The Art and Science of Email Deliverability with Chris Arrendale

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by the Mo Pros, powered by I’m Michael Hartmann, your host. Joined today by finally, both Naomi and Mike, again, Mike Rizzo. Naomi Liu, please say hello. And this year, what is the year? Mike?

Mike Rizzo: It’s been a while. Right. So

Michael Hartmann: need a reminder

Mike Rizzo: folks.

Michael Hartmann: that you’re the mopro and.

Mike Rizzo: I’m glad to be back. It’s been a minute.

Michael Hartmann: It is, It has and it’s, I was thinking, uh, this is where my mind wonders when I’m not busy enough, I guess. But I was thinking as we get close to the end of the year, we’re gonna have to figure out how are we gonna end 2022, You know? So we’ll get there, but not before.

Not before we talk to today’s guests. So joining us today to talk about both the art and science of. Email deliverability is Chris Arrendale. He’s a CEO and founder of Cyber Data Pros. Chris is a privacy data security and compliance professional with [00:01:00] a proven and track record of accomplishment for enhancing organization practices while focused on revenue growth before starting Cyber Data Pros, Chris has started multiple consulting companies and advises with several other companies and all things deliverability.

He started his career with Silver Pop, so those of you old enough might remember Silver Pop. I do Helping clients. Yeah, helping clients with deliverability challenges. So Chris is a sought after expert, author and speaker, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chris, uh, a couple of times. So, uh, Chris, thank you for joining us today.

Chris Arrendale: Thank you for having me. Yeah, it’s, uh, back in the good old days of Silver Pop. That was a long time ago, but it’s definitely been a great journey.

Michael Hartmann: so I think I studi like silver pop, exact target, like I think I’ve used all of those.

Chris Arrendale: Yep. I know. It’s, uh, it was, it was crazy back in the day just thinking about, you know, like Bill Nu and the teams that were there and, and how they’ve kind of gone off and done other things. And so it was exciting time. I met my wife there by the, by the way. So, uh, it was, it was great for me. So, good career and, and great life choice.

Michael Hartmann: Awesome. [00:02:00] Well, uh, so Chris, we are excited to have you join us. I think if, if the rest of the audience or the rest of our listeners was like me, I feel like I, I feel like I always know just like the, the tip of the iceberg about deliverability and for our audience. So Chris actually presented at my company, uh, globally yesterday, and, um, Even then I learned a little bit of something about just terminology.

So hopefully this is gonna be helpful for everybody. I think we all care about deliverability and privacy. Um, feel like we might know something about it, but probably missing some details. So, Chris, why don’t we just start off with like maybe major components involved with the deliverability, key terms we should all be familiar with, so that we are starting on a sort of a common foundation of terminology at a.

Chris Arrendale: Yeah, that’s good. Good point here. There’s definitely a lot that goes into it, right? You know, taking in the considerations of things like privacy and compliance and we all know can spam, we are pretty familiar with GDPR and Castle, you know, terms like CCPA and cpr, of course approaching with [00:03:00] AD PPA on the national level, right?

But if you think about deliverability, it’s, you know, you hear terms like engagement here, terms like reputation, uh, then you start to get into things like demark and bi, right? So there’s a lot of things there I would say. You know, one thing that, uh, everybody needs to really pay attention to is the fact of things like reputation more on the domain itself.

That sending subdomain, that sending top level domain is very important, right? A lot of providers now in filtering companies are looking at that to really gauge inbox placement, to gauge sort of that metric of, you know, are you getting in the inbox and how often and how much, and you know, what providers are doing that.

So that’s really important there. Again, engagement, as I mentioned, you know, getting people to actually click on your message to open, to actually do something with it, Save it, forward it, reply to it, right? You know, replying to an email, especially from a brand, is really important from the filtering and ISP perspective.

They see that as a positive form of engagement. Um, but as I, as I mentioned before, there’s a lot of things that marketers can’t measure, right? So they can’t measure someone. Moving. You know, if, [00:04:00] uh, somebody that’s in spam to the inbox, they can’t measure somebody ignoring their message, you know, not scrolling, things like that.

So there’s a lot of things that are kind of the nuance there. Um, some of the other terms I mentioned also as well as, um, mentioned the term d a, right? Uh, d a is essentially a, a system that allows you to receive reports. Of anybody else that’s trying to use your domain to send emails. So think about, you know, domain protection, anti phishing, anti spoofing methodologies.

That’s really important because if you start to think, you know, if your emails are being marked as phish fishing, you know, having demark in place helps you with that and, and ultimately bii, which allows you to have your brand’s logo next to your from. It’s like that carrot and stick. And so it’s great to actually see the brand’s logo next to from name and say, Oh, I recognize that brand from the logo.

I’m gonna click on that email. Right? And so it is, it’s more about engagement with the audience and things that you can do to kind of, to kind of have that, I think, you know, Again, a lot of terms that we talk about and, and, and there’s, you know, Michael, you’re right, there’s a lot of acronyms that kind of [00:05:00] go into this, right?

And so knowing those acronyms, understanding them, um, and then also too, how, how it relates to, um, you know, to to, to really, you know, just tying it to dollars, right? Tying it to revenue. I was on a call earlier and, and somebody mentioned, how does, you know, what does deliverability mean in terms of revenue?

Right? I, because you know, again, as. As a technologist, you’re thinking things like engagement and content and subject line. And, you know, my e p my market automation provider, they’ve already set up all my DNS records and authentication. So what does deliverability really mean, right? So you start to think about those, you know, soft bounces those blocks, right?

