy. First, you have to know what symbol you want to use, then you just need to know what the right bit of code is to represent that symbol, and how to paste it into your favorite ESP's editor as the right bit of code.

Thanks to Steve Atkins of Word to the Wise, it's now very easy to answer the "which bit of code" question. Just click on over to the Encoding tool on wiseTools, and type in the name of the character you want to use. You can even type in a partial name and get a list of matches. (Try typing in "star" for example.) After you select a symbol (glyph), you're taken to a page with details of how to copy and paste, or type, the desired symbol in different ways for different uses cases. Copy and paste your bit of code into your email tool, and away you go!

It's pretty easy, and kind of fun to play with, too!

Need DNS Tools?

I've revised the XNND.com simple DNS tools site a bit; I hope you'll find it useful.

If you're looking for more tools, I'd suggest checking out the wiseTools site from Word to the Wise, the email consultancy service run by Laura and Steve Atkins (also home of the Abacus abuse desk ticketing system). WTTW even has a Labs site with bits of code you can download, if you'd like to get your hands a bit dirty.

Google now allows you to "block" senders in Gmail

Over on the Official Gmail Blog, Google's Sri Harsha Somanchi lets us know that Gmail now offers the ability to "block" unwanted senders. Sri explains that after you block someone, any further mail from them will go to the spam folder. He also explains that the new "block" functionality and the current "unsubscribe" functionality are coming to the Gmail application on Android.

If you're wondering how to later unblock a sender, Google has published a new Gmail Help page explaining this and more.

(For more detail, Chad White from Litmus has blogged about this in more detail here.)

Another day, another dead blacklist....

Spam filtering still happens, but are blacklists where its at? Yet another one dies today, making for 25+ reports of DNSBL death since 2007 logged over on my sister site, DNSBL Resource.