Sometimes You CAN Get Something for Nothing

Posted by Brittany Luebke 

On our website, one of the most visited pages is our Free Tools section. You don’t have to be a network administrator or information security professional to benefit from these, either. Anyone that works in email can learn something. Here’s a rundown of the different tools available and how to best use them:

Email for President
This fun, interactive tool, available for a limited time only, analyzes real-time email data from the three presidential candidates and plots graphs, ranking important email metrics. We can’t predict the election, but email analysis offers insight into what the voters are thinking. Use this as an example to think about how your brand would compare to your competitors – are your emails helping you win the race?

Sender Score
Sender Score is Return Path’s comprehensive sending reputation measurement covering email senders worldwide. It’s a number between 0 and 100 that identifies your sender reputation and shows you how mailbox providers view your IP address. Your Sender Score is like a credit score – it’s made up of the different risk factors that influence your sender reputation and can impact your email campaigns. Sender reputation is an indication of the trustworthiness of an email sender’s IP address. Mailbox providers take many metrics into consideration to determine your sender reputation, including spam complaints, mailing to unknown users, industry blacklists, and more. Read this blog post to learn about the different components of your Sender Score.

Having an accurate DMARC record in place is an important step in securing your email traffic. DMARC, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance, is an email authentication standard that blocks malicious email spoofing your domains before it reaches the inbox. Built upon SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) protocols, DMARC provides a feedback loop that empowers senders to instruct mailbox providers on how to handle unauthenticated mail. Use this tool to check your domain’s record and validate that it is up to date with your current policy. Want more information? Read this blog post to easily understand how DMARC works.

DMARC Creation Wizard
Implementing DMARC is the best way to protect your email traffic against phishing and other fraudulent activity. It empowers you to ensure legitimate email is properly authenticating and that fraudulent activity appearing to come from domains under your company’s control is blocked before it reaches your customers. Creating a DMARC record is the first step to protecting your customers, your brand, and your bottom line from email fraud. Read this blog post to walk through the steps of building your DMARC record in less than 15 minutes.

Email Marketing Check-Up
Is your email program beating the competition? Get a personalized scorecard that will benchmark your email program’s performance against best-in-class senders for your industry. Use this scorecard to prioritize your email marketing strategy components.

Email Threat Map
Return Path analyzes more than seven billion messages a day to identify email threats. This map reveals where those threats are coming from, the industries being targeted most heavily, and which email providers are receiving the threatening messages. Though you can’t control where and when threats originate from, it’s interesting to see the depth of threats.

SPF Check
SPF, which stands for Sender Policy Framework, is an email authentication protocol that allows the owner of a domain to specify which mail servers they use to send email on their behalf. Updating SPF records requires visibility. Use this tool to find out which servers are authorized to send email on behalf of your domain. Want more information? Read this blog post to learn how to explain SPF in plain English.

Sample Size Calculator
While testing may seem daunting or time consuming, it doesn’t have to be. We created a sample size calculator to help determine what percentage of your list should receive the “test” version of your email marketing experiments in order for your test to be statistically significant. Use the calculator to take the guesswork and math out of your testing equation.

Blacklist Lookup
Return Path hosts an official list of email server IP addresses that show activity which resembles spammers. This blacklist is widely used and based on real-time data from Return Path’s cooperative Global Reputation Network. The Global Reputation Network blacklist calculates the probability that emails from a particular IP address may be spam based on measurements of unwantedness. This calculation is based on the percentage of email messages from an IP address that are considered spam by individual recipients, mailbox providers, and filters through actions such as complaints, unusual volume patterns, emails sent to spam traps, and emails sent to unknown users. Look up your domain to ensure that you’re not on any blacklists.

We hope you find these tools useful. When we add new offerings, you’ll find them on this page.

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About Brittany Luebke

Brittany is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Return Path. You can find her writing through our corporate social media channels - Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Outside of work, you can find Brittany spending time with her family, walking her dog, or cooking up something in the kitchen a la Martha Stewart. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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