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Typical ESPs

Yesterday, I gave examples of good ESPs and the benefits that their customers receive from their high standards and standards enforcement. Today I’ll be talking about typical ESPs and the things they say and do.

A few caveats before I get started. Most of these quotes are composite quotes. I am not quoting one particular person or ESP, rather, the statement is representative of a common view point. None of these quotes is a one off, all of these quotes have been said by more than one person. These where chosen as a representation of some of the attitudes and policies that leads ISPs and filtering companies to throw up their hands at the ESPs.

  • Consent is paramount to us […] well, yes we do allow customers to purchase lists and do epending.
  • We know the customer is spamming, but they’re too big and too valuable to disconnect.
  • We rotate IP addresses so when there is a block, we can switch to an unblocked IP.
  • We know people are putting addresses that don’t belong to them into the subscription form, but as long as the client is making money, we aren’t going to stop them or make them confirm permission.
  • Our mail is CAN SPAM compliant.
  • Complaints are low, so our customers can’t be spamming.
  • We honor all unsubscribes.
  • They’re a reputable brand, they can’t be spamming.
  • We do not allow advertising scams or viagra mail.
  • Our customers assure us the mail is opt-in.

ESPs are struggling in a crowded and competitive field to maintain standards as high as they can while not losing high value customers. If they set standards too high, their customers will flock to competitors with lower standards. ESPs in the typical category are not all bad, though. In many cases, particularly with the very large brands, they do act as forces of good on senders. The ESPs educate senders and force them to adhere to better practices than the senders would do on their own. The presence of ESPs results in less spam and unwanted email in the ecosystem and in recipients’ inboxes.

Also, many of the individuals working for the typical ESP spend a lot of time working with customers and with management to improve standards and decrease the bad mail coming through their network. They are a dedicated group of people and their actions do have a positive effect over all.

9 comments

  1. R Johnson says

    The answer is to penalise all ESP’s with lower standards so delivery rates are poor. It’s that simple. It’s not unreasonable for an ESP to demand that a customer has a permission based list and respects requests for removal. Any ‘customer’ of an ESP not happy with that is no better than a spammer.

    1. laura says

      The good and typical ESPs do demand the customer has permission based lists and respects requests for removal. Just doing that isn’t always enough, though.

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