So if you’re blocked to a filter, blocked at a certain is p, you’re not getting into the inbox and nobody can actually see your message, right? So if somebody, if they can’t see your message, How are they gonna actually engage with it? So, uh, I’m excited to be here and I think there’s a lot of things that, you know, we can discuss as it relates to what are some actions that, you know, some of these individuals can take to make sure that deliverability is tied to revenue?

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, I, so I, I remember one of the big aha moments for me [00:06:00] when you, when you talked to the, our company yesterday was you, you really clearly defined deliverability versus delivered. And, and honestly, I already forgot which one represents actually making it to the inbox. Right. So, um, What, you know, how do you distinguish between those two?

Because I think that’s a, For me, that was a really important thing cuz really what I care about is making it to the inbox. So that’s not necessarily what we’re able to measure.

Chris Arrendale: Correct. Yeah. So deliverability versus delivered, right? So sent minus, bounced equals delivered. So if you send 110 of them bounced, right? You’ve got a 90% delivered rate. Oftentimes people get that confused with, That’s my deliverability rate, right? That’s not the case because when you send the email and the recipient’s, mail server accepts it, They can move it to the inbox, the junk forward quarantine.

They can do whatever you want after the fact. But again, measuring inbox placement, that’s deliverability, right? And so lots of tactics and tips to kind of do that. But by no means can you ever [00:07:00] see across a report and say, Oh, I sent 3,200 900, 2,999, got it to the inbox. That’s not something that can be measured, right?

You can use tools like seed testing, panel testing. Looking at your campaign data to kind of gauge inbox placement, but overall, you know, the art of deliverability is, you know, getting those emails into the inbox where delivered is just a metric of how many emails actually made it to the recipients mail server.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. And that’s really all we have access to in a lot of our market automation and email PLA platforms. So you, you, you, you rattled off a number of different, um, privacy laws. I liked your. I like your take on can spams, that you can spam

Chris Arrendale: You can spam

Michael Hartmann: So, um, Yeah. This is a nice little dad joke there. So I appreciate, I always appreciate a good dad joke, Chris.

Chris Arrendale: I’ve got plenty of those so everybody that knows me knows I love Dad jokes.

Michael Hartmann: there you go. So [00:08:00] let, like what is, what’s the connection point of the relationship between. Deliverability and delivered as as well, and against sort of compliance and kinda what you’re doing from a privacy compliance standpoint.

Chris Arrendale: That’s a good question. So I’d say a lot of it has to deal with, you know, either in from the opt in process or from the opt out process too. Right? So data collection, right? So as we know, uh, many of the, uh, listeners know. GDPR is that explicit opt in consent. Right? So actually clicking on a box saying, Yes, I do wanna receive emails from this person, Castle, the same thing.

Can spam is more of, again, an opt out law, right? So, um, just making sure that you, when you do unsubscribe, that you are suppressing that individual. From your list. Um, but then you start to look at the entire changing landscape of what we’ve seen over the past four or five years. Things like, you know, do not sell my data.

The right to be forgotten, the right to data portability, the right to, you know, having your data modified, the right to having your data stop being processed. Right. As we all know [00:09:00] with CPA that came out, um, The reason that came out is honestly, uh, I believe California right now is the fifth largest economy in the world, just the state of California.

And so if you think about the companies that are in California, the data, they have access to the breaches that are occurring. You know, the governor said, Hey, we gotta stop this. And so again, having the right to stop having all this data processed again, plays into the fact. How much data are marketers collecting on people?

Right? I always talk about data minimization and the fact that sometimes marketers are over collecting data. Think about progressive, right? You know, you, hey, yes, I want this, this, uh, particular download, first name, last name, email address. But then they start asking for job title, company size, company name, address, what are you doing with that data, right?

And so if you’re, if you’re over collecting, if you’re keeping it, if you have to store it, you have to encrypt it, you have to secure it, you have to, you know, principle of least privilege. All that plays into, you know, [00:10:00] again, data breach, data loss, state leakage. Now, as it relates to deliverability, also, You gotta think about, you know, these email addresses that are being scraped and sold, right?

And, and people that are buying those bad lists. And of course, sending to those, you’re hitting, you know, getting hard bounces, you’re hitting spam traps and possibly landing on a major block list.

Michael Hartmann: It’s crazy. Like am I actually a little freaked out right now so I can’t lie?

Mike Rizzo: I was like, I’m I’ve, I am. Since the start of this conversation, two things popped into my head. The first one is totally not relevant, but my transcript editor is going to struggle greatly with the number of acronyms that we just spun off right now at the start of this conversation,

Chris Arrendale: That or my southern accent. Right?

Mike Rizzo: And I think that’ll, it’ll pick up that, but it’s gonna be like, De Kim, blah, blah.

You know, all the things. A lot of which I’ve heard, right. And I, I love, I love that you’re like, Hey, we all know, you know, the California, [00:11:00] what is it? CC?

Chris Arrendale: E C P.

Mike Rizzo: I don’t even know the acronym by Heart D cpa. I was like, Do we all know that ? Uh, but then the, the second piece is I’m actively in the middle of this conversation realizing that my, almost every brand I think that I’ve been at has not, probably not set up all three of the spiff D cam, D mark records, and.

