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jturn3r
Beginner
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Message 1 of 12

Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

Hi, I'm a Deliverability Consultant based in the UK and working for a large ESP and have observed similar patters in behaviour for many UK clients and more specifically for those trying to warm up new IPs when sending to BT domains (@btinternet.com/@talk21.com/@btopenworld.com). It also doesn't appear to matter how engaged subscribers are. This is still happening when sending to a highly engaged based where Open Rates are typically 30%+ for BT. There are always high block bounces around 40%-50% for almost each send, sometimes more, and regardless of how small or large the volume is.  I understand from experience that one of the filtering checks that are made in this process is against Cyren however even when these IPs are labelled as No risk there, the block bounces are still occurring.  This appears to be impacting multiple large Enterprise clients and I'm looking for better support here. I've been chasing Postmasters at both postmaster@btinternet.com and postmaster@bt.com to little avail.  The lack of response is truly disappointing to what I feel is a legitimate issue impacting many businesses. I want to understand whether there is a technical limitation impacting these deliveries e.g. MTA settings, or if there is an underlying problem impacting our IP ranges or perhaps even on the BT side.  I would welcome any urgent support or communication to help encourage a more helpful response than what I'm getting so that I can give something back to my many clients. Thank you kindly! John

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jturn3r
Beginner
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Message 2 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

Just to add further the bounce errors are always the same:

3.2.2 (undefined status) Message rejected on 2019/11/15 13:31:02 GMT, policy (3.2.2.1) ID (5D6F9F9E0E74C640) - Your message looks like SPAM or has been reported as SPAM
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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 3 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

This is a BT residential customer to customer forum. Your post does not go to BT. The only BT staff are the forum moderators who do not necessarily read all the posts.

Not much help to you but the usually advice when people post with similar problems to yours is for them to have a read through the following link and then to contact the BT postmaster, which I note you already have.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/47055/~/bt-email---best-practices-for-postmasters-and...

You may get a better response on the BT Business forum. 

https://business.forums.bt.com/

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jturn3r
Beginner
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Message 4 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

Thanks for the tip. Any advice then on how to actually register on that business forum when I don't have an account bill to register as it requests? Thank you for responding nonetheless, that's an improvement on my experience so far..
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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 5 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

I am not a user of the business forum but are you sure you need an "account bill" to register. I have looked at the page to register and it does not ask for that as far as I can see all it states is "It takes just a minute to register with the community. All you need is a user name, a password, and a valid email address."

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 6 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains


@jturn3rwrote:
Just to add further the bounce errors are always the same:

3.2.2 (undefined status) Message rejected on 2019/11/15 13:31:02 GMT, policy (3.2.2.1) ID (5D6F9F9E0E74C640) - Your message looks like SPAM or has been reported as SPAM

Hi, welcome to the forums.

When you say "how engaged subscribers are", what does that actually mean? A highly engaged base doesn't mean that end users want those communications.

You mention "more specifically for those trying to warm up new IPs" - seems a strange terminology if you don't mind me saying, and it could be read as "sending email to see what happens".

You are aware that BT can block whatever they deem is potentially harmful to their network, and it's not a simple matter of unblocking. I've said it before, I'm not a fan of BT's aggressive methods, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

It could easily be that the "new IPs" are not in a "safe" pool yet for BT to accept.

Has this been happening before the new IPs? Are there any other domains that also see this particular issue?

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jturn3r
Beginner
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Message 7 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

Hi Andy,

Thank you for responding and for your questions.

As a Deliverability Consultant for an Email Service Provider one aspect of my role is to support new clients to use our product and to guide them on the best practices for email marketing and general deliverability. We provide them with the advice and strategy to help achieve that through IP warming. They are mostly B2C and B2B clients. Obviously, as part of those best practices discussions, we talk and encourage and prepare them by coming up with a targeting strategy and incremental approach to increasing volume by focusing on highly active and engaged subscribers with relevant content that matches subscriber expectations.  This approach helps to minimise issues both in terms of bounces as well negative factors like complaints and help develop the best sender reputation possible. When we look at Open Rates across ISPs in conjunction with general deliverability health and subscriber interaction you get a sounding board for the quality of the audience and relevancy of the content and whether or not the client in question has good/bad data practices. Of course I understand what may contribute to delivery issues and how each subscriber interaction can influence that, this is my day to day and specific area of expertise having been doing this for several years now.

What I fail to understand is the contributing factor to those issues and hence why I'm seeking support here. To elaborate further, I’ve seen this blocking behaviour more recently for clients on newer IPs that are being warmed up but I must add I've also seen this on existing and established IPs.  There does certainly appear to me more regular occurrences in these past weeks than what I've seen before.  When we use our data to compare performance against other ISPs these block bounces exists and occurs only across BT domains which seems odd no?  I appreciate the support and your suggestion, however I would also challenge that by saying it also doesn’t mean that it's right and hence why I would like to find out more to see what we can do either as an ESP to optimise our delivery settings (if that might be part of the reason why) or whether there is a legitimate underlying problems across our ESP IP range or otherwise e.g. complaint thresholds being breached. Thanks again!

 

Thank you for your support!

 

John

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 8 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

Hi again.

Thanks for the info, but I seriously hope that the "best practices" are actually legitimate. Trying to minimise bounces to me imply that some are expected, and that might indicate that the email addresses are either not valid or are part of a system that doesn't want the emails. I hate to use the word spam, but can you be sure that all the contacts actually want the emails.

You didn't explain "engaged". If that means recipients who have clicked on links within an email that uses web beacons, then that is not proper engagement.

As I said, I don't agree with some of BT's aggressive policies here, but they can block who they want - and frankly for whatever reason. It is up to them.

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jturn3r
Beginner
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Message 9 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

Hi, Yes, of course they are legitimate, I wouldn't be compelled to convince you otherwise on here or having spent several weeks trying to get support from BT Postmaster. For your reference,  it's part of our contractual legal requirements and privacy policy as an Email Service Provider and anyone that is found otherwise has their contract terminated. We take it seriously and I cannot stress enough that these are all legitimate concerns and you are speaking to someone that guides every client through each step of the way of those best practices. Anyone who understands email deliverability will tell you that bounces are always going to happen. You can't guarantee 100% deliverability, however you can minimise bounces to make sure that you develop the best sender reputation and prevent issues in the first place. Minimising them is simply understanding the practicalities of that fact and doing what is necessary to prevent them. That is a sign of a good sender rather than a bad one and hence the reason why we are here. Sometimes good senders can have IPs or mails that are falsely blocked right? Would you expect someone in my position to not try to get to the route cause if we felt the evidence suggested this? To answer your question, an engaged subscriber in the email marketing world is someone who has opted in and opened/clicked on their email in the last 90 days.  I appreciate BT can do what they like,  however if there are technical limitations or a false positive block on an IP or IP range that might be stopping legitimate transactional and commercial emails from being sent to BT customers how would we know or be best to address them? Not every one is a spammer Andy. I'm happy to send email headers across for your teams to make your own assessment. Everyone seems to be reluctant to either understand this fact or to offer their support and it's very frustrating. Can you help guide me to someone who can at least investigate a few cases to determine root cause?

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 10 of 12

Re: Block Bounces for Enterprise Clients when sending to BT domains

As @gg30340  pointed out in message 3, this is primarily a customer to customer self help forum and as such is not really the ideal vehicle for resolving your problems, Andy is just another customer like myself and doesn't have a team. The Postmaster is really the only point of contact to answer your questions (as frustrating as that can be).