Whew… It’s been a loooooong night. It’s 9:30am and I haven’t been to bed yet. Not terribly uncommon… but this is probably the 3rd time in the past week it’s happened. Uggh.
Why this time?
I’ve slowly been moving off my GetResponse account and onto my own mail serving platform (i2icontact.com). It’s been a long, slow process. I’ve owned i2icontact.com for *years* and never really got it much past logging in.
But I finally went live with a new list on it last week. And it was a smashing… headache.
The deliverability was abysmal. If you bought Site Sniper Pro from me last week you know what I’m talking about. It didn’t seem like my emails were getting through to *anybody*.
If I had any hair to pull out it would be gone by now.
So I kept the list on my server and outsourced the smtp sending portion of it, thinking that would make a difference. Not really.
So I got really serious about it last night and was determined to solve the deliverability issue (at least to the extent that it’s reasonable again).
And that led me down a crazy path of emerging standards and security and authentication and hassles and triumphs that everyone wants to know about… but it seems like very few ever figure out.
Now, I’m not about to claim I’ve figured out how to deliver everything… but I’ll take even a small victory right now.
And here it is…
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 126.96.36.199 as permitted sender) client-ip=188.8.131.52; DomainKey-Status: good Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of firstname.lastname@example.org designates 184.108.40.206 as permitted sender) email@example.com; domainkeys=pass header.Fromfirstname.lastname@example.org DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws; s=default; d=i2icontact.com; h=Received:MIME-Version:Date:From:To:Subject:Message-ID:X-Sender:User-Agent:Content-Transfer-Encoding:Content-Type; b=ajo1KCm/+flKwwdR9+pcbijbcYMy9/upJ8lptmb9DV9magDeoHjCPHDEq+umvaQMo9sil4GVxRuI6P/KB1eRCc4Om90FcCm76TJGAj3bPDNksDiNCOShHMEljPBtrSiw;
That’s a partial email header from gmail for a message I just sent from my server.
I know… it doesn’t look like much… but it means I got both SPF and Domain Key authentication working on my exim MTA server last night / this morning. Woohoo!
Don’t know what any of that is? That’s ok… I barely did when I started this whole thing. But do a little searching and you’ll find it’s pretty cool. And pretty hard to piece everything together (until you know where to look).
And, in a nutshell, it means Google and Yahoo (not sure about AOL) can now authenticate my email messages back to me and my server. And that means they let me (so far) have a free pass to the inbox… provided I don’t screw it up.
I still have some other things to implement, since it seems like everyone has a different standard they want me to support… but I’m closer than I was yesterday.
I’ve oversimplified what this lets me do… but it’s been a thorn in my side for several years now. Heck, just figuring out what I needed to do took a virtual act of God. Maybe I’m just dense (not), but it certainly shouldn’t be this hard.
Anyway… I’m off to bed. Sleeping peacefully knowing that I’m 1 step closer to getting past the demon gatekeepers of the email world.