A series of warnings


Over the last month there have been a number of people sounding warnings about coming changes that ESPs are going to have to deal with. There has been mixed reaction from various people, many people who hear these predictions start arguing with the speaker. Some argue that our predictions are wrong, others argue that if our predictions are right then the senders will just start acting more like spammers.
I have put together a collection of links from recent blog posts looking towards the future and how things may be changing.

Permission: Posted by Jamie Tomasello on the Cloudmark blog.

[ESPs] need to require permission practices of your clients, or you need to reconsider your relationship with these clients. Is what the client is paying you enough to cover the cost of resolving deliverability issues and the damage to the reputation of your IP addresses and the reputation of your company?

Did you catch that: Posted by Al Iverson on the Spamresource blog.

This all ties in to my recent thoughts on the whole concept of email service providers and marketers repeatedly asking for ISPs to tell them what the rules are. I run into people who say stuff like this all the time: “We just need the ISPs to tell us what the rules are, and we’ll stick to them.” Except, ISPs have been telling you what the rules are for years now. Stop feigning deafness. I wish I had a dollar for every time an IP address got blocked at (big ISP) and somebody asked me, “can’t we just assign another IP address?” instead of showing any desire toward fixing the problem that caused the block.

Permission vs. Request: Posted by Christine Borgia on the AOL Postmaster blog

Permission isn’t enough. Our best practices document says “Ensure that you are only sending mail to users who specifically requested it.” Look at your opt-in process. Are people really requesting your mail? If not, I’d bet you aren’t seeing the inbox delivery you’d like to see.

Spammer is as spammer does: Posted by Mickey Chandler on Spamtacular.com

If those of us who work for ESPs start acting like spammers do, then don’t we become what we claim to hate?

Lead, Follow or get our of the way: Another post by Jamie at Cloudmark

It is time for ESPs and senders to [address problem mail]. ESPs, if you are serious about reducing abusive messages being sent through you as well as preventing your company (reputation, account managers, deliverability folks, etc) and industry from being abused, then I am willing to help and provide as much input and insight as I can. However, if it is just lip-service, I cannot help you unless you are willing to help yourselves.

Why is my window fogged up?: from Annalivia Ford, Senior Account Manager at AOL

My frustration lies in the fact that I can’t helpfully answer those questions any more, because of the ESPs and hosting companies that don’t do a really good job. This trend is not exactly a secret. […] [senders] do the least amount they could get away with to still comply with the existing standards… and no more than that. Sometimes, they’d go to great lengths to attempt to game the systems. Naturally, this behavior was noticed, adjustments were made to counter-act these tricks, and transparency decreased to virtual opacity over time, thus ruining it for the good guys.

Barry Speaks: We won’t shut-up and eat your spam: A guest post by a ISP rep on the Spamtacular blog.

What the we are trying to do is keep our own customers happy by delivering less spam and more wanted mail, and to keep our mail systems from falling over under the load. […] Clean up your mailing lists and your networks, senders, and you will find that your problems disappear without having to explain your business model for the 473895966578675560909th time to people who have already heard it 473895966578675560908 times.

ISPs are speaking is anyone listening? from: Word to the Wise

No longer are there hard metrics driving delivery decisions. ISPs are moving from complaint based filtering schemes to something a lot more squishy. The ISPs want mail that their recipients want. They don’t want mail their recipients don’t want.

The coming changes from: Word to the Wise

The ISP […] are seeing spam coming from an ESP and they expect the ESP to make it stop. This is it, ESPs, you’ve now been accepted as full members of the email ecosystem and are now expected to police the traffic coming off your IP space. It is no longer sufficient to segregate customers onto their own IPs and let the ISPs block unwanted mail. ESPs are now expected to do their own policing and their own monitoring.

Legitimate Email Marketers need to take a stand from: Word to the Wise

Being a legitimate email marketer means taking sides and taking the side aligned with the general public’s interest. It does not mean that you get a free pass against blocking and filtering at ISPs, it means that you adhere to a higher standard. It means doing the right things, rejecting the bad things and standing up against those who adopt poor practices.

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