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FocusVision Knowledge Base

Email Send Usage Specifications

1:  Send Delays

All new sends are delayed 20 minutes to allow time to cancel the scheduled send. Contacts in the seed list (test list) will receive the email immediately to allow time to preview the email prior to the 20-minute deadline. An email send can only be canceled during the 20-minute delay and the countdown is displayed in the Campaign Manager.

2:  Forced Soft Launch

A maximum of N=10,000 invites are allowed for a project during the initial send. If a list contains more than 10,000 invites, the remaining contacts are held for a 12-hour spam assessment delay. After the 12-hour delay, if spam rates are within acceptable levels, the remainder of the invites over N=10,000 are then released. Reminders are subject to the initial 20-minute delay, but are not restricted by the 12-hour "soft" launch.

3:  Spam Lock

ISPs (i.e.,Internet Service Providers) generally require spam complaints to be held at 0.1%. We allow up to 1% spam complaints (measured as number of complaints per second among ISP's that allow us to track individual complaints: AOL, Comcast, Hotmail are among them) per send. If more than 3 spam complaints arrive, and they exceed 1% of the list, further emails from that send are blocked.

Exceeding the 1% threshold could indicate one of the following:

  • Poorly designed email content:  You are not telling the user how you got their email. The user does not know you or your brand enough.
  • Poor incentives: The survey is of no interest to the user or may look like a scam. Especially online serves where money is involved need to take extreme care when contacting users.
  • Bad emails: Have you personally gathered the email addresses, and used double-opt in to verify the identity and get the consent to marketing emails?
  • Obsolete emails: Your emails might have been gathered with double opt-in, but if it was more than a year ago the users might not remember consenting to participating in marketing research.

Once a list is locked during the initial "soft send" or full send, no further sends or reminders from it will be possible.

Once 3 sends exceed 1% spam complaints in a month, your account will be permanently blocked for any further sends.  Qualifying to be unblocked requires further discussion in terms of usage, along with guarantees in updated process and/or list management. It is at Decipher’s sole discretion if your account may be unblocked or not.

4:  From Addresses

When delivering mail on a client's behalf, it's important to them that the messages we put their name on actually come from them.  For this reason, only sends from domains that are associated with your account are allowed.  Using an alternative domain than Decipherinc.com requires a CNAME or ARECORD be setup to allow the proper routing.

You may send from:

  • the default invite address <invite@decipherinc.com>
  • the e-mail address of the account you use to log into Decipher -
    • or any other email address at the same domain
  • any address at any domain the project may use as a cname, e.g., anything you're allowed to enter into the "host survey from a different domain" advanced option in your survey settings.  If you cname is a sub-domain, like "survey.example.com", you may use an email address with the parent "example.com" domain as well.

Note: The email send "from address", invite@decipherinc.com, should be the only "from address" used. If you have setup a CNAME you still need to use the invite@ but you can specify your cname instead for example, invite@yourcompany.com. Changing “invite” requires an alias change. To implement this, you must contact your account manager for information and additional fees may apply.

We currently place no restrictions on the "Reply-To" address.

5:  File Allowances

Decipher accepts lists in Excel (.xls and .xlsx), tab-delimited (.txt), and comma-seperated (.csv) formats.

  • The first row must contain headers with the name of each column.  There must be one "email" column.
  • Each row must have the same number of columns.
  • Each row must have a valid email address in the "email" column.  No two rows should contain the same email address.
  • Fields may not contain newlines.
  • If there is a column named "source", it will be renamed to "source1".  We will generate new values of "source" for our system.

6:  Opt-In Lists

Invites sent from Decipher require that the list of users be opted-in.  To be opted-in the respondent must have agreed explicitly that the client has the right to contact them via email for marketing or research purposes.  Sending invites within Decipher with lists that are non-opt-in, including purchases lists of email addresses is not allowed, and may lead to permanent blocking of Campaign Management use.

7:  Branded vs. Unbranded

Branded sends explicitly state who the sender is, making it clear where the respondents email address would have been provided from. For example, in a branded email from Toyota, the invite has a Toyota logo and CNAME, and says "This is a Toyota survey about vehicle purchasing habits".  Alternatively, the invite that is unbranded might have no logo and use a Decipher URL or a client URL that is not the source of the respondent.  So an unbranded email from Toyota would have a Decipher logo and say "This is a survey about your vehicle purchasing habits".  Since the list still comes from Toyota, but the respondent does not know this, s/he is more likely to click spam.  Both Branded and Unbranded sends are restricted to the spam stands as described within this document.

8:  Send Limits & Specifications

  • We can send about 100,000 emails per hour total. If you need that much you'll have to coordinate with everyone else. The exact amount depends on host served; AOL accepts much fast, Yahoo can be very slow. Coordinate with large email sends is needed, the bulk email queue should not go over 300,000 emails. If you have a large send, use the rate limiting system not to submit it all at once.
  • Any spam complaints (sent to abuse@decipherinc.com) simply cause users to be automatically unsubscribed from future mailings. You may not need to read or act upon them unless they're coming from an ISP that wants answers.
  • We use ISIPP (http://www.isipp.com/) to improve our email deliver-ability.

9:  Classifying Campaign Manager Bouncebacks

When sending an email using our Campaign Manager, there are occasions where we receive an error, such as an out of office email or server not available.  If we receive an error from the receiving server, a bounceback email is sent to the “from address” specified in the email invitation. By default these messages are sent to invite@decipherinc.com or an alias of that inbox.

Any errors received are scanned for the following phrases.  If any of the below phrases exists, these emails are ignored from any further bounceback checking. 

  • annual leave
  • anti-spam system
  • automated response
  • away from
  • away until
  • cloudmark content
  • connect on linkedin
  • currently away
  • disk quota
  • dyn:t1
  • ESMTP not accepting connections
  • exceeded storage
  • has not yet been delivered
  • mailbox full
  • mailbox is full
  • message count quota
  • nicht im Hause
  • out of office
  • out of the office
  • over quota
  • overquota
  • rejected as spam
  • rtr:ge
  • spam content
  • storage limit
  • Trend Micro Email Reputation
  • Trend Micro RBL
  • vacation
  • warning message only
  • in meetings

Any errors received that don’t have one of the above phrases will be further scanned. The errors returned are broken into two groups:

  • error codes of 4xx are considered a temporary error
  • error codes of 5xx are considered a permanent error

Permanent errors (5xx)  will then be listed as a bounceback in the field report and are removed from future sends.  Any emails that result in temporary errors (4xx) are kept in the mail queue and will be retried for up to 5 days. After 5 days, if a successful code was not returned, these errors are listed as a bounceback in the field report and also removed from future sends.