Thursday, January 29, 2009

Agree To Be Spam-Free

by: Scott Lindsay

Spending on commercial email ballooned to $7.3 billion in 2005 from $164 million in 1999.” - Jupiter Communications

The use of email is an important tool in maintaining positive client relationships. Some emails are sent individually and personally, however some are sent in bulk and that’s when difficulties show up for business interests.

Many simply mass email systems are immediately sent to many spam folders. The truth is very few people take the time to review the emails in their spam folder and these emails are often deleted without a second look.

Due to the over-abuse of spam emails by less than trustworthy interests spam blocking applications are making it more difficult for legitimate online business interests to use bulk emailing effectively.

What can you do?

Whitelists: This function is simply the most effective way to assist you in reaching your customer base in a timely fashion. The premise behind this approach is to visit directly with the ISP’s you deliver through and explain that you are involved in bulk mailing to individuals that have either opted in to your email list or are present customers.

Most ISP’s will have a few conditions that you must follow, but once a positive relationship is developed with the various ISP’s you are dealing with it will be much easier to pass along bulk emails.

“74% of customers believe that their ISPs should be responsible for fixing spam problems.” - Gartner Group

Slow Things Down: You probably don’t want to wait to get your message out, however you can, and perhaps should, slow your delivery down. There is a method that is useful to legitimate business called ‘tarpitting’. describes this procedure as, “Adding a delay between e-mail messages in order to thwart spammers. A mail server can be set up to insert delays between messages when a single e-mail has a large number of recipients. It could start delaying after the first 25 messages were sent, which would have little effect on legitimate users, but would considerably slow down the spammer. For example, if a five-second delay were added to a million messages, it would take 60 days to release them from the mail server.”

By demonstrating a willingness to slow down the delivery of your email, you have made strides in proving your legitimacy.

“250,000 spam-related complaints reported every day at AOL alone.” - PC Magazine

If you are an online business make sure you respect your clients by mailing information they truly expect from you, make it professional and go the extra mile to ensure your willingness to comply with applicable ISP’s. When you care enough about your client you will take the steps needed to ensure you are doing everything you can do gain the highest reputation for spam-free email delivery.