TinyLetter Email Marketing

A new take on email newsletters:

…besides being created by the legendary Philip Kaplan (if you’re over 35 and were laid off by a dot-com you know who @pud is, and you know how great his email newsletter was), we think TinyLetter is a unique take on email marketing newsletters because:

  1. It was built from the ground up by someone who is NOT from the email marketing world,
  2. It’s utterly simple (because of #1),
  3. …more…

Read more here: MailChimp Acquires TinyLetter | MailChimp Email Marketing Blog.

And you can sign up to my tinyletter newsletter there by visiting tinyletter.com/benhamilton. Ok, so maybe it’s not a new take on newsletters, but the implementation does seem to be, and in my view, simple is good.

Link Roundup 2011-09-10

Link roundup of what I’ve just read that I feel is worthy of a mention:

Mike Schneider and Aaron Strout guest post on Logic+Emotion: Location-Based Marketing: What’s in it for Me?

Wayne Schulz has two posts: You’d Have To Be Crazy To Ignore Email Newsletters and Use Boilerplate Replies To Pre-Qualify.

James Huff writes Ten WordPress Features That You May Have Missed.

More Cheese, Less Whiskers

On the ride to work this morning I listened to the podcast over at Duct Tape Marketing, where John Jantsch interviews Dean Jackson who “outlines several case studies in which he applies the customer’s best interest approach and produces incredible results where the sales only approach had failed miserably.”

Really enjoyed listening to this, and will a few more times yet.

via More Cheese, Less Whiskers :: Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing.

How to clear the MS Exchange mail queue quickly

Spent the day dealing with an exchange server that had been compromised. As a result, heaps of spam emails were in the exchange mail queue. Manually removing them is a major pain in the rear. Fortunately, others have shared how to clear the Microsoft Exchange mail queue of thousands for spam mails.

  1. Stop the SMTP service.
  2. Create a new spam folder for example in
    C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Mailroot\vsi 1\Spam
  3. With the SMTP service still stopped, move all the messages from the
    C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Mailroot\vsi 1\Queue
    to the spam folder (in case you need to retrieve a message)
  4. Restart the SMTP service.

Of course prior to doing that, the instructions at this Microsoft KB How to block open SMTP relaying and clean up Exchange Server SMTP queues in Windows Small Business Server is quite helpful in showing how to make sure your exchange server is not an open relay. It also shows how to test if it is an authenticated relay attack that is the problem.

How to block open SMTP relaying and clean up Exchange Server SMTP queues in Windows Small Business Server

Email error codes

Ever got an email message saying something like this?
This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
THIS IS A WARNING MESSAGE ONLY.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESEND YOUR MESSAGE.
Delivery to the following recipients has been delayed.
< someone@example.com >
The reason for the problem:
4.1.0 - Unknown address error 451-'DNS temporary failure (#4.3.0)'

If you have, then like me, deciphering this is made heaps easier with these two pages: this page at Microsoft, which list the Enhanced Status Codes for Delivery as per RFC 1893 – Enhanced Mail System Status Codes.

Using this, I now know that 4.1.0 & 4.3.0 means:

4.X.X Persistent Transient Failure
A persistent transient failure is one in which the message as
sent is valid, but some temporary event prevents the successful
sending of the message. Sending in the future may be successful.
X.1.0 Other address status
Something about the address specified in the message caused
this DSN.
X.3.X Mail System Status
Mail system status indicates that something having to do
with the destination system has caused this DSN. System
issues are assumed to be under the general control of the
destination system administrator.
X.0.0 Other undefined Status
Other undefined status is the only undefined error code. It
should be used for all errors for which only the class of the
error is known.

All of which let me know where to start looking in order to fix this. Hope you find it useful too.

What are MX Records?

I was asked to explain MX records today, here it is for others as well:

MX Records, or Mail eXchange Records, is simply a line of text in a file on a DNS Server on the internet.

What it does however is VERY important. It tells other peoples mail servers where to deliver email they are sending to you.

DNS MX RecordThe first MX record (indicated by a lower number, in this example, 10 mail.domain.com.au) is known as the primary MX record. This is where email servers will try to send email first. If it fails, then it will try subsequent MX records (in this example, 20 mail.domain.com.au).

If your email server is hosted onsite on MS Small Business Server 2003 and you change ISP, you will have a new STATIC IP address assigned. Given that your MX record will be pointing to the old IP address, you won’t be getting any email arrive.

To fix this means editing the MX record to reflect the new IP address. That will involve either lodging a job with your hosting provider, or domain name registrar.