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2016

It's not an uncommon case here in support - Marketo says the email was delivered, but the lead says they never got it.  What happened?

 

Because I love analogy here's how I think of it:

 

Delivering email to a server is rather like delivering regular mail to a company.  The post office doesn't come into the office and deliver the email to every individual desk, they deliver it to the mailroom and the clerks in the mailroom are responsible for getting the email to the desk or inbox of the appropriate person.  Just as the post office considers the mail delivered when it is dropped off at the mailroom and doesn't know how the mailroom handles it from there, Marketo considers an email to be delivered when it's accepted by the server and loses visibility to what happens to it from there.

 

So in our virtual mailroom, the clerks have instructions to sort out spam and possibly malicious email.  Depending on the instructions they have been given, they may throw some of the email away, or they may send it to the recipient but put it in the Junk/Spam folder.  Why they do so is not something the post office/Marketo can see or speak to, but we can help the the recipient's IT department start to figure it out.

 

What Marketo can do is provide the recipient's IT department with the timestamp, return-path, sending IP, and receiving IP from our logs. This would be like the post office providing the mailroom supervisor with the time the mail was delivered, the mail carrier who made the delivery, and the mailroom clerk who received the delivery.  Then they can go to the right mailroom clerk and ask, "What did you do with the email for so-and-so that we received on this date?", and since email servers log everything (which mailroom clerks usually do not) they can get the answer to this question.  After the IT department determines why the emails are not being delivered, we can help them make the necessary adjustments to allow the email through, usually by altering or updating their whitelist.

 

There's one more behavior you can sometimes get from a very security-consious email server/mailroom.  Sometimes you will look at an activity log and see that some or all of the links in the email were clicked immediately on delivery.  Obviously, people need some time to receive, open, read, and click on emails, so this insta-click looks weird, but what is causing it?  Well, some email security software packages have what is called link testing.  The email security software itself clicks on the links in the email to check for malicious sites before delivering it into the inbox.  This would be kind of like having a mailroom clerk open and check all the mail before delivering it.  In the Marketo system, clicks are clicks, whether they come from a person or from an email security bot, so this can sometimes throw off your engagement statistics.  Link testing in email security is not super-common, though, so it shouldn't be to much of an issue.  It's just good to know  what is causing this otherwise baffling behavior.


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Frequently people ask me for clarification on the different sorts of IPs Marketo offers, and the pros and cons of each, so I thought I would write a post on it, and since I love analogies, that's what I am going to do here. 

 

There are three kinds of IP that Marketo offers, shared, trusted, and dedicated.

 

Being on a shared IP is kind of like living in an apartment building.  The upside is that it costs less than living in a house, but the downside is that you can be affected by the neighbors who share a roof and walls with you.  If one neighbor throws a wild party, all the neighbors get to hear it.  If someone starts a fire in their living room, the fire department evacuates everyone from the building, no matter who started it.  Similarly, on a shared IP, if one of your neighbors hits a spam trap, then the entire IP and everyone on it suffers the consequences until the IP is delisted.  If you get sick of having to deal with your neighbors in the Shared IP Apartments, what are your options?

 

One option would be to move to the Trusted IP instead.  It's a shared IP range reserved for low-volumes instances with good marketing practices.  It costs the same as the shared IP, but there's a  application process to qualify and not everyone can get in.  So it's kind of like living in an apartment that does a credit and reference check before letting you in and has a very strict on-site manager who evicts people who misbehave.  The upside is, it's a nice, quiet place to live at no extra price, but on the downside, if you slip up, you may find yourself headed back to the Shared IP Apartments.

 

If you send more than 100,000 emails per month and you are done with "apartment living", you might want to spend the money to get your own house - a dedicated IP.  With your dedicated IP house, you don't have to worry about whether or not the person on the other side of a wall has a loud party or leaves candles unattended, because you have the whole thing to yourself.  Of course, you do have to spend a little extra on it, and if you leave a candle unattended and burn the place down, you have no one to blame but yourself.

 

If you are currently living in the Shared IP and want to make the make the move to Trusted, you must meet the following requirements: You must not be responsible for any spamtrap hits in the past year, you must send less than 75,000 emails per month, and you must adhere to best practices in your lead acquisition (opted-in leads and current customers, no purchased lists).  You can find the application for Trusted IP here - http://na-sjg.marketo.com/lp/marketoprivacydemo/Trusted-IP-Sending-Range-Program.html.


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