Corporate Message Management Risk Avoidance Considerations
Beyond the capabilities that corporations need to have in their messaging platforms from a business usefulness perspective, they need to be thinking about implementing capabilities in their messaging infrastructures that ensure that the e-mails they send out get into the hands of the people they are sending them out to.
In addition to the importance of efficiently sending out millions of messages daily where messages need to go out quickly, without fail and they have to “Reach” recipients, outbound IP addresses have to be White Listed as far as is possible with every ISP globally. This means not just passively sending messages in the hopes that they get there, it means:
- Taking pro-active steps to get “White Listed”, monitoring ISP’s continually to ensure that the corporation remains white listed, and knowing how and when to act when issues start to occur within an ISP so that it can pro-actively sort out an issue before becoming “Black Listed”.
- Monitoring where ISP’s put e-mails that are sent out. For example, are they getting sent to a user’s primary e-mail address, do they get blocked or does the ISP send the corporation’s messages to junk mail? A corporation’s messaging platform also should then have the capability to correct the blocking and Junk mail scenarios with these ISP’s when they occur.
- Keeping a corporation’s used “IP Addresses” clean, usable and recognizable globally as being OK to deliver and OK to receive by each mail service ISP.
- Monitor ISP’s to ensure each e-mail sent to them gets delivered to an authentic account holder and if an e-mail address sent out is invalid, the corporation needs an internal system that instantly blocks us from sending out a second e-mail to a “dead-drop” to avoid being blocked by an ISP for sending messages to dead e-mail accounts.
(the above course can provide any consultant with useful knowledge when working with clients!)
Additional individual message management and control capabilities that should be implemented also include:
- Ensuring message header verbiage and content pass scrutiny by ISP’s reading them for certain “Key Words” that could label them as potential spam
- Ensuring that every e-mail sent out has an opt-out feature available to the recipient and ensuring that the corporation does not send a second e-mail after an opt-out to avoid SPAM complaints which also can get the corporation black listed.
- Depending on the corporation’s volume considerations, it may need to have a “Revolving Set” of virtual, valid IP addresses that are used to send out messages to always try to reduce the volume of e-mails sent to individual ISP’s as they will block high volumes of e-mails coming in from one IP address.
- The corporation will need to in an automated fashion, “cleanse e-mail send out lists against suppressed and banned email addresses
- Automate the subscriber grievance response process to ensure each grievance is addressed quickly and consistently to a customer’s satisfaction.
- Automatically manage bounces in a professional way as they occur to avoid getting blocked or “Black Listed” by an ISP.
In looking for your solution, remember also that higher-end solutions that are able to solve all or most of the above considerations are usually implemented on your internal servers as this gives you the most control of your messaging systems and IP addressing solutions. This is an added implementation cost that you will need to factor into your solution. Remember that you will need to build in certain levels of fault tolerance in your solution – this means server redundancy, automatic fail-over features in case of a crash, and automated IP address fail-over solutions in case an IP address you are using gets compromised.
If you opt for a lesser solution, you will probably be looking at some form of service bureau implementation and they will have their own concerns about the safety of their shared IP addresses that you would be using on their platforms. And it is not unheard of to have some other organization who shares your outbound physical IP address to bring you down occasionally if their message management processes are not strong enough from a risk avoidance perspective. So be prepared with a fail-over plan if you must use one of these solutions for your enterprise.
The purchase decision for the message management platform you ultimately select and implement for your corporation will naturally be predicated on the volume and types of messages you need to send out, the importance on these messages getting into the hands of the people you send the messages to, and the criticality of your enterprise that the messages get sent out and accepted. For example, what will it cost you if you are “black-listed” with ISP’s for a week or two and you can’t get your messages out to your intended recipients?
Putting in “fail-safe” or close to fail-safe solutions for your message management platforms will cost you more money to implement but be fully aware of what it could cost you if your messaging systems fail you for any length of time.