Bim me as I Google it live. As we’re recording this, I’m going, this is cool. How do I set this up so I’m learning something? To your point, Michael, like if you learn something yesterday, I’m learning something right? Right now and I can tell you Yeah, we need to go set some things up cuz this is freaking me out.

Michael Hartmann: Well that, that point about, you know, collecting what, what I think most of our listeners, I’d love your thought is this like, Job title in company size and some of these things they’d seem pretty common to collect and ask [00:12:00] for in innocuous. But now you’re saying like they need to, They should. They should be.

I don’t know if they have to be, but they should be encrypted. They should be like, I would venture the guess that most people are not doing those things. Uh,

Naomi Liu: I mean, yeah, like.

Michael Hartmann: yeah.

Naomi Liu: If your forms are, like, if your forms are encrypted, like all, if the forms are you’re, that you’re collecting and the platforms that you’re using have encryption on them. I guess the question is like, what are you doing with that information? Right. Are, you know, you, you mentioned progressive profiling and all of that stuff like.

I, I don’t know. I have a hard time with that. Right. Like I, I, I like getting the account information. Definitely right. But we populate that information. You can populate that information with things like Zoom info and, you know, DMV optimizer, like you don’t necessarily need to ask the person for it. Right.

Especially if they’re public facing accounts. Right. And you want them to convert on the form. And what was it, there was a benchmark that had, that, I had read a couple years old now, but something like every additional question you ask somebody on a [00:13:00] form drops a conversion rate by like 12%.

Chris Arrendale: Yeah, and I, I think, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re right. I think that what happens though, oftentimes the form itself is encrypted, Right. You know, SSL encryption, the data transfer is encrypted, but then it gets stored in. Database or an Excel spreadsheet that’s not encrypted and maybe on somebody’s laptop they get stolen and then all that data is out, right?

Naomi Liu: Well, hopefully all of our listeners are using something like a proper market automation platform and not something that just feeds data into an Excel or Google sheet. Right?

Michael Hartmann: Well, if they’re, if they’re like, I bet there’s several of us who have experience where somebody says, Well, I’m just gonna throw up a Google form and it’s in a

Naomi Liu: Mm-hmm. . Yeah, I mean like I like I think about marketing ops like even 10, 11 years ago, it’s, look at the wild, wild west, right? What is castle? What is duty pr? 200,000 emails on a Friday afternoon, Let’s hit send. What could go wrong? You know, it’s just and I feel like a lot of these laws have like evolved to try to keep up with the changing [00:14:00] landscape of all of this information.

But it’s interesting cuz like on a personal level, I don’t mind having data collected about myself, and I don’t know if I’m like the, you know, the exception here, but I wish I had something on my phone or my computer that would just accept all cookies automatically for me everywhere. You know, that I just never have to click, accept, or to like, I just, I don’t ever browse on private.

I’m just like, accept everything. Tell me what to buy, you know?

Michael Hartmann: so, it’s so funny because I, I don’t, this is way, way old and I couldn’t even tell you the source, but I do remember at one point when kind of, and it was probably around when Castle was becoming big and privacy was really, Getting a lot of focus because there are a lot of bad actors out there. Right.

And they still are. Right. And I’m not, I’m personally not convinced that Castle or GDPR and all that actually really had

Naomi Liu: I can tell you, Sorry to interrupt, but since Castle came into play, I’ve gotten triple the amount of spammy mul since and as a Canadian, right, like, and I don’t [00:15:00] remember ever double consenting or explicitly consenting to any of this. I get way more emails since Castle has implemented them before.

Michael Hartmann: fastening.

Mike Rizzo: interesting. Uh, so I feel you on. Accept all cookies thing for, for those that visit our [email protected], it literally says another cookie power question mark. And then the button to accept it is accept cookie experience tracking. But like the copy within the whole thing is like, Yes, we too use cookies on our website.

Like, sorry, I wish I could just accept all of

Chris Arrendale: Well, and it’s also, again, you bring up a good point, right? It’s also about user experience, right? If you think about the eu, you know, privacy is a fundamental, right, right? And so it’s, it’s the privacy and data protection. And I always like use the example of, think about Uber, right? You open the Uber app and your credit card is saved, your home address is saved, your business address is saved.

You have your favorite routes, you have your favorite drivers, all the data’s there. What would the user [00:16:00] experience be like if you opened it without any of that data saved? It would be horrible. Right. And so again, I think, I think us, I think, I think people definitely in like the western world, western hemisphere are more likely to give up data and about, you know, just accepting all cookies or, here, here’s my data, like, give me the best user experience than of course, you know, everybody that’s in the eu, Right?

So it’s, it’s, it’s a balance.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, and I think some of that comes from, um, there’s, there’s. We’re not, we’re not talking about the literal, like war here in the world, right? We’re saying like there is a data, uh, battle happening all the time and, and countries don’t like, that’s a little scary. I totally understand that from, from a country perspective, right?

Wait a minute, like some other country has access to all of my people’s information that live. [00:17:00] Um, and so I, you know, I think, I don’t know for a fact, but I certainly could imagine that a lot of these laws and a lot of these practices are trying to be implemented to institute a protection around this idea that, Hey, hold on just a second.

Right? And we’re seeing that, we’re seeing that crop up, right? With, uh, some of the conversations we’ve had with some other folks in our community around privacy and compliance. It’s like, you need to have your servers here on this part of the country. because it’s not okay that the data just lives somewhere else.

