Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.4 now available

The Apache SpamAssassin Project has just announced the release of version 3.4.4 of the popular spam filter SpamAssassin.


Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.4 is "primarily a security release," but includes various fixes for things like improved carriage return handling for DKIM checks and re-implementing Perl 5.8.x compatibility. Click here to learn more about it and/or download the updated version.

Following best practices for sending to Gmail

Google has updated the Gmail "Bulk Sender Guidelines" page, and it is now called, "Prevent mail to Gmail users from being blocked or sent to spam." Check it out!

(Thanks to the smart folks at Postmark for the tip!)

Is 2020 the year of BIMI?

You might notice that in my "2020: What's next?" post, I didn't mention BIMI.

BIMI, aka Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is the new way to specify what logo or brand avatar a sender wants shown alongside their email messages. (Learn more about BIMI here.)

Showing a logo, avatar or little graphic along side an email message isn't a new thing. Gmail, Yahoo Mail and others have supported some form of logo display for a long time now. But where that logo was sourced from, how it was populated, this wasn't always clear or obvious. Gmail would pull the graphic from a Google Plus profile or Google account. Yahoo Mail would do the same, I found, but it also could pull the logo from other places. It had some sort of internal process that I wasn't privy to.  And there's Gravatar, which is still out there and still (modestly) supported. (And at some point, Microsoft announced something called Brand Cards that never seems to have launched. So I have no idea if anybody ever set up or observed a "brand card" logo in the wild.)

Mashable's wrong (sort of) -- empty your inbox!

Mashable's Alex Perry wrote just the other day that one should never bother to clean out your email inbox. Sort of right, sort of wrong. Me, I'd go crazy if I left 250,000 email messages in my email inbox. His point, though, is that you might as well save everything forever in email, and have it available to search through as needed. That's something I completely agree with. But he misses the point-- you don't have to "leave it in the inbox" to do that. In Gmail, for example, just "archive" it all at some point, and it is still there for you, in "All Mail," and available to be searched, without specifically cluttering up your inbox. So keep all that mail, but empty the inbox out periodically.

Got placed in the Gmail promo tab? You're not alone.

Apparently it happens to Seth Godin, too (click here).

He's got a fix for it, see, but those big meanies at Google won't let him implement it. He's even encouraging you to yell at Google on his behalf. (It turns out, Google is a bit shy about letting third parties have access to fiddle with your Gmail inbox settings. Can't say I blame them for that.)

Europe is different and why this matters for US-based companies

Here's an article from Mailkit's Jakub Olexa explaining how the ISP landscape is different in Europe. This is useful stuff for US-based senders to learn. That chart is especially insightful. Thanks, Jakub!

2020: What's next?

Well, the new year is here. (Along with a new blog template and updated ISP deliverability guides.) What do you think will happen in the deliverability realm in 2020? Here are my first thoughts.

First, DMARC is finally reaching critical mass. No longer an edge-case security feature that your marketing teams ignore, more and more senders finally start to understand that supporting DMARC is easy and should be considered a best practice. DMARC adds complexity to email forwarding, reply handling and mailing list management, so look to experts for assistance if your email use cases would run into any of those realms. But outside of those, DMARC can actually be pretty easy to set up.