Blogroll: Postmark

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 4 posts from the blog 'Postmark.'

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Updated: 19 min 50 sec ago

Announcing our community writing program

6 hours 54 min ago

At Postmark, we’re not just passionate about developing a great product, we feel strongly about providing exceptional customer service as well. But quality service doesn't (and shouldn't) begin and end with a support email or a sales call. It must extend into all that we offer: documentation, transactional email guides, blog posts, and newsletters, as well as community-focused projects like Postmark Labs and our collection of open source tools. We've worked diligently to earn a reputation for providing a quality and dependable product, but we'd like to take that a step further and become a reliable source of information, too. That's why we're excited to announce that we're investing further into our technical content by inviting writers from our community to contribute to our blog.

As with our core product, the Postmark blog aims to be an invaluable resource for developers who want to design, send, and receive better and more reliable emails with their applications. We’re looking for writers who can contribute technical content that covers broad topics related to transactional email such as delivery, reputation, design, tools, and testing, as well as tutorials for using Postmark with specific languages and systems such as Python, Rails, Laravel, Node, and so on. By creating a tutorial for our blog, you will gain the ability to reach our targeted audience while helping us better serve our developer community. Oh, and you'll get paid for it, too.

If you feel your writing and ideas are a good fit for the Postmark blog and its audience, we encourage you to apply! All you have to do is fill out a brief form with your contact information and some writing samples, and then we'll review it and be in touch. We will respond to all applicants regardless of whether we decide to move forward with an assignment or not.

For the full details of how the writing process works, as well as the payment schedule and terms, head over to the application page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Categories: Technology

How to send transactional emails with Laravel PHP framework

Tue, 11/09/2018 - 14:00

In this post, we’ll go over two ways you can send Laravel transactional emails via Postmark. We’ll explore the nuts and bolts of setting up the Postmark adapter for Laravel written by Craig Paul, and we’ll also look at how you can send email via SMTP. But first, let’s walk through signing up for a free Postmark developer account.

Create a Postmark account and sender signature

If you already have a Postmark account, you can skip this step. If you don’t have an account, head to the homepage and click “Start Free Trial” in the top right corner. Fill out your account details then click “Let’s get started.”

Postmark account creation page. Postmark account creation page.

It’s worth noting that Postmark is an email service that is intended for transactional email only. Marketing campaigns and newsletters cannot be sent through Postmark.

Once you’ve entered your account information, you’ll be asked to create and confirm a sender signature. This step is necessary to send email from Postmark.

Postmark Sender Signature form. Postmark Sender Signature form.

After you’ve completed the Sender Signature form, you’ll land on your Postmark server dashboard.

Postmark server dashboard. Postmark server dashboard.

Note: Postmark developer accounts are limited to 100 emails per month. Before you can send more than that, you’ll need to go through the account approval process. To maintain high deliverability rates, Postmark is selective about the types of emails that can be sent.

Set up the Postmark adapter for Laravel

In the following code examples, I’ll assume that you have a fresh new Laravel project using Laravel 5.7 and that you’re using a Mac. Let’s set up the Laravel Postmark adapter.

1. Open terminal and cd to your new Laravel project directory

Terminal window showing Laravel project directory

2. Now run composer require coconutcraig/laravel-postmark:

Installing Postmark adapter for Laravel.

Open up your config/services.php and add:

return [ // ... 'postmark' => [ 'secret' => env('POSTMARK_SECRET'), ], ];

Note: leave POSTMARK_SECRET, you’ll add the actual secret to your ENV file next.

4. Open your .env file. 

Change MAIL_DRIVER from smtp to postmark. 

Add POSTMARK_SECRET=<YOUR-SERVER-KEY-HERE> to the bottom of the file and be sure to replace <YOUR-SERVER-KEY-HERE> with your server API token, which you can find in your Postmark dashboard in the Credentials section.

Image of the Postmark Credentials page Server API tokens are found on the Postmark Credentials page.

That’s it! 

Now whenever you send email through your Laravel app, it will be sent via your Postmark account.

Note: If you’re running an older version of Laravel, you can check out and use an older branch of this adapter:

Laravel version chart Send email via SMTP

Now let’s look at what it takes to send email via SMTP through Postmark instead of through the Postmark API.

1. Log into your Postmark dashboard, and head to the SMTP tab within the “Setup Instructions” section:

Image of the SMTP section within the Postmark dashboard. SMTP section within the Postmark dashboard.

2. Next, open up config/mail.php in your favorite text editor.

Change the MAIL_HOST to smtp.postmarkapp.com.

