Survive the Impending Onslaught of Content-Based Filtering

If you missed my post last week, I discussed how the adoption of IPv6 will inevitably change email marketing delivery. Now that you know a fundamental shift in email delivery is coming — actually, it already has for the major inbox providers — here is what you can do about it.

Engage your subscribers as much as possible.

Patricia said it best earlier this week with, “The days of batch and blast are over.” With a portion of your sender reputation based on inbox engagement, you should only be sending relevant, targeted, and timely messages to your subscribers.

If that means more segmentation, do it. If that means taking more time to build better messages, do it. If it means hiring a third-party to help you with your overall strategy, do it. Why? Because frankly, inbox providers don’t care if your messages get delivered or not. Their primary goal is to protect their users.  But you have a lot to lose. A bad reputation for you can mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue, and that is unacceptable.

Engage your subscribers as often as possible.

Take advantage of every opportunity to increase your inbox engagement. The more good reputation you can “build up” with the inbox providers, the less likely your next “dud-campaign” is to hurt you. Here are some ideas:

  1. Send a message immediately after a form is filled out.
  2. Send an order received message.
  3. Send shipping status updates.
  4. Include a quiz in the message body with the answer on a landing page.
  5. Include a video screen shot directing subscribers to view it on a landing page.

Simple, short messages like these will generate awesome open and click rates and boost your subscriber engagement.

Use consistent From and Reply email addresses.

Yahoo recently started to include the entire From address, including the part before @, as part of your sender reputation. So combine your reputations so your strong message types help your weaker ones. Second, your subscribers will only need to whitelist a single From address for all of your messages to be delivered.

Don’t change your domain name.

This one is pretty straight forward. If you switch to a new, unregistered domain, you will have zero reputation. It will likely require you to start your email marketing very slow so you can “warm the domain” in much the same way as ESPs currently do with IP addresses.


Email marketers have known for some time that these changes were coming, and as our VP pointed out, these changes finally occurred in 2010. You can’t just sit back and hope for good results anymore. You need to work hard to please your subscribers and engage them on a regular basis. It will likely require significantly more resources than it has in the past, but there are still huge rewards for those who endure and succeed.


Check out our white paper for 6 secrets to improve email deliverability. You’ll learn how making the inbox can mean big dollars for your business. Includes a case study of adaptive deliverability that boosted customer response by 19%.

Case Study: Email Deliverability

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