About Volo

VoloMP mailing platform has been around for 20 years now, delivering mail by the boatloads.

High on features, low on fluff.

This on-boarding Guide covers 100% of what a regular Volo user knows and does, mainly:

  1. Import data
  2. Send
  3. Watch delivery (optionally adjust throttling)

For more info navigate to Help > User Manual menu item, to be logged into the external help site.


Ideal use case

First you secure a stream of fresh, active data nobody else has.

Then you focus on a single ISP, send tiny drops (literally one ip, 10-100 emails) while watching the Executive Dashboard page.

Play with throttling, headers and content (html matters!) until you Inbox or top out (might take weeks or many months). Now it’s a numbers game, just scale up ips to get the volume.

Repeat for the next target.

TLDs like Google/MSN/OATH are obvious targets

Volo lets you define any set of domains (or mx servers) as custom targets. That’s useful, for example, for targeting individual cable providers.

You can chip away at the universe called GI by cracking mini-ISPs one by one. (Simply loading up data and sending a drop to entire GI is guaranteed to hit 50 spam-traps within a minute.)

Today, a successful publisher works on each individual target, no matter how small, with surgical precision (using Volo feedback features plus the official feedback if available).

Usually unlocking a single mid-size target makes you rich, you likely only need one.


User Interface

You, the Admin, can white-label your Volo and turn it into a small ESP with hundreds of clients of your own.

There are 2 user interfaces:

  1. Admin UI - to manage mailer accounts, ips, domains and throttling.
  2. Mailer UI - to let your clients login and send mail.

Admin UI

Black header.

Homepage screenshot:

People usually go straight to ACCOUNTS: BROWSE to launch the mailer UI by clicking the account name.


Mailer UI

Blue header.

Your resources are:

  1. The IP space (ips and domains)
  2. Data:

Good data: emails organized in mailing lists

Bad data: DNE, suppressions, blacklists, unsubs, bounces, complainers, …


Resource #1: IP Space

The GLOBAL: IP CONFIGURATION page shows your domains and ips.

Pick one domain and save, so the preview feature would work.


Resource #2.1: Good Data

Creating mailing lists

Go to MAILING LISTS: CREATE NEW and create a list called “My test list”:

While at it, quickly manually subscribe your test emails. Go to RECIPIENTS: SUBSCRIBE 


Imports

Zip up one or more txt or csv files and upload at RECIPIENTS: IMPORT UPLOAD.

Now go to RECIPIENTS: IMPORT , decompress the zip file and click IMPORT.

Choose the list you want to populate.

Map the fields.

Clear the first option and hit Import.

There, you uploaded and imported a file into a mailing list.

Resource #2.2: Bad Data

As you send mail the people:

You may decide to:

Banned and unsubscribed emails fail to import, by default.


Suppressions

Upload files can contain either emails or domains (can’t mix).

Plain text or md5 or sha512 hashes (these start with 0x).

There is no way to read or export a Volo suppression. If you forget what is in there - you might as well delete it.


Sending mail

Go to MESSAGE: NEW MESSAGE

Choose the lists you want to hit. In this case, we’ll choose only one list, the “My test list”:

You can also ‘edit’ the Advanced Selection:

In this example we only wanted yahoo emails that were imported since 10/3/18, and we only wanted a batch of 10k, starting from the number 40,001 of all fitting records (because we already sent to the first 40k).

Fill in the from address email username, go with crazy.sales@%%$_sdomain%% (this stands for sending domain). Click “add new from” to enter one more, this time it will be “Call Me <now@%%$_sdomain%%>”.

There’s even the bulk add feature, that lets you have thousands of from addresses in a single drop, rotated after X emails delivered.

Fill out one or more subject lines (or use the bulk add feature).

Paste your html code, with landing pages having the http:// or https:// thing.

You can use most Volo tags (some people call them variables or macros) everywhere, which means in the from field, the subject line and the message body. For more on tags navigate to Help / User Manual (to login) and then visit this link: http://help42.volomp.com/personalization_tags.html

Click ‘auto fill links’ to track all http links, i.e. landing pages. Tracking means you’ll have a log of all the clickers, and you can have action taken on those people. The default “clickers” action simply adds them to the “Clickers” mailing list.

The added bonus of tracking links is masking them, recipients see your domain instead of the landing page.

Click ‘auto fill images’ to mask all hotlinked images. A hot-linked image is usually an image hosted by the landing page business so you want to hide their URL.

You can also upload images to your Volo to host them locally (Help / Manual / HOWTO / Hosting images article).

Finally, you can choose to embed the images (have Volo download all hotlinked images and turn them into attachments).

On to selecting the domains and/or ranges and/or hostnames you will be using for this drop. Option #3 lets you make that selection:

Steps in creating a new drop:

Now you can click the “Send / Schedule message” button, confirm and off it goes!