Change the global from name and address to match the sender signature you set up during the Postmark account creation process above. If you have an existing Postmark account and skipped the account creation step above, you can find your sender signature by clicking “Sender Signatures” from your Postmark dashboard.

Finally, change the MAIL_USERNAME and MAIL_PASSWORD to match the username and password listed in your setup instructions:

A couple of notes:

  • Yes, the username and password are intentionally the same. &#x1f609; 
  • You can ignore the sendmail driver path as this sends through SMTP, not sendmail.
  • Additional ports and authentication protocols are listed in your setup instructions (in the black box above), but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave them defaulted to port 587, and tls for the protocol.

Big props to Craig Paul for open sourcing his Postmark adapter for Laravel.

Categories: Technology

Recent email delays, and what we’re doing about it

Thu, 06/09/2018 - 16:27

This morning starting at 5:15am outbound emails were queued in our system for all customers. We started processing emails at 7:45am, and by 8:43am all queues were clear and sending was back to normal. Normally we deal with issues like this swiftly, but this morning some of our alerting failed, so it took us way too long to become aware of the issue and start working on it.

We know that availability and speed are Postmark’s most important features. It’s the guiding principle that drives everything we do, and when we don’t deliver on that, we take it extremely seriously.

Bottom line: we failed you this morning. We are sorry, and we’re going to make it right. Here’s what we plan to do:

  1. We are going to review our alerting workflows to make sure that every scenario and possible failure point is covered. Our alerting frequently tells us when something is wrong before we hear from a single customer, but clearly today that didn’t happen.
  2. We are going to address the root cause of the delays, and automate our capacity better.
  3. We are going to make improvements to our status page to be clearer about when we are accepting messaging and queueing them. It wasn’t right that the status page looked like messages were only slightly delayed when in fact they were severely delayed.

You rely on Postmark to send your most critical emails. Doing that reliably is the motivation that continues to get our team out of bed every morning. If you have any questions about this morning’s incident, or what we’re doing about it, please let us know at support@postmarkapp.com.

Categories: Technology

How to check your domain reputation

Tue, 28/08/2018 - 19:11

Everyone just can’t stop talking about domain reputation — and for good reason! More and more, it’s becoming the ultimate factor in deliverability. It’s considered everywhere your domain is used including message content, brand assets, and of course email authentication. 

Receivers keep track of how your domain is used and performs in all messages. Based on this data, they use complex algorithms to “score” your domain, weighing that score against future messages when filtering spam. But that means you don’t have just one big domain reputation floating out there in cyberspace. Instead a domain can have countless reputations unique to what each receiver has seen and the proprietary scoring processes that receiver uses. 

It’d be great to know exactly what everyone thinks of your domain, but the more a receiver shares, the more spammers and other nefarious senders will start to figure out how to trick the system. Understandably, most receivers keep their data private. There are, however, some free services that will aggregate and anonymize multiple receivers’ data to give you some general insight into your domain’s health.

Domain reputation lookup tools

First check out Talos Intelligence provided by Cisco that associates your “web reputation” with messages sent over various IPs. A “neutral” reputation there typically means there’s little data available for your domain (low volume). 

Next we recommend Reputation Authority, another free service that specifically generates a score for your domain in relation to each IP it sends over. For senders who separate their mail streams by IP, you can more clearly see the reputation of each message type. 

There’s also third-party filtering software some use in their corporate/university mail servers. You can run a quick search in these public databases to determine if your domain is blacklisted or considered “risky.” Two of the most popular are Barracuda and McAfee. Beyond that, tools using open source SpamAssassin filtering can help identify any domains in your content and email headers that could hinder delivery. 

Finally, there are certain receivers who directly share their internal reputation score for your domain, as long as you have high enough volume to anonymize the data. The most notable is Google Postmaster Tools, a top receiver for most senders. You’ll get an exact reputation grade from Google that directly affects deliverability to Gmail recipients. 

Google domain reputation chart example

Even if Google isn’t your biggest receiver, data on how one entity views your domain is excellent insight into how other receivers might determine your reputation. And there’s some good news for Russian brands — Yandex and Mail.ru have also developed their own free postmaster tools by domain, so definitely check those out.

If you’re not seeing very much data about your domain, don’t sweat it! It likely just means your volume isn’t large or consistent enough yet. Just make sure you’re working with highly reputable ESPs to optimize deliverability. In the meantime, set up custom DKIM and Return-Path domains so that as your email volume grows, you’ll be able to build a standalone domain reputation based on your own good sending practices. 

Categories: Technology
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