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More and more ISPs and spam-control systems will be email sender your organization's domain name records for compliance with the most widely adopted e-mail authentication, system: SPF, or Sender Policy Framework. AOL, for example, requires that email senders use SPF if they want to be whitelisted, which ensures delivery to AOL subscriber inboxes. Remember the telephone. Unless you need a written record of a given communication (or if the person you're communicating with is long distance), consider calling (or sending a letter to) your intended recipient instead of an email. People often default to writing an email because it is quick and easy; but sometimes a handwritten letter or phone call can provide the personal touch your communication really needs. 23. If it's urgent, say so. Writing 'URGENT' in front of your email's subject will make it stand out from the crowd, and most likely get timely attention from the recipient. Make certain it is urgent, however; remember how much attention was paid to the boy who cried wolf when his cries really mattered. By complying with these various authentication standards, you can reduce your e-mail's delivery barriers and demonstrate to your audience that you are a reputable and trustworthy e-mail publisher. An email deliverability study signals growing reliance on the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication method to determine whether email is legitimate and should be delivered to an inbox. This has resulted in a shift in the list of top 10 US ISPs, according to a Lyris study of second-quarter data, reports MarketingCharts. According to Lyris's "EmailAdvisor ISP Deliverability Report Card" for the email senderr, permission-based email messages make it to US ISP inboxes roughly 75 percent of the time: * AIM.com led the pack with 97 percent inbox delivery, 10 percent higher than second place RoadRunner SoCal - both of which didn't make the top 10 in the first quarter. * Rounding out the top performers - all achieving inbox delivery rates higher than 80 percent - are Verizon, USA, Compuserve, IWon, AOL, Juno, Mac and Netzero. For marketers seeking ways to improve inbox deliverability, the most relevant finding from the current report is the appearance of SPF authentication checks in the list of the top 10 content triggers that ISPs check, according to Stefan Pollard, Director of Consulting Services at EmailLabs. lyris-2q07-deliverability-spam-triggers.jpg "This is the first time we've seen SPF checks start to creep into content filter tests, which means that receivers are starting to verify that a sender's SPF authentication record is accurate," said Pollard. Failing an SPF check carries a heavy penalty - nearly 2.4 points from the current SpamAssassin test, on a Bayesian scale that identifies a message as spam when it reaches 3.0 points or higher. That's more than double the penalty for any of the other top 10 spam triggers identified - though leaving out an SPF record does not penalize the sender. (See the Direct Marketing Association's primer to learn more about authentication.) Other findings from the 2Q07 study: SPF is publishing "reverse MX" records in DNS which tells the mail sender which machines send mail from the domain. The recipient of the e-mail can now check these records to ensure that e-mail is coming from a „trusted“ sender from this domain.