The Spamhaus DBL Team is making some change to their Domain Block List. The new changes will seek to emphasize domains associated with malware and bots, and allow administrators to more easily filter out entries related to legitimate URL shortening services. If you use the DBL, you should go have a look. If you don’t, now is as good of a time as any to have a look at it.
That also makes this as good of time as any to remind people about the importance of domain reputation in addition to IP reputation.
Domain reputation isn’t anything new. MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut wrote about this back in 2007.
In addition to monitoring your IP’s sending reputation, receivers also consider reputation metrics associated with the domains used in the message itself. It’s not unusual for a client to discover that one of their “partners” is trashing their email through its poor sending practices. Every time that they send mail which includes a link to the “partner” they notice higher bounce bulk folder rates.
Evidence strongly suggests that at least half of the top 10 of email receivers are using some form of domain reputation to help keep their subscribers’ inboxes more free from spam. Some folks try to get around this through the use of new domains. But, receivers are wise to that, too. There’s even a block list called “Day Old Bread” which purports to list domains that are less than five days old. A smart ESP compliance person will consider the use of new domains to “improve deliverability” to be a red flag. It often means that domains are having to be rotated through in order to avoid suffering the consequences of poor sending practices. This is especially true when combined with a desire to use shared IP space.
Thus far, the vast majority of time and effort has been spent emphasizing IP reputation. That remains important, but domain reputation also needs to be considered. It has only grown in importance since 2007.
- The Spamhaus DBL Team (2014, June 15), Changes in Spamhaus DBL DNSBL return codes. Retrieved June 16, 2014 from http://www.spamhaus.org/news/article/713/.
- Ben Chestnut (2007, May 8), Is Your Own Domain Name Getting You Blocked?. Retrieved June 16, 2014 from http://blog.mailchimp.com/is-your-own-domain-name-getting-you-blocked/.