And this is, these are these people, right? Um, that’s kind of, I don’t know. There’s, I’m sure there has to be some bit of that. Right? And then, and then to this point, like, I just want to like, touch on this because I just came back from all these conferences, right? Um,

Michael Hartmann: humble brag.

Mike Rizzo: there has anybody No, it’s not even a humble brag, right?

Oh my gosh. It’s exhausting going to these things. Um, the. These venues. Right? And Chris, maybe you have an answer for this, maybe you don’t. I don’t. I, you [00:18:00] know, but passing the data between these apps from the booth scanners or whatever, like nine times outta 10 that’s just sent

Chris Arrendale: Yeah, it is. It

Mike Rizzo: like shit is not protective.

Chris Arrendale: not.

Michael Hartmann: No.

Mike Rizzo: we have to mark explicit language on this episode.

Chris Arrendale: Deliverability privacy, explicit language. But you’re right though. And also too, you know, just thinking about, right Mike, like, you know, you just got back from all these conferences. How many emails have you received already? That’s like, Oh, Mike, thanks for visiting our booth. Can I set up a demo? Like, can we hop on a call next week?

Like, how many of those have you received?

Mike Rizzo: Oh yeah, I’ve, I’ve had 10 in the last two weeks. One of them came through today and I was like, I definitely did not talk to

Michael Hartmann: Well, I was gonna say, I think the other one, one of the other things that’s going on is, um, is at some events, right? There’s actual tracking of where you actually go, right? So then you don’t even have to go to the booth. You can have walked past it close enough [00:19:00] where your beacon is flagged, and

Chris Arrendale: Your badge.

Michael Hartmann: probably signed some agreement that says that you’re, you know, it’s okay for them, like to share your information.


Mike Rizzo: Yeah.

Chris Arrendale: accept all cookies,

Michael Hartmann: Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: all cookies.

Naomi Liu: I like to see the bend diagram of people who browse on Incognito, but have also taken 23 Amme DNA tests and submitted to like Ancestry or something. I’m actually

Mike Rizzo: the,

Naomi Liu: curious about

Mike Rizzo: That’s a really good one, David. I’m definitely in the 23 me database.

Naomi Liu: right? I know.

Chris Arrendale: I, I am too, as well as a privacy professional, I actually did the same thing, you know, so it’s, you’re right. It’s like you, so it’s, you just give up some of your data

Naomi Liu: Global entry clear, you know,

Mike Rizzo: Oh yeah,

Naomi Liu: pre-check,

Chris Arrendale: yep. It’s all about a better user experience.

Michael Hartmann: Right. I think that’s the trade off. All right, so all these laws, they’re all different. They’re all changing. Like [00:20:00] I didn’t even realize that there. You said there’s a national one that’s kind of in the works for the us.

Chris Arrendale: Ad ppa. So basically

Michael Hartmann: didn’t even know what was happening. Right. So, So, um, how, you know, what’s your, like, what’s the best, like, do you have any suggestions for how our listeners and three of us can try to keep up with the changing landscape and what that means?

Like then, you know, knowing how or what we should even do to, Yeah, I don’t even know, like half the time, I don’t know if we need to change anything or.

Chris Arrendale: That’s a good question. Um, I’m a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. It’s the I A P P. It’s a great website, great resource. They track a lot of this. They have daily emails that come out that are actually very informative and do provide updates to these sorts of things, right?

So ccpa, Syra, ad ppa. Virginia, I mean, all these different states that, you know, it’s, again, the landscape is changing all the time. The good thing about the I E P P is that, um, there a lot of the folks [00:21:00] that are running it, uh, have a lot of email experience as well. There’s a, uh, there’s another group called the E P C, the, um, email Sender Provider coalition.

Really f a lot of ESP marketing automation providers provide insight into more of the compliance side. And so there’s a lot of those individuals that are also on the I A P. So that’s a. Um, great website. You definitely could plug the cyber data, uh, Cyber Data Pros blog. We, we definitely are posting about CPR ad ppa.

Um, again, those are the, there’s things that are happening all around. And so, you know, Michael, you asked a very good question of, you know, how do you, how do you kind of work with the individuals at your company as well to make sure that everybody’s aware of this or who are some resources? And I often say, You, you always have to involve legal and compliance, right?

You know, lawyers are, they think that they know all the laws and know what’s happening, but at least having their insight and their, and their inputs, it is valuable. Um, I also like to have round tables of what I like to call a risk council. So a risk council for [00:22:00] a company would be somebody from sales, somebody from marketing, somebody that’s working with a client, legal compliance in it, right?

You get those individuals around a table and you start to talk about these things. Hey, do we have a data mapping? Um, diagram that shows how the data flows from Marketo to Salesforce to sap, to all these things. Where does the data sit? You know, you’re right. Mike is our, is our AWS data center? Is it in the Northern Virginia region or is it somewhere in, you know, Brazil, Right?

Those sorts of things. You get those topics going and then you start to identify what really applies to you. Right. Does CCPA apply to you? Right. You may or May or may not, right? I started talking about AD ppa. Which definitely focuses more on, again, the, the rights of the individuals in the United States, again, about not having their data sold or shared with third parties.

And so, um, lots of areas to keep up, but I always recommend the I A P P to keep up with that information.

Michael Hartmann: So I think it’s interesting you brought up the word, you know, I think you just said risk [00:23:00] council or, but the, I was kind of in right before you said that. I was like, when you said attorneys and, um, I’ve, I’ve been lucky enough to have had good attorneys at most of the places I’ve worked at where I think they, they’re, um, do the, the counselor part of being an attorney as opposed to, you know, saying no to everything.

