Saturday, November 4, 2017

The New Gig

I started a new job last week as a sales associate for a company called MXToolbox.  I’m digging it.  I’ve been talking to a number of friends and family that are asking how the “new gig is going” and I’m learning pretty quickly that everyone has a preconceived notion of what a sales person at a company called “MXToolbox” might be selling.  One dear friend and former colleague thought I was selling actual tool boxes.  A buddy of mine asked if I was selling tools door to door.  He figured I was a SnapOn competitor.  Allow me to clarify for all just exactly what MXToolbox does.

MXToolbox is a suite of email monitoring and diagnostic tools that utilize technologies like SPF, DMARC, and DKIM to identify blacklists (i.e. SORBS) and improve email deliverability and reputation.  Clear as MUD?  I get it.  I’m just now getting to a point where I understand these technical concepts.  Here's an analogy that should add clarity;

You are a bank teller.  You are the first person there in the morning and you need to get into the vault right away.  In order to get there you have to pass a number of security measures.  First, you need a key to the door.  Once you get inside the building you will need to disable the alarm system by keying in a code of some kind.  Once that’s done you’ll need to get to use another key to get to the vault door and FINALLY enter in the combination to get into the vault to access your cash.  You can't just walk into the vault and take the money.  The bank would be vulnerable to all sorts of up-to-no-good folk.

Each of these security measures has two sides.  First, the door locks are expecting very specific keys.  If there are any discrepancies to those keys, the locks won’t respond and you’re stuck outside.  The alarm system is expecting a very specific code.  Anything other than the correct code will set off an alarm and law enforcement will make sure you don’t get to that vault.  And finally, the vault itself is waiting for the exact combination to bypass its ironclad security to get to the cash. 

As it turns out, email has a similar process.  The recipient is expecting very specific security items from the sender.  If they don't line up, your email can get stuck outside.

Let’s say you run a small business.  Lawn Care.  You’ve determined the absolute best way to communicate with your customers and market to your prospects is through email.  In order for you to get messages from your outbox to your target’s inbox, you have to pass a number of security measures to get it there.  First, the recipient’s email provider is going to require a key (a whole bunch of numbers and characters) that verifies you are who you say you are.  It’s checking to make sure you aren’t an imposter.  Then it’s going to check again by comparing your email’s digital signature (more numbers and characters) to make sure it looks the same.  Once it’s determined you are authentic and in alignment, it will allow your email to pass through.  If it fails, the email may never be delivered or end up in your Spam folder, then likely turn up on one of over 100 email blacklists.  That’s bad.  Once you are on a blacklist, it’s hard to get off.

The whole purpose of this is to battle punk-ass companies and nefarious bastards  
that are phishing and spoofing (pretending to be someone they aren’t) and from sending awful emails with instructions on how to add inches to your johnson.  By the way, what's the deal with one of my favorite bands on the planet having to compete with such a negative modern term?!

But what if you aren't one of those evil entities?  You’re legit but your email isn't getting to your customers or it's automatically going to Spam?  What do you do?  You could maybe call an expensive IT consultant to diagnose and fix.  Or you could go to

My company provides tools that will alert you if your email authentication is failing or you have somehow ended up on a blacklist.  It’s that simple.  It monitors your business’ email reputation.  Sometimes it’s just a simple mistake on your end that needs to be tweaked.  To go back to the bank analogy, maybe your key to the door is bent.  Or the button on the alarm keypad is sticking.  MXToolbox diagnostic tools will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is so you can fix it.

And that’s it.  We don’t fix anything.  We just help you figure out what's broken.  Most companies live and die by their email capabilities.  If you can’t get your information to your targets your business will die.

I feel fortunate to have found this very cool company full of innovative SMART people.  I’m surrounded by engineers and developers.  It’s a really neat environment where people focus on who you are and what you can do and couldn’t care less about how you look.  There is no air of superiority anywhere in the building that I have seen so far.  And we have the most nectar breakfast tacos in Austin every Thursday morning and beers at the bar next door every Thursday night.  I’m really happy to be there.

If you are a business owner or if your business has issues with email deliverability and blacklisting, check us out.  More and more companies are really beefing up their email security.  In fact, Homeland Security recently put out a Binding Operational Directive  that requires all government agencies to set email authentication policies.  If you do business with the government at all, you'd better get compliant.  Business should be a-boomin'.

No comments: