Email Expert Talk 7: Pablo Bonhila, Email Deliverability Manager at Linx
In our series 'Email Expert Talk'we discuss all things email with distinguished experts who know about the struggles and strategies of working with high volume emails. We talk about how they cope with daily challenges, what their opinions are on the latest industry developments and how they manage to stay on top of the ever-changing email landscape.
For this Email Expert Talk, we picked the brain of Pablo Bonilha, Email Deliverability Manager at Linx. Deliverability offers Pablo a perfect environment in which he can combine his degree in advertising and his passion for technology. Both factors are of good use in tackling the challenges he encounters while working for a company that offers a trigger-based email system as part of the solution.
On the day-to-day Pablo manages the operations and deliverability services of his clients. He shares the best practices and helps to ensure a stable environment for the best possible results. With over 5 years of experience in handling high volume emails, you can call him well equipped for this. Today, he shares what he has learned along the way.
What are the most common deliverability challenges you encounter in your work?
Pablo: "I think the challenges within the business area are the most challenging. Constant communication is required in order to share knowledge, because what is frequently requested by the business directly affects delivery performance. For example, for an objective to be attained we need to double or even triple our approach. This often generates a negative impact on the results, brand, product or service."
Constant communication is required in order to share knowledge
What has been the biggest challenge you faced in your field of work, and how did you resolve this?
Pablo: "Without a doubt, until now my biggest challenge was to solve an IP problem. Actually, it was a complete range of IPs, blocked by SPAMHAUS. At that time, for the first time, we decided to work with a political party. A few hours after the first campaigns we discovered that they did not practice 'good' email marketing. Because of that, other clients who had no connection to the situation had their mailings damaged."
Until now, my biggest challenge was to solve an IP problem.
"After hard work together with SPAMHAUS, and especially with the client, we managed to solve the problem. In fact, right after the IPs were unblocked, we closed the contract with the client. I remember that the time in between the problem and the solution was approximately seven days."
What result/performance data do you most rely on for tuning your delivery settings?
Pablo: "In general, I use four sources of information: Microsoft SNDS, Google Postmaster, MTAs Log and platform statistics."
What are some of the sources you follow to get the latest trends in our industry that you would recommend to others?
Pablo: "Currently, my sources of information are Linkedin groups, as well as some names relevant to me from the market, such as Spenser Kollas, Guy Hanson, Keith Kouzmanoff, Alyssa Nahatis and blogs of great ESPs."
If you were in the shoes of a major ISP and you could change one thing, what would it be?
I've noticed that nowadays, a lot of first messages are delivered to the SPAM folder or not at all
Pablo: "That's a good question, for sure! As a deliverability professional, I would allow the delivery of the first message to a new user to the inbox, so that the recipient could decide what to do. I've noticed that nowadays, a lot of first messages are delivered to the SPAM folder or not at all, and this can be decisive for a better engagement between senders and receivers."
Where do you see email deliverability in 2025? What new challenges will we be facing and what current issues may be tackled by then?
Pablo: "I expect that it will be more difficult to reach the inbox. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs), will perhaps be more restrictive by creating new methods of authentication, and certainly improving their algorithms. Both on macro level, to protect their infrastructure, as well as micro level, which means that the final recipient will increasingly be the one who determines what can be delivered to them.''
The Internet Service Providers, will perhaps be more restrictive by creating new methods of authentication
"In this vision of the future, whoever sends the message, needs to be more acquainted with the business. In addition, they need to be relevant, personalized, and as intelligent as possible. I believe that part of this can be accomplished with predictive analysis and artificial intelligence."
Data protection laws will force us to always be better at protecting our data
"For me, without a doubt, a very important issue that is currently talked about, is the large amount of information used in this whole process. This generates concern about the secrecy and isolation of data. So I think that data protection laws are extremely relevant, and will certainly force us to always be better at protecting and using this data."
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in email deliverability?
Pablo: "There are in essence two focus areas for the deliverability professional: deliverability services and deliverability operations. Therefore, my first suggestion is to be "hybrid". That is, to have a good knowledge of how the business works. For example, make sure you get acquainted with the business model, customer service, products, marketing, etc. This way you can act as a real professional in deliverability services and attain skills that will be of good use. At this point, I believe that people with knowledge of the human area will adapt better."
I think that many people who have a background in the 'exact' area adapt better
"My second suggestion is to be technical, because it is very relevant. In this environment, I think that many people who have a background in the 'exact' area also adapt better. In this situation, the professional usually comes from another technical area, such as networks, development, and databases. Of course, we as deliverability professionals can't be everything at the same time, but it helps to focus on one area without letting that hold you back from considering the other area as well."