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DELIVTERMS: Microsoft Smart Network Data Services (SNDS)


DELIVTERMS: The (almost) weekly series here on Spam Resource that defines deliverability terminology. Today, I'm going to talk about Smart Network Data Services, commonly called Microsoft SNDS.

SNDS is a Microsoft sender reputation data portal. It provides senders feedback on their deliverability reputation based on the stats around their sends to the Microsoft consumer mailbox domains -- aka Outlook.com, aka Hotmail.

This reputation dashboard provides data based on sending IP addresses. To be able to view SNDS reputation data, you'll need to work your way through the SNDS IP registration process, where Microsoft will send an email address to a certain address to verify that you own (or have exclusive access to) a given sending IP address. This means that if you use an ESP or CRM platform, that platform may receive that verification request and may have to confirm it for you. Most seem willing to do this, in my experience.

Note that because this is an IP address-based reputation dashboard, it's going to provide useful feedback only to senders who are on dedicated sending IP addresses. If you send your email messages from a shared IP address or shared IP address pool, then SNDS data will not help you, because the stats will be be blended, based on all senders sharing that IP address.

What data does SNDS actually provide? Click here for more information on that, straight from Microsoft themselves.

Are there any downsides or limitations to SNDS? Yes -- this system was created a long time ago, in internet years, and I believe that it basically predates the current version of spam filtering in use at Outlook.com. This means that while the Red/Yellow/Green status information in SNDS can be useful, it may not perfectly align with the actual filtering results you're experiencing. Meaning, SNDS can show "green," but you could still be seeing mail delivered to the spam folder when sending to hotmail.com or outlook.com. SNDS still has its uses, though, and I do recommend that eligible senders do sign up for it.

If you want to learn more about Microsoft SNDS, visit the SNDS section on Spam Resource for more articles, including this one where I cover common SNDS errors and how to handle them.

Want to learn more about deliverability terminology? If so, be sure to visit the DELIVTERMS section here on Spam Resource.

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