01 February 2007

The email barriers are going up

I hate spammers. Not because I find it tedious to delete all the ads for penny shares or canadian pharmaceuticals. I hate them because they are having an impact on legitimate business.

Talking to someone the other day, he complained that 40% of the people that signed up for email updates to his blog weren't able to verify their subscriptions. I didn't believe him so he checked in real time - the actual figure was 37.5%. Now that probably doesn't mean that he has lost all those people as readers, simply that the basic process of sending an autoresponder confirmation email to an email address and getting a positive response has failed. Perhaps those autoresponder emails are getting caught up in company firewalls or maybe an overactive spam filter has pushed them into an email limbo.

We have the same problem with one of our contact lists - we use an email distribution service which generally works very well, but at one very large organisation, virtually none of the emails distributed by the service reach the inboxes of the people on the list - the exception seems to be a couple of their subsidiaries in Australia which don't seem to be protected quite as diligently as their operations elsewhere. That means that email requires work-arounds if you intend to use it as part of your contact strategy.

In some utopian future, spam won't exist and email will work perfectly, but don't hold your breath.

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