Email Deliverability: Postmasters – Part 2

Postmaster Tools

Some of the Postmaster sites highlighted in Part 1 contain useful troubleshooting tools. There’s too many to go through all of them, so I’ve highlighted some of the most useful ones.

AOL probably has the most extensive number of Postmaster tools of any major email provider. Among them:

  • Reverse DNS Check
    Quickly verify your reverse DNS capability. You want the IP you are sending mail from to resolve to something logical. AOL has the following guidelines and recommendations for your reverse DNS entry:
    • All connecting Mail Transfer Agents must have established reverse DNS
    • The reverse DNS entry (PTR Record) should match the domain name (A Record)
    • Reverse DNS must be in the form of a fully-qualified domain name
  • Verify Connecting IP
    AOL has setup a special email address that will automatically report back to you the IP address that your email was actually sent from. This can be very helpful, especially when configuring your SPF records.
  • IP Reputation Check Tool
    This tool allows you to check on the reputation your IP address (that you found using the above method). Generally, your reputation will simply be “Undisclosed”, which is fine. AOL just hasn’t received enough emails from you to form an opinion.

A complete list of the tools that AOL provides can be found here.

Time Warner Road Runner
The Road Runner Postmaster Site has a very nice IP status tool. It actually provides the results of a number of different spam block lists all in one place. With one query, you can check the status of your sending IP address from Return Path, Spamhuas, Cloudmark, and, of course, Road Runner. Here’s an example of the results for

Road Runner IP Check Query Results
Road Runner IP Check Query Results

Comcast has a unique tool that helps you with getting your IP address unblocked. It’s unique in that it is automated. If Comcast is the one blocking you (your block is not based on being listed as a spammer by another group) you can use their RBL Removal Form. More information is available here.

Other than the tools highlighted above, most of the providers also have a system for setting up a Feedback Loop (FBL). This is a system that alerts you when your messages are marked as spam. A post covering FBLs in a little more depth is still in the works, and will hopefully be completed in the next couple of days.

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