Outlook.com Inbound Email Issues

It looks like Hotmail done gone and blowed up again.

I am seeing multiple reports that mail server connection attempts to hotmail.com / outlook.com recipients are either timing out or resulting in mail to legitimate users is being rejected with a "554 Transaction Failed" error. This appears to be affecting at least one large email service provider, and probably others.

For some folks, it has been happening since before noon central time on Wednesday. I personally just started to see it on my own mail server around 5:00 pm on Wednesday. As of this writing (6:30 pm), it's still happening.

This is what makes it tricky for an ESP's bounce handling. You can't just assume that any old hard bounce means that a recipient must be invalid, when an ISP could (and occasionally does) fall down, go boom.

Update: This issue seems to have been resolved sometime after 7:00 pm central time on Wednesday, April 6th.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say Buh-Bye

Over on the Bronto Blog, Waynette Tubbs reports shares a client's experience with email list stagnation, re-engagement, and how to deal with letting go. It's a smart marketer that can delete 30% of the email list the right way and end up seeing positive gains!

Get rid of that dead weight! They're not untapped marketing opportunities; they're deliverability anchors subtly sinking your inbox rates.

Here's why I unsubscribed

I really like my 2014 Lincoln MKZ. It's sort of the one flashy thing I own. I don't have a big house or wear fancy clothes, but I enjoy my nice ride. And I was really happy with my purchasing experience at Napelton Lincoln in Glenview, just outside of Chicago.

Since I have since moved to Minnesota, I obviously have had to find a new dealer to take the car to for service and maintenance. Well, the new dealer uses some system that sends automated email notifications. It keeps emailing me to tell me it's time for 35,000 mile maintenance. But there is no 35,000 mile scheduled maintenance for this car. Lincoln's own website says the next maintenance is due at 40,000 miles.

But I can't get their system to stop telling me to come in, and I don't see any way to update them or give them feedback about it. And if I even did call them on the phone, do you think they're going to have some way to update their marketing automation campaign just for me? Probably not.

So...I am forced to unsubscribe. Sorry, local Lincoln dealer, but I guess the honeymoon is over and the mismatched maintenance schedule in your marketing automation program is to blame.

Mail.ru announces additional DMARC domain restrictions

Mail.ru just announced that they're moving the domains mail.ua and corp.mail.ru to a restrictive "p=reject" DMARC policy on March 29, 2016.

They previously announced that they were moving domains to "p=reject," beginning with the domain my.com this month. They indeed have moved my.com to a "p=reject" DMARC policy.

Future Mail.ru domains to be updated include bk.ru, inbox.ru, list.ru and mail.ru. Stay tuned.

What is an ISP Feedback Loop (FBL)?

Back in January, spam/abuse fighting industry group M3AAWG published an excellent overview of exactly what constitutes a feedback loop, and they even included a helpful list sharing all of the feedback loops that they are aware of at the time of publishing.

Images off by default?

Dear readers, what email clients still block images by default?
  • Gmail shows images by default. 
  • Yahoo Mail shows images by default.
  • Microsoft Outlook.com (Hotmail) shows images by default.

Who doesn't show images by default nowadays? What percentage of recipients use clients or providers that block images by default? The data I and others have handy seems to be pretty dated.

What's your experience? Feedback welcome; please leave a comment! And thanks.