A Simple Guide to the Certification Trends Tab

Are you battling complaint, SRD, or spam trap issues and want more insight into troubleshooting? The oftentimes overlooked “Trends” tab within the Certification page is the best place to find at-a-glance data to help you get started.

I recently worked with a client who was consistently suspended due to a high number of Microsoft SRD junk votes. Using the data within the trends tab, we were able to take a deeper look into the campaigns that tended to accumulate a higher volume of votes and determine the root cause. To accomplish this, we first went to the Microsoft SRD tab within trends and selected the IP addresses that were suspended. We then scrolled down and took a look at the different campaigns that were flagged as contributing a higher number of junk votes. Then, by downloading the CSV file, we used the data to create a pivot table within excel examining each campaign, the date, and the number of volume and junk votes that were received. From there we identified a correlation between their “Welcome” email and a high number of junk votes.  With this discovery, we were able to test different options with the clients and successfully adjusted their “Welcome” email so that it was no longer getting flagged for junk votes.

Moving forward the SRD junk votes began to fall off, and they no longer saw suspensions on their IPs. By utilizing the trends tab data we were able to effectively troubleshoot the root issue enabling them to once again reach their full Microsoft subscriber base at 100% inbox placement.

If you’re new to the “Trends” tab, here is a quick guide to get you up a running. With this feature, you have the option to select an individual IP, compare several, or aggregate the IP addresses to graph trending data of your program metrics. You also have the ability to filter the data by 7, 30, 60, or 90 days. Once you have your criteria selected, the analysis is broken down into six main features which include:

  1. Metric ButtonsThere are seven different metric buttons you can toggle between to see what areas might be affected. The buttons with red or yellow dots are either in a suspended or warning state.
  1. Graph Status ColorsThe graph’s status colors show when a metric is in a warning or suspended state.
  1. Subject Line InsightsWithin certain metric buttons (Microsoft complaints, Comcast complaints, and some spam traps) you can scroll down to see a list of campaigns contributing to negative metrics. This can provide specific insight into recurring issues with a certain campaign. You also have the option to download a CSV file with a comprehensive list detailing all the campaigns and their correlating impact.
  1. Complaint DatesThis section provides detailed information on when the campaign was sent and when it received the complaint or SRD vote.
  1. Negative ImpactThis section displays the largest negative impact on a metric when compared to the impact of other messages.
  1. Potentially Contributing CampaignsThis section provides data on the campaigns that contributed to negative SRD votes.



Now you know where to get the data. So, how can you use this to draw actionable conclusions? First, keep an eye on the trend over time. For example, if your IP is consistently suspended for SRD, pay attention to time periods when junk votes spike. Is there any connection to the type of mail sent during that time frame? Next, download the CSV data and take a closer look at what subject lines and campaigns have a potentially negative impact on your rate. Finally, if problems persist, set up some time to meet with your TAM or RM and take advantage of Return Path’s new module program which further identifies underlying issues driving negative metrics.

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