Improve Mass Email Deliverablity, the Long Way

Friday, March 13th, 2009 | Web Development

There is a difference in being identified as possible spam by a computer and reported as Spam by the human reciever of your message. It is true that if you send an unrequested email it is Spam, but you can still be identified as possible Spam by a Spam filter. If you have a compliant opt-in list and your server isn’t set up properly to send compliant messages, your deliverability rates will suffer. Compliance means RFC Standards compliance, compliance with ISP sending policies, and compliance with Email Provider policies. With that said, here are some resources (very long list and a lot of work) that you can use to bring your mailings into compliance with some of the major ISP’s and email providers. I haven’t reviewed the entire list in a while so there may be some dead links, sorry.

General:
Guidelines and Policies:
o MAAWG Sender BCP Version 1.1 and MAAWG Sender BCP Executive Summary - http://www.maawg.org/about/MAAWG_Sender_BCP/MAAWG_Senders_BCP_Combine.pdf

Yahoo:
Guidelines and Policies:
o http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/postmaster/basics/postmaster-15.html;_ylt=AhnzYxZjM7V0ymefDuHPtIsIJHdG
o http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/postmaster/basics/postmaster-02.html;_ylt=AuVphOFDdL_QTrPKjfDwWjQIJHdG
Whitelist, Feedback Loop, Registration:
o http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/postmaster/bulkv2.html (actually a form to send your mailing policy so Yahoo can check if you Guidelines and Policies their policies and if your mail is being blocked inadvertently, they may not reply or change anything)

Hotmail:
Guidelines and Policies:
o Guidelines and Policies: http://postmaster.hotmail.com/Guidelines.aspx
Whitelist, Feedback Loop, Registration:
o http://postmaster.hotmail.com/Services.aspx
o Junk Mail Reporting Partner Program- https://support.msn.com/eform.aspx?productKey=edfsjmrpp&ct=eformts
Tools:
o We encourage you to e-mail Microsoft upon posting your SPF record to the DNS. This will help ensure your record is automatically included in our SIDF cache. Send an e-mail with your domain name in the body of the message (for example, mydomain.com) to senderid@microsoft.com. If you have multiple domain names, please list each domain on a separate line in the body of the message.
o Sender ID SPF Record Submission Form
o Simple 4-step wizard that walks you through publishing your SPF records: http://www.microsoft.com/senderid/wizard

AOL:
Guidelines and Policies:
o http://postmaster.aol.com/guidelines/standards.html
o http://postmaster.aol.com/guidelines/bestprac.html
o http://postmaster.aol.com/guidelines/bulksenderbp.html
Whitelist, Feedback Loop, Registration:
o http://postmaster.info.aol.com/tools/whitelist_guides.html
Tools
o http://postmaster.aol.com/spf/details.html

GMAIL:
Guidelines and Policies:
o https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=81126
Whitelist, Feedback Loop, Registration:
o Does not provide

Comcast:
Guidelines and Policies:
o
Whitelist, Feedback Loop, Registration:
o http://feedback.comcast.net/

Bellsouth:
Guidelines and Policies:
o
Whitelist, Feedback Loop, Registration:
o

Other Feedback Loops:
Email:
Excite (emailadmin@cs.excite.com)
RoadRunner (rrfbl@security.rr.com)
…and provide:
o The IP(s) and mailing domain(s) you would like to set up on the feedback loop.
o The company’s contact information you want to use for the service including name, email address, and phone number.
o The email address you want feedback transactions sent to, which must be an active address that receives email.

ISP Send Rate Limit & Restrictions:

Google Gmail Email Send Rate Limit & Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Google Gmail account:
Gmail email send limit - no more than 500 recipients per message for the Gmail web interface, or max 100 recipients if you are using an email client software.
Gmail other SMTP limits - outgoing messages sent via Google Gmail can not exceed 10Mb per email (including attachments)
Google Mail Policy - http://www.google.com/mail/help/program_policies.html
Google Mail SMTP restriction expiry method - the restriction is automatically removed within 24 hours after the limit was reached.

MSN Hotmail Email Send Rate Limit & Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Hotmail account:
Hotmail email send limit - no more than 100 recipients per day.
Hotmail other SMTP limits - outgoing messages sent via Hotmail can not exceed 10Mb per email (including attachments)

Yahoo Mail - Email Send Rate Limits & Other Email Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Yahoo Mail account:
Yahoo Mail email send limit - no more than 100 emails or recipients per hour
Yahoo Mail other SMTP limits - max 10Mb per message for the free Yahoo Mail Service, or 20Mb per message for Yahoo! Mail Plus
Yahoo! Anti-Spam Policy - http://docs.yahoo.com/info/guidelines/spam.html
Yahoo Mail SMTP restriction expiry method - N/A

Lycos Mail - Email Send Limits & Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Lycos Mail account:
Lycos Mail email send limit - max 25 recipients per message and max 250 emails per day
Lycos Mail other SMTP limits - Lycos Mail does not have a limit to the attachment file size at this time.
Lycos Email Policy - http://info.lycos.com/legal/mail_terms.html

AOL Email Send (Rate) Limits
AOL imposes a rate limit on an AOL member when a member exceeds the acceptable number of email messages sent in a given time period. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from an AOL connection:
AOL email send limit - no more than 100 recipients per message or 500 recipients per connection
AOL other SMTP limits - max 16mb per message
AOL email-outbound policy - http://postmaster-us.info.aol.com/ipt/
AOL SMTP restriction expiry method - N/A

Verizon Email Send & SMTP Limits
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a verizon.net email account:
Verizon email send limit - no more than 100 recipients per email message AND max 500 emails (recipients) per hour
Verizon other SMTP limits - max 2mb per message
Verizon email-outbound policy - http://www2.verizon.net/policies/email.asp
Verizon SMTP restriction expiry method - the restriction is automatically lifted 24 hours after the email send limit was reached.