But I mean, do you think it’s, do you think, um, Because I think it’s a challenge to try to keep up with all this stuff and to make sure that you’re coming into compliance with everything. And truth be told, there’s a part of me that suspects that if you comply with some stuff in one place, you’re not complying somewhere else.

Right. So I mean, do you think of, think our, our companies should be thinking about this and our list should be thinking about this in a risk, kind of what’s our risk tolerance level? Right. In terms of, cuz there’s, there’s a cost to complying 100. Right. So is is, is that the kind of thought process you encourage people to go through, or do you simply say like, truly you have to comply?

Right. Letter of the law kind of [00:24:00] thing.

Chris Arrendale: Good question. I’ve worked with a lot of clients that have said, you know, listen, we comply with GDPR across the board. Everything is explicit opt in. Everything is stored safely and securely with no data, or we are minimizing our data. We have the, the ability to, for the right to be forgotten. All of those kinds of things.

Right. So I would say that’s a, that’s kind of like. It’s, That’s a revenue killing thought, right? Because if you think about that, okay, we’re gonna comply with the strictest law across the board. Well, again, that law is very strict in the eu Right? But in the US. It’s not as tight, it’s not as strict. So we have other opportunities.

We have other things that are available to us. And so I think having a, again, thinking about your risk tolerance level, you look at Facebook, right? I believe Facebook, uh, they, they have $200 million in their budget that they keep aside for lawsuits. And so they just know they’re gonna be sued. And so instead of complying with what’s right, they just say, Hey, we know we’re gonna have, we know we’re gonna have [00:25:00] lawsuits.

We anticipate this much. It’s in our budget.

Michael Hartmann: Well, they could, they could even be like in good faith trying to comply, but someone still is going to, I mean, they’re deep pocket, so like

Chris Arrendale: Yeah. Deep pockets. And, and they have, they have data on everybody, right? So if you think about the data that they have, it’s definitely a lot more. But I, I agree. I think that coming together as a team, sales, marketing, it, compliance, legal, uh, and, and somebody who definitely works with clients on a regular basis.

It could be also so many marketing. Think about, um, you know, again, tolerance levels, what’s you’re willing to risk, you’re willing to take, but. Uh, just make sure that you’re up to speed on what’s relevant for you. Right? I talked to clients and they’re like, We don’t send any emails to Canada. Okay? So you don’t have to worry about these things, but you have to worry about these other four things.

So think about what’s really relevant to you. And, and, and it also baffles me, the clients and the marketers that have stopped sending to Europe because they’re like, We don’t wanna comply with gdpr. So you’re willing to give up 30% of revenue from the past year because you don’t want to comply with [00:26:00] so,

Michael Hartmann: It’s, Yeah, I mean, that, that’s the trade off, right? So, Okay. So

Mike Rizzo: went really wide. . It’s all for the listeners, so I was like, Oh,

Michael Hartmann: no, but I, I think that’s really important, right? Is the, that gets back to what is your tolerance for the risk associated with. Yeah, I like, I don’t think any of us would encourage truly, um, truly like bad behavior that is intentionally flouting the law. Right, Right. I don’t think any us at the same time, I think there’s probably enough gray area there where there’s some, some room, but it, that’s where you go to get into, you know, are you willing to take the risk?

Are you willing to set aside some money? Should the you. Something come up when you get flagged or whatever. So you, you brought up the, um, like complying with GDPR globally so that, So I’ve, I’ve worked at, um, the last two places where I’ve been one in [00:27:00] which, uh, simply because, and this was more my dis my direction was comply with the most restrictive sort of opt in, uh, or at least, you know, try to capture explicit opt in.

Not necessarily use, apply it the same when we went outbound, right? So if we were getting that for people in the us, we would still sort of make sure that we were in line with CAN spam. Um, but, and then where I’m at now, uh, the standard globally is to be very country specific, right? So someone’s filling out a form, right, based on what country they like, what they’re presented.

Then in terms of opt in or acknowledgement kind of stuff, message. Changes dynamically. So, and I’m sure there’s other variations of, of that, but you know, when you’re talking to clients, is this like, is this another part of the risk reward or risk tolerance conversation, or do you ever actually have a recommendation on, you know, how people should approach that[00:28:00]

Chris Arrendale: Sure. Yeah. And if you, if I were to put my deliverability hat on, right, it’s all about explicit opt in or double opt in would be great, because again, you’re getting a clean. With only individuals that wanna receive your email, right? You’re, you’re not gonna be getting those hard bounces, you’re not gonna be hitting those traps.

You’re not gonna be, you know, getting on block lists. Right? Of course, your list is a lot smaller. But again, upper management is always concerned about how big is our list? We need our list bigger, we need to enrich it, we need to do this right? We need to expand it. Uh, and so having that, that tight list makes it easy for getting to, into the inbox, making sure that people actually wanna receive it.

Uh, again, cutting down on bounces traps, uh, block lists, complaints, things like that. So if you think about it from an overall perspective, um, you know, regional variations could be, uh, it’s, it’s a lot of. But it could be, you know, again, more reward, right? Because again, if you’re, if you have a GDPR approach to everything in the world, you’re in the us, you don’t have to do that, but you’re kind of cutting [00:29:00] out maybe.

10%, 20% of your revenue because you are so tight on your list. And so again, it’s, it’s a risk tolerance, risk reward type approach that what work, what makes sense, right? Because Michael, we’ve always been to those forms. You’re filling out your name and all that. You have to choose your country. When you choose us, there’s no checkbox, right?

