Categories of email


The question came up on a mailing list about how senders classify email. Steve came up with the following list of email types from the recipient (not sender) perspective

  • Transactional & Alerts
  • Marketing
  • Duplicates
  • Duplicates
  • Apologies for the preceding duplicate
  • Just sending mail so you don’t forget us
  • Opt-in confirmations
  • Welcome messages
  • COI challenges
  • Opt-out confirmations
  • Apologies and corrections to the broken URL in the preceding email.
  • Notifications that we added you to this other list over here, seeing as you’re on this one
  • Inscrutable blank messages
  • Inscrutable messages that aren’t exactly blank but seem to consist solely of a broken image
  • Other apologies, assorted
  • Reconfirmations after we got blocked at AOL
  • Different reconfirmations while we migrate to a different ESP, ‘cos the last one got blocked at AOL
  • Reminders to add us to your address book, especially at AOL
  • Cross-marketing for ISPs other than AOL
  • Spam
  • Mailing to our suppression list by accident
  • Viruses
  • Not really spam, honest, look, we have an unsub link

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  • you forgot:
    * recipes from grandma
    * lame jokes from grandpa
    * pictures of my sister’s kid
    * invitations to a friend’s party
    * surprise greetings from a long-lost classmate
    * job offers (real ones)
    * …other human-to-human communications, which are the real reason people use email. All this marketing stuff is just a side effect.

By laura

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