May 31, 2012 | Sean Wirt
I've been a BIG fan of Shari's Berries and ProFlowers for years! Whenever my family is in a pinch to send last-minute gifts, we almost always send berries. As a fan, I subscribed to their mailing list years ago so that I could take advantage of their great deals. Occasionally, I noticed that some of their messages were going to my spam folder in Gmail. Knowing the effect this had on my receiving their messages in my inbox, I naturally clicked the "Not Spam" button in Gmail. (Of course, many "average Joes" don't realize the impact that has, but I won't go off on that tangent!)
Anyhow, a few months back, I started noticing that the subject lines of some of my messages From Shari's Berries and ProFlowers were targeted at Gmail users. There were subjects such as "Gmail Users Weekend Sales Event: 59% off a Gift Mom will Remember Forever" and "Our Easter Flash Sale for Gmail Users is Now! 63% off Delicious Easter Strawberries." I remember being at a MAAWG event when I received the first one and pointed out to colleagues what a great idea it was. They even went so far as to send out a message with this subject: "Gmail Notice: Please check your settings today." I distinctly remember forwarding that one out to our deliverability team saying something like "Wow! Check this out!"
The email included step-by-step instructions on how to report the message as "Not Spam" and also how to add the "From" address to their address book. Not only did they tell you how to do it, they gave you a visual depiction of the process – love it!
All of this background leads to my point. Industry columnist Ken Magill posted a Magill Report article last week talking specifically about ProFlowers' campaigns (ProFlowers and Shari's Berries are both parts of the Provide Commerce family of brands) and the effect they had on delivery. Ken writes: "But during the week of March 19th, ProFlowers' Gmail inbox placement rate jumped from 35.9 percent to 71.8 percent, according to eDataSource. Two weeks later, the rate surpassed 85 percent, according to eDataSource. The following week—and every week thereafter—the rate has been above 95 percent, according to eDataSource. ProFlowers started using subject lines targeted to Gmail users at the end of February and stopped in April, according to eDataSource. The results speak for themselves."
I love when marketers get creative in their efforts to improve delivery (especially when it works)! The lesson here is that when you think outside the box can you can be rewarded with GREAT results. If you find you're getting caught in the spam folder at one of your key ISPs and any overtures to their postmaster team hasn't produced any results, then don't be afraid to create a campaign to correct the problem.
Posted by: Sean Wirt at 10:51 AM
July 21, 2009 | Spencer Kollas
Repost from GMail Blog:
GMail now displaying images in messages from your contacts
Monday, July 20, 2009 5:58 PM
Posted by David de Kloet, Software Engineer
When an email references external images, Gmail usually doesn't display them automatically. Instead we show placeholders and present you with the option to "Display images below" or "Always display images from" that sender.
We do this to help protect your privacy from spammers, who can use images and links to verify that your email address is real.
But often the messages you get with images are from friends or family and there's no reason to worry about your privacy — you just want to see the photo of your newborn niece or the invitation design they're sending you. So, in these cases, we've decided to start displaying images by default. Now, whenever someone you've emailed at least twice sends you a message containing images, you'll see them right away. Note that we picked this threshold of two messages to start with, but we may tweak it if it doesn't seem right going forward. And we only display images by default for authenticated messages (using SPF or DKIM). Gmail and other big mail providers usually authenticate their mail, but other services might not, so it's possible you'll get an email from one of your contacts where images aren't displayed by default.
If you prefer to go back to the way things were, you can choose not to display images from certain senders or from anyone. To disable images from an individual sender, click "Don't display from now on" under the "Show details" link of an email from them with images. To disable images from everybody, select "Ask before displaying external content" under "External content" on the general Settings tab.
Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 9:17 AM
July 14, 2009 | Spencer Kollas
Here's the latest news on Gmail authentication, straight from the source....
New in Labs: The super-trustworthy, anti-phishing key
Monday, July 13, 2009 9:43 AM
Posted by Brad Taylor, Gmail Spam Czar
We're always looking for new ways to protect Gmail inboxes from spam and phishing. Last year, we started taking extra steps to protect you from fake eBay and PayPal emails, requiring that any email claiming to come from one of eBay's or PayPal's domains actually comes from them. We do that by looking at the "From" header, and when it says "ebay.com" for example, it means it really did come from ebay.com. Anything else is rejected; it won't even appear in your spam folder because Gmail won't accept it.
Now, unless you are a regular reader of this blog with a photographic memory, you may not be aware of this extra protection. So, we thought we'd add a little something to remind you. Turn on "Authentication icon for verified senders" from the Labs tab under Settings, and you'll see a key icon next to verified emails that are super-trustworthy.
"Super-trustworthy" is a technical term I just invented that means: (1) the sender, usually a financial institution, is a target of phishers, (2) all of the sender's email is authenticated with DKIM, and (3) Gmail rejects any fake messages that claim to come from this sender, but actually don't.
It's a bit of work for senders to make their email super-trustworthy, which is why this feature is limited to just eBay and PayPal right now. We hope to add more senders in the future, and when we do, you'll know because you'll see the super-trustworthy key icon magically appear by those senders too. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think.