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State of the Industry

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a series of posts on the blog from various authors who are active in the email space.

I posted A very young industry commenting on the lack of experience among email marketers. I think that some of the conflict between ISPs and ESPs and receivers and marketers can be traced back to this lack of longevity and experience. Often there is only a single delivery expert at a company. These people often have delivery responsibilities dropped on them without any real training or warning. They have to rely on outside resources to figure out how to do their job and often that means leaning on ISPs for training.

JD Falk described how many at ISPs feel about this in his post With great wisdom…

we’re also tired with teaching the same thing to people with the same title, and feeling like the message never gets through. Part of what we’re saying is “It’s your industry, you’ve learned this stuff, now you teach ‘em.”

His comments are similar to comments I’ve heard from many people behind the spamfilters at ISPs and spam filtering companies. Some ESPs go through delivery folks almost yearly. Those new delivery folks then reach out to the ISPs and ask the same question their predecessor asked a year ago which, in turn, was the same question that their predecessor asked the year before that. Really, the ISPs don’t like repeating themselves like this. I keep telling them they should just cut and paste their previous answers until the questions change.

Finally, Phil Schott posted You must be present to win pointing out the lack of resources.

There’s no books on this stuff and you can’t go to school to get your BA in deliverability. All we’ve got is each other.

While he’s right and there are no books or school lessons, I’m not quite sure how useful they would be. Things in the email space change very fast and what was true a few months ago may not be true now. However, there are some resources for people who want to learn about delivery. I have been working on the delivery wiki as a place to categorize and clearly present information to people. MAAWG holds training sessions for senders at every conference (and they’re always looking for suggestions for what kind of training sessions people want). There are other conferences and meetings that offer delivery help.

I think there are other options as well. But the real solution is more involvement and more information sharing between delivery professionals. The knowledge is there and we can share it among ourselves. We don’t need to rely on the overworked and underpaid staff at the ISPs to teach the newbies how to do their jobs.

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