What’s new on the e-mail deliverability front
Do you feel your e-mail campaigns are drowning in a sea of spam? If so, you’re not alone. But there are several things happening behind the scenes that should begin to stem the tide. This is good news for marketers.
First, let’s look at the obstacles e-marketers face today. To identify and reduce spam, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corporations take extraordinary measures. This may result in mail being blocked or poor placement in the recipient’s inbox. Companies employ blacklists and content filters. Some filters may block large volumes that are sent too quickly or mailings that contain too many bounces.
Even when e-mail makes it past these hurdles, a campaign may be delivered to a bulk folder if the sender is not in the recipient’s address book—and then all HTML images may be suppressed.
Customers also are reacting to spam. The average customer has three e-mail addresses, and one third of all e-mail accounts churn on an annual basis. America Online (AOL) customers are more likely to click the “report as spam” button than to use opt-out links in e-mails.
You might be wondering, where is the good news? The solution to our spam problem lies in combining solutions on three fronts: legislative, technical and self-regulatory.
Legislative: Can Spam
The Can Spam Act of 2003 was signed by President Bush in December of last year and went into effect January 2004. Marketers have quickly moved to be in compliance for all commercial e-mail. One impact of the federal law is that permission is defined at a line of business level. For example, a company such as Proctor & Gamble that has many lines of business—Pampers, Tide, Charmin—would ask individuals to opt-out of receiving e-mails from Pampers, but preserve the right for Tide or Charmin to contact them. For a company to do this correctly, any e-mail needs to be branded for the line of business. In this example, an e-mail would come from Pampers, not from Proctor & Gamble. When the recipient goes to an opt-out page, it should also be branded for the specific line of business.