But if you were to choose like France or Spain, there’s the check box. So it’s like, how, how, how tight do you wanna be on those forms? And how tight do you really wanna be with your list?

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, it seems like the obvious trade off is. Much more sort of complicated implementation and effort to, to maintain, uh, yeah, it is, uh, but potentially ability to, to communicate more broadly with a larger number of people in more countries versus one that’s a little relatively simple to manage and operate, but then you’re sort of shrinking your potential pool of audience,

Chris Arrendale: Correct.

Michael Hartmann: um, to, It’s an interesting one.

I, [00:30:00] and I still don’t know what I. I still don’t know which one I like better, so

Chris Arrendale: it’s a lot of trade offs, right? It’s like, you know, depending upon, you know, again, depending upon things like, uh, the buying cycle, depending upon, again, how prevalent is the EU in your database? Where are you going after, right? What’s your main audience? That’s how some of the, you know, conversations kind of start and then you focus and say, it is worth the lift to do this or just have this approach.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Let’s circle back to. email deliverability more like specifically. Uh, so, so we, we, you touched on this a little bit, right? So, uh, there’s not, we, we, as, as marketers and marketing ops professionals and our listeners, we may have limited amount of visibility into, you know, what’s happening with emails that we’re sending.

What, like what do you recommend, uh, as tools to help, you know, monitor deliverability related. Uh, [00:31:00] reputation is obviously one I think would be in the list, but what other things out there that you recommend and, um, Yeah, or maybe even other best practices,

Chris Arrendale: Sure. It’s a great question and I always say, Of course the best data that you can get, you know, without using any third party tool is just within your marketing automation platform, right? So I always recommend people, people always pay, pay attention to things like opens and clicks and conversions. You know, look at things like unsubscribes, look at the complaints, read the bounce logs, read the bounce logs, the bounce details say so much.

And for me, like. Highly entertaining because you’ll see, again, if you’re sending B2B mail, any mail, server admin can write whatever bounce message they want, right? So if you’re sending to an educational institution, it may say, you know, your email’s blocked because Sally is no longer here. Please contact the IT guy, his name is this, right?

And, and sometimes you even see things like, Exhaustive curse words. Uh, so it makes it highly entertaining to read some of those [00:32:00] bounces. So I, I, I love a good bounce log read on a, on a Friday night, Michael, with a bottle of wine, reading some good bounce logs. Nothing’s better. you know, take it from me.

So, um, You know that that’s a good place to start, um, and baseline and deliverability, right? So I always say make a baseline and, and look at those performance metrics, right? Are you getting into your key accounts? If not, why? Right? Are you sending too much too fast? Which again, if you’re sending 5,000 to a small B2B domain, it looks like a male server attack, right?

The the server. Hey, stop. You’re sitting too, too much, too fast. I’m gonna bounce you, I’m gonna block you. I’m gonna do something with your mail, not getting into the inbox. So look at those key accounts. Your top 25 accounts. Are you getting opens? Are you getting clicks? What’s happening there? Um, I use a tool, uh, you know, very familiar with Inbox Monster, uh, Inbox Monster.

You, they do it’s seed testing tools. Spam trap monitoring, block list monitoring, demark monitoring designer tools, all of that stuff in there together. So you can actually start to see how does [00:33:00] my inbox placement look at Outlook or Google Workspace or Office 365, uh, coverage in Europe and Asia too as well.

So if you’re sending to those ISPs, you can see that as well. Lot of B2B coverage, filtering coverage. It’s, it’s great sort of tool to kind of show, uh, hey, here’s what’s happening now let’s figure out how to mediate this, and then let’s look at it after the fact. Right? So cleaning up all of that data, um, and, and one tool also that I use, especially as it relates to, you know, those key accounts or any, any sort of domains that I’m curious.

There’s a tool called X N, so X-ray Nancy, Nancy X n and has a domain, uh, performance at the top that you can actually type in any domain that you want and it will show you the MX servers. And those MX servers will often say things like Mine, Proofpoint, Google Workspace, Office 365.

So you could start to see like, Hey, I’m trying to get into these top 10 accounts, and they’re all proof. Maybe we have a problem at Proofpoint. Let’s actually [00:34:00] start to dig in and figure that out. Looking at the bounces, right, there’s, there’s forms you can fill out on a lot of these filter sites like Proofpoint, like Barracuda, like Office 365.

You can fill out a form and they’ll get back to you to say their blocks removed or everything looks fine, right? So using the tools that are available that are out there for the filtering. For these B2B companies, for ISPs, they’re free. Use them, they’re great. Uh, but again, those are some of the tools that I like to use and especially, you know, monitoring deliverability and reputation.

It’s very important.

Michael Hartmann: So you, you’d shared some of those things with me before and I, I, I have actually used that x n nd now, so a couple of times cuz we are, you know, I get complaints, Sorry. Uh, I get informative messages from our sales team about emails not getting to their clients. Um, so, uh, you know, and it, it has actually helped identify like, Hey, there’s everything on our side looks like it’s going through, but so something saw going on in their side most likely that we [00:35:00] can’t see.

Um, so you, all those things, like they seem relatively straightforward, but they do seem like, is there a way that, um, , like for me, it seems intimidating. Like I, I, I’ve, I’ve got a report now for one of my eloquent instances where we’re, we’re monitoring the soft bounce back messages. Uh, but truth be told, we get so many right now that I have no time to go through it.

