One customer question that has come up a few times is the difference between Email Authentication and Email Verification.
Both are directly related to email deliverability, but are very different in terms of their role in helping you manage successful email campaigns.
Email Verification determines if a receiving email address is currently valid. This ensures that you are not filtered into spam or bulk folders because you have too many invalid addresses in your email lists.
Email Authentication is how an email server (those run by both consumer email domains like Yahoo and Gmail, as well as corporate domains) determines the identity of the sending server (the server you are using to send your email campaigns). This is critically important to manage email phishing and spoofing attacks, both of which are based on imitating someone else (e.g. your bank or credit card).
If your servers or ESP's do not support the common email authentication methods, your messages may have a higher likelihood of being filtered as spam or junk.
Email authentication involves solutions at both the receiving server and the sending server. This means that if you are sending email campaigns from your own email servers, you should make sure you support the commonly used email authentication methods including SPF, SenderID, and DKIM. Mailchimp has published a table summarizing the email authentication methods used by various consumer ISP's.
If you are using an ESP (Email Service Provider) to send campaigns on your behalf, they will likely support all relevant email authentication methods to ensure successful delivery to all consumer and corporate domains.
If you are interested in learning more about email authentication, ReturnPath has an excellent step by step guide to email authentication.
Although Email Verification and Email Authentication are very different technologies, both are important in ensuring your email campaigns are delivered to the inbox, where they belong.
Tell us what you think below...
Over the years, we have learned that providing flexibility within our Cloud-based data delivery platform helps better serve (and therefore expand) our customer base. In order to support the broadest number of coding styles, Cloud environments, IDEs, and other software development tools, we have provided multiple ways to invoke our various Web services APIs. This includes use of multiple protocols, as well as multiple ways to utilize each protocol.
For example, when using the SOAP protocol to invoke a StrikeIron Web service, you have the option of passing authentication parameters (your UserID and Password) either within SOAP headers, or as parameters as part of the service data payload.
Some developers prefer SOAP headers because it allows them to create reusable authentication code that can be leveraged with multiple StrikeIron services (all StrikeIron services share the same interface, authentication mechanisms, service behavior, and response codes). However, many IDEs do not support SOAP headers, so sending authentication by parameter, along with the rest of the data payload, is the only option in some cases.
Depending on the authentication method utilized, there is a different service endpoint required. The primary difference (other than the service call structure inside the XML, transparent in most cases) is the domain prefix. With North American Address Verification for example, the SOAP Header endpoint is:
If you want to pass the UserID and Password via actual parameters to the service, in that case the endpoint is as follows (note "wsparam" versus "ws"):
We also provide the ability to invoke our services using the REST protocol. Sometimes this is preferred, especially when services are being built into Websites using PHP, Ajax, and other other scripting technologies. Here is an example of our Email Verification service using a REST call (if you have a StrikeIron UserID and Password, you can paste this code into a Web browser to invoke it):
Finally, if you prefer to securely transmit the data of a Web service invocation, you can simply replace "HTTP" in the service endpoint with "HTTPS" in the URL. This will encrypt the data appropriately as it travels from your application or Website to the StrikeIron platform and data centers, and then back again to your application or Website.
These authentication and invoking protocol preferences have been in largest demand by our customer base to date, resulting in their various implementations. If you have other protocols or authentication mechanisms you would like to see us support and build into our delivery platform, please let us know in the comments below.
We are excited to announce today that we won two of the 2012 Cloud Awards. We won "Best Cloud Infrastructure" and "Cloud Computing Company of the Year". We were chosen out of a field of almost 200 organizations.
Our IronCloud platform is the foundation on which StrikeIron is built, so we take great pride in the recognition of our platform in the Infrastructure award.
Cloud Awards organizer Larry Johnson said, “Almost 200 organizations entered the program, which is among the first of its kind. We were swamped by entries, and the standard was remarkably high. Judging the submissions was a challenging task. But we’re happy to endorse StrikeIron as among the best of the best in their field."
Thanks, this is a great way to kickoff 2012!
The full press release can be found at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/1/prweb9090732.htm
Over the holidays, we saw a great blog entry on the Performance Marketing Top 6 Lead Generation Predictions .
Although all 6 of the predictions were very insightful, there were two that resonated especially well.
First, #1 Mobile Lead Generation. Mobile content consumption has exploded in popularity with the proliferation of smartphones. There are hundreds of thousands of applications and mobile optimized sites that need to find a monetization model.
Mobile ads have been around for several years and have similar CPM, CPC, CPL, and CPA options for publishers. CPL and CPA models make sense for both mobile developers and advertisers, because mobile users often unintentionally click on ads. The issue is further complicated by the fact that high quality leads may accidentally enter incorrect information on lead generation forms. Due to autocorrect and fatfinger typing, mobile users are unaware of the bad data they are providing to businesses. That is why lead quality is critical, and you should verify the data in real-time, while the customer is still engaged. StrikeIron works with some of the largest mobile ad networks to improve their data quality with email verification, address verification, and phone validation.
Second was #6, CPM Advertising RIP. As a company that works with many advertising and affiliate networks, we certainly see the evolution from CPM to CPC, CPL, and CPA. Advertisers can now pay for traffic in whatever model works best for their lead mix. In addition, publishers can work with networks to ensure their traffic monetization is optimized. Through our customer base, we agree that the marketing is moving away from CPM.
What do you think will trend in the Lead Generation Space for 2012?
Happy New Year from StrikeIron!
All of us at StrikeIron are excited for 2012! We are coming off a record year in 2011 and looking forward to continuing the momentum and serving both our existing and new customers in 2012.
To kick the year off right, we have a couple of things we have been working on...
1) Are you a current customer? Do you want an iPad 2? Are you going to Affiliate Summit West? - If the answers are yes, this is for you. We are giving away an iPad 2 for each new customer you refer. For more details, call or email your StrikeIron sales person or fill out this iPad 2 promotion form.
2) We will be rolling out a brand new homepage design in January. It has a fresher look and is easier to navigate...keep your eyes out for the new homepage and let us know what you think of it.
3) We released a new infographic on the cost of undeliverable mail. Did you know that bad data is costing businesses over $1.4 billion dollars a year or that the USPS is processing over 300,000 tons of bad mail yearly (that's equivalent to 66,500 elephants)?
If you are an existing customer, thank you for your business!
If you are not a customer yet, a great new year resolution is to improve the quality of your data so give our free trials a try or contact us at email@example.com / +1 919.467.4545 to see how we can help.