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Testing, Testing (Or, How To Evaluate Email Integration)

Testing, TestingThe quickest way to confirm that an integration will work the way you expect is to dig right in and send some test emails. This is easy with Dyn’s REST API (which recently got a facelift!), but it’s easy to muddy the waters by testing too many parameters, especially deliverability issues. As with any “testing” situation, you want to set things up as close to your real-world situation as possible.

I love to keep things positive, but it’s important to know what parameters NOT to test when integrating with an email service provider. Here’s a short but important lists of DON’Ts when testing your email integration:

1) Avoid sending to addresses at fake domains.

If you want to test what you’ll see when an email bounces, the easiest way is to send to a nonexistent address, right? But if you send to test@dfkjhnvjiw.com, there isn’t a mailserver to reply to the attempt so you will need to wait for a timeout (which our system will report as a Hard Bounce). Plus, you won’t have a nifty bounce header to analyze.

On the other hand, if you send to nonexistantllamaboy1234@yahoo.com, you will indeed get the nifty bounce header from Yahoo and confirm that our system communicates with yours as expected.

CAVEAT: This does NOT mean that you can send to a large number of fakes at real inbox providers. If you slam Yahoo with thousands of fake attempts, you’ll look like a spammer and get blacklisted. Keep these integration tests small when testing bounces!

2) Don’t send from a Yahoo, Gmail, etc. address.

Why? Because you don’t own Gmail or Yahoo, so you can’t set up authentication on those domains. When testing, use the domain you are really going to send from. Again, focus on keeping these tests as close to production as possible.

3) Don’t send FROM and TO your own domain.

If your business has a SPAM filter set up, this behavior may be mistaken for a phishing attack. If you do have a business case for sending TO and FROM the same domain, you will likely need to whitelist the new sending IPs. There’s no sense in testing this parameter unless you really need to.

If you feel lost, don’t panic! You probably don’t think about email delivery every day, and you shouldn’t: that’s our job. When you onboard with Dyn, we have a great client services team here to help you with this process. Just ask your friendly neighborhood Sales Engineer and we’ll be there for you.

Happy Testing!


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Whois: Scott Grant

Scott is an Associate Product Marketing Manager at Dyn, the world leader in Internet performance solutions. Follow him on Twitter: @ScottGrantJr and @Dyn.