So I didn’t even know like the. Are there any, do you have any suggestions of places to go to? Like just think about how to approach that kind of, if you’ve got a high volume of that kind of stuff, like how do you go about that? Is there a way like, focus on these messages first, these kinds of messages or codes first, and then, And then, then move on to other ones because it’s sounds highly time consuming, right?

This, there’s no automation in this is what it sounds like.

Chris Arrendale: There’s, there’s not, but oftentimes, depending upon the bounce message, it will have a link that you can click on that’ll take you to the site to fill out a form to get de-listed or for more information. So that’s very [00:36:00] helpful. But yeah, that’s a great point. What I often do, you take the, take the bounces, Let’s say they’re in Microsoft Excel, right?

I focus on the actual bounce message itself. So what I do is I’ll do queries on things. Blacklist and block. Those are the first two that I look for, right? Because those are the first two that’s like, okay, quick hits, can I, can I fill out a form? Can I do something to keep things moving? Right? Then I start to like organize the bounces by things like, okay, I’m only looking at soft, right?

Because I wanna see things that can clear up cuz softer, temporary bounces. So if there’s, um, a DNS issue, if there’s maybe mailbox fulls, whatever. I’ll categorize those, look at the domains and say, Let we have a problem here. What segment is. Can we clear out these soft bounces and suppress them? Right. So oftentimes too, and you, you’ll notice this, some Mel, some market automation providers, they’ll send back a soft bounce That’s actually a hard bounce.

So when you read the message, it can may come back as a soft, but it says, you know, Tony is no longer here at this company. You know, please email Dan [00:37:00] here. Right? So the, the, the, uh, Qua Marketo, these systems, they’ll try to read it and say, I think it’s a hard bounce, but I’m gonna make it a soft bounce. So that, that way you.

Can actually determine it and, and, and suppress it accordingly, Right? So oftentimes, you’re right, Michael, a lot of the work comes back on you because these systems are trying to classify it right. And they can’t. So they’re like, Oh, Michael, you go back and you take a look at it. Right? Whereas if you’re a B2C sender, Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo, they all have default codes that every me, every ESP know.

So when it comes back, they know exactly if it’s a hard bounce or a soft bounce. Again, I always say B2B is much more difficult for the, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of, lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of manual things that you have to do. And again, there, there are tricks and, and tips to kind of do this.

Um, but yeah, it is manual most of the time.

Mike Rizzo: I found it, uh, pretty helpful, at least in the HubSpot platform like it. [00:38:00] Fairly decent job of at least, um, sort of auto suppressing some folks that come through if they’ve soft bounced too many times. Um, they’re pretty protective of theirs. I, I’m not overly familiar with the other maps, uh, just cuz I haven’t gotten too, too deep into the email sending side of things, but

Michael Hartmann: I think Marketo has something similar. At least it’s a An option.

Chris Arrendale: Adoption.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. Yeah. So

Chris Arrendale: of them do. It’s like,

Mike Rizzo: does a pretty good.

Chris Arrendale: some of ’em do, they’ll do like, hey, three consecutive soft bounces over the course of three weeks. Right. We’ll suppress it. But, you know, it’s, it’s oftentimes too, again, what a, what a, that soft bounce is something that is really a hard bounce, and so can we take care of it now?

Versus I always, you know, think about like the door to door vacuum salesperson, right? They’re coming around like knocking on your door every, every hour, every day, and you’re like, Go away. Or, I’m calling the. Think about that as you’re sending to these providers and getting these bounces all the time, these providers are like, Whoa.

This IP in domain doesn’t know when to stop.

Mike Rizzo: [00:39:00] Oh wow. Yeah, that’s, that, that makes sense. I, um, my brain is spitting right now. There’s so many things. Like, I just don’t even know where to go next with like all of this conversation. All I know is I wanna fix my email deliverability. Oh. Oh. What I was gonna ask you about though was, uh, or just, just sort of say, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some tools out in the market.

Um, I can’t think of. Top my head, but Naomi, Michael, Chris, maybe you can remember some of them. Aren’t there tools now that like automatically like read the email, reply and say like, Hey, if Joe is no longer here, you need to contact so and so, Like, it’ll sort of help you with that madness. I can’t remember the name of any of them right

Chris Arrendale: Sift Rock.

Mike Rizzo: ah, SIF Rock.


Naomi Liu: I think it’s stiff rock.

Mike Rizzo: Yep, that’s the one.

Michael Hartmann: I know of one other one, but I think it’s about to be shutting down so.

Mike Rizzo: Oh, well then

Michael Hartmann: Um, but yeah, I, and I’ve used those. I, I think it’s great. But that’s not, it’s, it’s doing, it’s not looking at bounce [00:40:00] messages. It’s actually look like monitoring an inbox. Right. That, so if there are real, if there are replies coming back, At least that’s how it worked.

That, that I’d have, But I thought it was a godsend because Yeah, otherwise they’re spinning. You know, depending on your volume, you might have any number of auto replies, which is fine, right? Out of office stuff, no big deal. But if someone actually replies, it says, Take me off your list. Going back, going back to compliance, right?

If you miss that, and even in, even in the US you have what? 10 days?

Chris Arrendale: 10. Yep. 10 business days.

Michael Hartmann: So, um, you know, it was just, it was a time sink again, kinda manual. So just solving that with some technology was great. So,

Chris Arrendale: Mm-hmm.