Delivery Overview

You will wind up on the MESSAGE: DELIVERY QUEUE page, where you oversee all your drops, past and present, with numbers updating realtime:

First off, you can adjust which columns you want to see:

This selection also affects what you get when you Export to excel/csv:

Also, Volo remembers when you adjust the width of any column.

You can display:

You can re-use any drop, change what you need and then send.

Details popup contains every last bit of info for that drop, including logs for openers, clickers (one for each landing page), bounce logs (a separate log for each type of bounce/reply we got).

Congrats! You are now at 85% Volo proficiency. On to the good stuff!


Throttling

SYSTEM: THROTTLING - how to be in full control of the delivery.

You have these target ISPs by default:

You can add custom target ISPs (click Add Group), by listing their domains and/or *.mx.servers:

Dropdown on the top-left lets you choose an ip range (which you can edit down, to a single ip even). You can also choose the magic range ALL, which covers all of your ips, even if you switch them out six months from now.

To the right you have target ISPs.

Click on the desired range/target cross-section and enter the limits:

Each new mailer ui starts with a very conservative throttling setup which you are welcome to trash right away, or keep an eye on the delivery and adjust the throttles accordingly.

You can limit 2 things:

You can impose those limits:

If you limit a whole range (say a C class) to deliver 10k per hour, it’s possible for just one ip address to do all that work and burn out. If you limit each ip to 40 emails per ip per hour you will get the same 10k total, but no ip will deliver more than 40 emails per hour.

Same goes for concurrent connections. Limit a C class to 500 conns and it’s likely a single ip will hog all those, leaving others to idle. It is better to limit each ip to max 2 conns.

Note: You start off on a fresh install with incredibly strict limits that say “Only send 2 emails per ip per hour”, as a precautionary measure (so you don’t burn your ips right off the bat). It is normally very safe, very normal, to relax those limits greatly, and even remove them - pretty much on your second drop...


Backoffs

SYSTEM: BACKOFFS is a transparent rule book telling Volo what to do if target X says Y?

Rules are read top to bottom, the first match is executed and it stops there. That means you can put custom rules on top of the list and thus override the system rules, giving you 100% control over your Volo.

Here’s an example of a specific rule:

The rule says that if we have a connection open towards a target, and they say something that contains the string “please try later” then Volo is going to:

  1. disconnect (terminate the connection)
  2. put that sender-receiver ip combo on hold for 300 seconds

Note: only this one combo was on hold. That same local ip was trying to talk to other mx ips during this hold.

As of late September 2018. there’s an option to have that sending IP address stop talking to the entire target ISP (not just that one target mx IP), we call that ISP_HOLD.


Speeds

SYSTEM: SPEEDS - realtime delivery speeds breakdown per:

This is like the speed gauge in your car, shows the projected per-hour speed (like 60mph) based on the very recent past performance. If it keeps like that, in 60 minutes you’ll cover 60 miles, that sort of thing.


SMTP Charts

SYSTEM: SMTP CHARTS - what the targets said in the past quarter hour?

Pie chart for each target ISP. Click a pie segment to show all text replies grouped under it.

In the above example, 31% of all connection attempts made in the past 15 minutes were made towards AOL, out of which 34.08% ended with emails delivered.


Executive Dashboard (XD)

SYSTEM: EXECUTIVE DASHBOARD - watch every connection report its success!

Delivering

At the top of the page are the active drops from the Delivery Queue, the “Delivering” section.

Connection Log

What follows is called the Connection Log.

Volo opens connections, sends emails through, and then the connection is terminated. Then we see a post-mortem for each connection here:

  1. DELIVERY, DISCONNECT - 250 ok
  2. DISCONNECT - 250 ok (Notice, no delivery, this one was a dud!)
  3. HOLD(X), DISCONNECT - ip combo on hold due to …

You can filter the output by any combination of the first 5 things (just type goog into the ISP field), letting you zoom in as if you had a microscope. And this is all nearly real time.

Holds

Volo plays nice, and when a target X says back off, we do so, based on the rule triggered on the Backoffs page. In this section you can browse all the sender-receiver ip combos that are on hold, see why, and see for how much longer. And you can filter by the ISP. And you can click on the ISP, the sending ip or the target ip in the ConnLog to filter this output.

Speeds, SMTP Charts and Throttling

Below you have a mashup of these 3 pages. First, real time speed charts for each ISP. Also SMTP Charts thingies, click them to see the texts grouped under each bubble.

Also speeds for each ip range including the wildcard ALL range (effectively the speed towards that ISP). And the percentage of all attempts that went to this target. And the ability to adjust throttling right here, on this page, while watching what it does.

The Executive Dashboard page (XD) is the big one! Reading post-mortems for terminated connections is the nearest you can get to real-time overview of the delivery.

Filter the connection log to see how range X is doing when talking to target Y and adjust that throttle, all on the same page, no reloads!

This concludes this guide. Knowing everything listed here means you’re a black belt at Volo!