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Report
CiviMail Best Practices
March 7, 2011
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Email is Still King
"E-mail continues to be the core way in which money is
raised and volunteers are driven to go to events. ... In
terms of response rates, e-mail will come out on top.”
- Joe Rospars, Blue State Digital
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Complexities of Sending Email
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78% of all email sent is considered SPAM
It’s annoying to consumers and it is problematic to ISPs
ISPs utilize a variety of different measures to reduce the
level of SPAM, unfortunately this creates additional legwork
for digital marketers
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Mechanisms for Combatting SPAM
• ISP Throttling
• IP Blacklists and Whitelists
• SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
• Feedback Loops
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Chances are if you are sending email out through your web
host a large portion of your email is not being received
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Free utility to check:
http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx
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CiviMail’s Shortcomings
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No ISP throttling
Bounce processing libraries out of date
No support for SPAM feedback loops from major ISPs
Requires a lot of expertise to setup the proper infrastructure
Sending speed is greatly determined by your server configuration
Running CiviMail on shared hosting accounts is often problematic
But don’t let that discourage you…
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Why Use CiviMail
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CiviMail is still a very powerful email engine
With the proper setup CiviMail can reliably deliver
250,000+ emails/hour
But the real reason to use CiviMail is…
» It offers one centralized database for all of your contacts
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No importing and exporting
No 3rd party APIs
Just the ability to email to email your donors, your event
attendees, your petition signers, your volunteers, your
contacts that like pistachio ice cream at anytime
anywhere without having to call in the IT swat team and
data wranglers
The more personal and relative you make your emails
the higher your conversion rates will be
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Scalability: What’s Possible
4GB
Server Size
# Threads
2GB
40 Threads
20 Threads
10 Threads
5 Threads
2 Threads
1 Thread
1GB
512MB
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200
300
400
(Thousands)
Emails/Hour
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3rd Party MTAs
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Price: $0.001 $0.00045 per email
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Price: $0.003 $0.0008 per email
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Price: $0.0025 $0.0003 per email
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REST API for
Feedback Loops
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REST API for
Feedback Loops
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REST API for
Feedback Loops
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Control panel to
monitor sending
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Control panel to
monitor sending
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Control panel to
monitor sending
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No limits on
simultaneous
threads
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10 Threads at a time
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Project Code:
https://github.com/e
motive/CiviCRMsocketlabsintegration
Reputation
Management
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Project Code:
https://github.com/e
motive/CiviCRMsendgrid-integration
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Dashboard Analytics
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Feedback Loops
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Failed Messages (messagesFailed)
• Utilizes unified failure deliver codes to sort hard/soft bounces
• Places hard bounces in group in CiviCRM
• Hook on the CiviMail process marks all people in the bounce group as on hold in
CiviCRM before it calculates the total number of messages
• Comcast, Time Warner and Charter all use soft bounces to flag SPAM
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Socketlabs can work with you to get your IP cleared if you have been flagged
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Spam Messages (messagesFBLReported)
• Supports AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo
• Marks each email as Do Not Email in CiviCRM preventing them from ever being
contacted using CiviMail
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Multi-site/client configuration available with a small hack on outbound mailing code
Google does not provide any feedback on SPAM
API Documentation: https://www.socketlabs.com/od/api
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Our Mail System Setup
LAMP Stack with
Civi and Drupal
Cloud Sites
Database Server
Qmail Mail Relay
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Available Modules and Resources
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Check for Blacklisting: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx
Check your Sender Score with Returnpath: https://www.senderscore.org/
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Setting up a SPF Record: http://old.openspf.org/
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ISP Resources
• AOL Postmaster: http://postmaster.aol.com/
• Yahoo Postmaster: http://postmaster.yahoo.com
• MSN/Hotmail Postmaster: http://mail.live.com/mail/postmaster.aspx
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Feedback Loop Modules
• Send Grid: https://github.com/emotive/CiviCRM-sendgrid-integration
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Looking for people to help debug/test!
Socketlabs: https://github.com/emotive/CiviCRM-tools
ReturnPath Blog: http://www.returnpath.net/blog/received/
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Questions and Discussion
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Contact Information
Matthew Briney
emotive, llc
[email protected]
(703) 379-4218
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