Michael Hartmann: so go. Going back, So you mentioned B2B being more complicated. Like, do you see, and I think, I think most of our listeners are more in, in B2B than b2c, but we actually, like our last episode was actually just about B2C and global.

So, [00:41:00] Um, you know what, you know, are there major differences from the best practices and things you just talked about that apply more to B2B versus B2C or vice versa?

Chris Arrendale: Great question. And I think, you know, especially, you know, over the course of the past few years, uh, you, you look at the number of companies that are using Office 365 that are using Google Workspace, right? They’re using some of that Gmail filtering though, that Outlook filtering, right? And so a lot of those teams are actually starting to sit together and they’re learning from each other, whether it be content filter.

Complaint filtering, fishing, filtering, um, all of those things are, are definitely kind of blurring the line between B2B and b2c. I would say more for the B2B sender, right? It’s the challenge of those other filtering companies, the Cloud Mark, Proofpoint, Barracuda, um, you know, mine cast. They’re the ones that are actually doing some additional filtering before your email even makes it to Google, even makes it to Office 365, right?

And those lists, those rules are very complex. Um, mine cast has one called newsletter on. [00:42:00] That if your email contains an unsubscribed link and that flag is turned on, your emails not being delivered to that recipient, right? We all know can spam. You gotta have that working unsubscribed link. And so sometimes you know when filters go wrong, that can be very problematic and challenging for B2B send.

But if you look at the majority of what’s happening in the space, again with Google, with Microsoft, a lot of those individuals that are now using. Our experience in some of that same filtering technology, right? So we all love that tab inbox when it came out, the focused inbox and Office 365. But at the same time, those teams are now starting to sit together and learn from each other.

And so I think that that’s helpful for both B2B and b2c. I still think B2B is much more challenging because again, you’re sending, you have to send smaller volume. Right. Gmail will take as many emails as you can throw at it, right? It’s got millions of mail servers. But if you’re sending again to like, you know, a small Go Daddy domain, if you’re sending to like, somebody maybe has their own mail server sitting in the corner.

Guys start to think about other things like the volume. Volume is [00:43:00] big and b2b, it’s all about sending small volume. So it looks like you’re mimicking that sort of B2B conversation, right? So thinking about sending out the list over the course of a week, you know, sort throttling over the course of three days, something that you can do to slow down that send, so it doesn’t look like you’re attacking a mail server.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Wow. So I feel like we could go on and on and on, but unfortunately I think we’re gonna have to, we’re gonna have to cut here cuz like, there’s like, just in our conversation, it, it popped in my head like it’s, there’s probably some connection to this between all this stuff we’re talking about and the.

You had the future coming, if it ever gets your of no more third party cookies. Right. So, um, Cuz like,

Mike Rizzo: could we have him back and like do another one?

Michael Hartmann: Oh my God. Yeah. I

Chris Arrendale: I’d love to.

Mike Rizzo: That’d be awesome.

Michael Hartmann: sounds, sounds like we need, we need a course for, uh, marketing

Mike Rizzo: Uh, that’d be fantastic, Chris. Let’s chat about that

Chris Arrendale: Let’s do it.

Michael Hartmann: Wow. So Chris, this [00:44:00] is great. Any, any last minute thoughts before we wrap up here that we didn’t cover that you wanna make sure our listeners here.

Chris Arrendale: I think it’s, it’s, you know, like you mentioned, education is important. Getting up to speed on what’s happening in the space. I think staying on top of things is important. Baselining what you’re sending, baseline deliverability, the data that you have in your market automation platform is gold. Use it.

Read those bounce logs. I’m a red wine drinker, red wine on a Friday night reading bounce logs is my idea of fun. So, you know, just make sure that you’re on top of things, reading the reports, looking at the reputation. Um, but yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m excited to do this and happy to answer any questions or have, have me, have me on for another one.

Michael Hartmann: That’s fantastic. Well, so speaking of answering questions, I suspect we may get lots of people who wanna follow up with you and ask you questions. What’s the best way for them to do that? If they wanna, if they wanna connect or follow?

Chris Arrendale: Sure. Um, LinkedIn, uh, I’m on LinkedIn. They, you know, send a message there or, uh, [email protected]. Drop me a note. Happy to answer any questions and, you know, look forward to responding to.[00:45:00]

Michael Hartmann: Fantastic. Chris. This has been great. And, uh, I can see in Mike’s eyes like he’s like, What have, what have I not thought of yet? Right. It

Mike Rizzo: Mm-hmm. . Yep. That is, that is where my head’s at. I was like, I think I just implemented a bi me record on. So I’m hoping for the best, just waiting for it to refresh on the server.

Michael Hartmann: there you.

Chris Arrendale: This real time

Mike Rizzo: real time

Michael Hartmann: Anyway. Well, so good. Well, Chris, thank you again, Naomi. Mike, thank you. It’s always good to have all three of us here. You know, it’s always makes it interesting. So, you know, until next time, uh, we wanna thank all of our listeners as well and continue to give us your feedback, uh, your suggestions for topics or guests, or if you wanna be, uh, a guest, let us know.

Um, we’ve got some great ideas looking ahead to 2023, which it’s hard to believe since we’re recording this in towards the end of September, 2022, but we are already looking ahead that far. So everyone thank you. Uh, [00:46:00] and with that, it’s a wrap. Bye everyone.

Mike Rizzo: Right.

Chris Arrendale: I know.