Comcast Email Send & SMTP Limits
Below you can find the Comcast email send or rate limit for Comcast high speed internet customers. Please note that Comcast can also block port 25 for your connection (triggering the error message: “Error #1: Port25.Secure(SSL); no Socket Error: 10053. Error Number 0×800CC0F”), in order to prevent you (or viruses on your computer) from sending emails using your own SMTP agent:
Comcast email send limit - no more than 1000 recipients per day
Comcast other SMTP limits - max 10mb per message
Comcast email-outbound policy - http://www.comcast.net/help/faq/index.jsp?faq=SecuritySpam17867
Comcast SMTP restriction expiry method - the restriction is automatically lifted 24 hours after the email send limit was reached.

EarthLink Email Send & SMTP Limits (”SMTP Rate Limiting”)
When you reached your EarthLink email send limit, you will receive the following error message from the EarthLink SMTP server: “error 554: www.earthlink.net/go/bulk - Outbound message limit exceeded”. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from an EarthLink internet connection:
EarthLink email send limit - max 1000 recipients per day
EarthLink other SMTP limits - N/A
EarthLink email-outbound policy - http://kb.earthlink.net/case.asp?article=85283
EarthLink SMTP restriction expiry method - A member of EarthLink ’s Abuse team will investigate the circumstances that led to your SMTP privileges being suspended. If it is deemed that your use was legitimate, then your SMTP privileges will be reactivated within 24 hours.

Cablevision Email Send & SMTP Limits (Optimum - OOL)
Cablevision / Optimum does NOT allow customers to send emails using an email client program or SMTP mail server, unless the customer subscribed to “Optimum Online Boost” or “Optimum Online for Business”.
Cablevision/Optimum (OOL) email send limit - maximum 50 recipients at one time
Cablevision other SMTP limits - max 20mb per outgoing message
Cablevision/Optimum email-outbound policy - http://www.optimum.net/Article/Terms
Cablevision SMTP restriction expiry method - N/A.

Road Runner Email Send & SMTP Limits
If your account has reached the email send limit, you will receive the following error message: “ERROR:5.7.1:550 Outbound Mail Refused - YOUR_IP_ADDRESS”. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Road Runner internet connection:
Road Runner email send limit - max 1,000 recipients per day per IP
Road Runner other SMTP limits - max 5mb per message
Road Runner email-outbound policy - http://help.rr.com/HMSFaqs/e_outbound_email_policy.aspx
Road Runner SMTP restriction expiry method - the suspension is automatically lifted after 24 hours

Cox Email Send & SMTP Limits
Cox did not publish the official email send limit for Cox High Speed Internet subscribers. According to the Cox web site: “Specific email sending limits are not published because they vary from time to time depending on a variety of factors”. We strongly advise you to contact the Cox support department before sending out large amounts of emails.
Cox other SMTP limits - max 10mb per message
Cox email-outbound policy - http://www.cox.com/policy/limitations.asp

AT&T Yahoo! Email Send & SMTP Limits
Please note that, according to the AT&T Yahoo! Membership Agreement, AT&T Yahoo! can assess a charge of $50.00 per day for unintentional violations or $500.00 per day for deliberate violations of their unsolicited email policy. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from an AT&T Yahoo! Internet/email connection:
AT&T Yahoo! email send limit - no more than 100 recipients per email message
AT&T Yahoo! other SMTP limits - max 20mb per message, max 50 file attachments
AT&T Yaho0! email-outbound policy - http://edit.client.yahoo.com/cspcommon/static?page=tos
AT&T Yahoo! SMTP restriction expiry method - penalty charges may apply

Charter Email Rate Limits
If you are a Charter Internet access residential customer and you receive the following error message when trying to send emails: “421 Connection Refused - Customer has exceeded the maximum number of messages allowed per hour”, it means your account SMTP access was temporarily blocked. The following restrictions apply when emailing from a Charter connection:
Charter email send limit - maximum 50 recipients / emails per hour
Charter other SMTP limits - max 10mb per message
Charter email-outbound policy - http://www.charter.com/Visitors/Policies.aspx?Policy=6
Charter SMTP restriction expiry method - wait an hour to send additional emails or brake up the recipients number into smaller groups.

BellSouth Email Send & Rate Limits
BellSouth does not publish a clear email send limit: “Sending mass, unsolicited e-mail by Service users is prohibited. BellSouth Internet Services reserves the right, in BellSouth’s sole discretion, to determine whether such email constitutes unsolicited messages or transmission. Sending large volumes of unsolicited e-mail to a single user, or group of users, commercial or otherwise, by Service users is prohibited.”.
BellSouth email send limit - BellSouth’s sole discretion
BellSouth other SMTP limits - max 10mb per message
BellSouth email-outbound policy - Acceptable Use Policies
BellSouth SMTP restriction expiry method - BellSouth Internet Services may immediately terminate any account which it determines, in its sole discretion, is transmitting or is otherwise connected with any ’spam’ or other unsolicited bulk email. In addition, because damages are often difficult to quantify, if actual damages cannot be reasonably calculated then BellSouth Internet Services may seek liquidated damages of five dollars (US$5.00) for each piece of ’spam’ or unsolicited bulk email transmitted from or otherwise connected with your account.

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