"Invite a friend" emails

Fred Wilson · July 16, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/300

Are they ending up in the junk folder?

I suspect that the answer is yes and you are not alone. More and more social services that encourage their users to invite friends via email are facing email deliverability problems. It's one thing when I send an email to my friends from my personal mailbox, but it's quite another when I do it via a new and relatively unknown social networking service. Spam filters were built to filter out that kind of thing and they are doing a good job at it. Except I really do want to invite my friend to this new photo sharing service I like.

Fortunately, there's a solution to this problem and it's called Return Path. I've been an investor and board member of Return Path since 2000 and I have watched them slowly but surely grow into a large and important company which is all about making email work better for everyone. Return Path helps email senders get their mail practices right so they can get their mail through filters, Return Path helps email receivers make their filters better so the right mail gets blocked and the right mail gets through. And in the end, Return Path helps email users get a better experience with email.

About three months ago, I was at a Twitter board meeting and Jason Goldman was explaining that most of Twitter's users' "invite a friend" emails were ending up in junk folders. I told him about Return Path. I said, "they help you get mail through spam filters" and he said "that sounds sketchy." I then explained that they do it by measuring your mail sending reputation and helping you fix/improve your reputation so that you can get your mail through legitimately. Jason wasn't totally sold, but he agreed to try it out. I think he's glad he did.

Two month's ago Twitter had a Sender Score reputation of 30/100. That's bad. Today they have a Sender Score of 70/100. That's good. As a result, they have increased their deliverability by about 100%.

How did they do it? Well it was a lot of little things, not one big thing. The whole case was written up by Return Path and is available via pdf here.

If you have this issue, I suggest you contact Return Path. You can try to solve it yourself and you may get good results that way. But this is what Return Path does for its clients and they are the best at it. I am sure they can help.

For more on Fred, visit his blog.

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