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ChatGPT & other spam traps, the Status API, and some lovely tunes

This piece was first emailed to 52,427 Postmark subscribers on Feb 22, 2023.
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Hi friend,

Welcome to another issue of Postmark’s monthly newsletter, “Happy Sending,” in which we bring you industry news, useful tools, and tips for sending great emails—plus the occasional update about our product and what it can do for you.

This month we have a great selection of email-focused stories, from spammers using ChatGPT to write phishing emails (don’t do it!) to a Postmark customer sending emails to help communities tackle food insecurity (do it!). There is also a small music challenge for you right at the bottom, because our team has been feeling very musical and we want you to join the fun 🎶

Hey, Anna 👋

Industry news and useful tools #

Today, this section is curated by our Deliverability Lead Anna Ward, who describes herself as an “email delivery nerd and picnic enthusiast, lover of cheap coffee and electric blankets.”

Here is what Anna recommends that you check out, and why:

It’s scary easy to use ChatGPT to write phishing emails
When it comes to spam and malware detection, machine learning has been all the rage. But now with cheap, accessible AI tools like ChatGPT, spammers are able to generate unique and convincing content easier and faster than ever before.

Google to stop exempting campaign email from automated spam detection (requires email registration)
As someone who’s spent over a decade understanding how spam filters work (and don’t work!), I was fascinated watching this unfold—a public analysis of email reputation and list management. Whether you’re sending political email or not, this highlights why email recipients might demand inbox protections and why bypassing those filters might not be the best solution.

M3AAWG Help! I hit a spam trap!
Spam traps are email addresses that only serve one purpose: catching malicious senders or senders with poor data hygiene or acquisition practices. Many email senders I talk to don’t even know spam traps exist, much less what they are and what to do about them. So here’s a *brand new* best practices guide on spam traps from M3AAWG, a collaborative global forum that brings the email industry together to fight and prevent online abuse.

WttW Reject
I’m known for being a little obsessed with bounce processing, and our friends at “Word to the Wise” provided an easy way to test how your mail server handles certain SMTP codes and responses.

Tools for DNS
Need a no-frills, all-encompassing tool for checking DNS and reputation info? Al Iverson’s got you covered.

Words of wisdom from a Postmark customer #

In this month’s customer interview we talk to Jason Cartwright, the founder of UK-based food charity Give Food.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the work you do? #

I run a UK charity that helps local food banks around the country address the immediate and critical needs created by food insecurity.

How are you using Postmark on projects today? #

We use Postmark to keep our users updated on what their local food bank needs. We also use it to help users email their political representatives with their views on their fellow constituents having to use food banks. We send these messages on a user’s behalf, but their local representative is able to reply to them directly.
Postmark’s starter pricing level, which was right for us, was the hook, but we stayed for the fast transactional email plus clean control panel and quick & understanding customer service

If you could give folks one piece of advice about how to implement and manage their email, what would it be? #

Consider the intersection between what action the user wants to take from your email and what action you want the user to take.

🙌 We love to publish our customers’ stories. Would you like to be featured next month? Fill in this quick and extremely yellow form, just like Jason did, and we’ll make it happen.

Introducing... Postmark’s new Status API 🎉 #

Thanks to the good people at Sorry™, our newest status page helps you stay on top of any incidents or planned maintenance. Until now, the page was already giving you the option to receive status notifications via email, Slack, or Microsoft teams; with this newest addition, the Postmark Status API, you can integrate Postmark’s status directly into your processes and workflows, without having to go and manually check our status page (or your emails) for updates.

Check out the page & API documentation →

Behind the scenes at Postmark  #

At the beginning of February, our Head of Postmark Rian roped us all into a daily music challenge, posting listening prompts every day on Slack. He started with the straightforward “Day 1: To celebrate the return from a long hiatus play your favorite song/album for getting into a groove,” and later inspired us to reveal a few embarrassing picks during “Day 13: The teens begin. Choose the most angsty album from your collection.

And now, here we are. “Day 22: 2/22/23 (or 22/2/23 if you prefer). This prompt definitely would’ve been different a year ago. Play a song with something that’s just not quite right.

...what’s your pick? 🎶

Postmark's music channel on Slack

Until next time,
Happy sending 💛

Fio Dossetto

Fio Dossetto

Fio was Postmark’s Brand and Editorial lead until June 2023.