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What matters for reputation?

There is a contingent of senders and companies that seems to believe that receiver ISPs and filtering companies aren’t measuring reputation correctly. Over and over again the discussion comes up where senders think they can improve on how reputation is measured.
One factor that is continually repeated is the size of the company. I’ve even seen a couple people suggest that corporate net worth should be included in the reputation calculation.
The problem with this suggestion is that just because a company is big or has a high net worth or is on the Fortune500 doesn’t mean that the mail they send isn’t spam. I’ve certainly received spam from large, name brand companies (and organizations). I’ve also consulted with a number of those companies who bought or appended a list and then had to deal with the fallout from a Spamhaus listing or upstream disconnection.
Sure, there is a certain logic to company size and prominence being a part of a reputation calculation. For instance, my experience suggests consumers who recognize a brand are less likely to treat mail as “spam” even if they didn’t sign up for the mail in the first place. Certainly there are large brands (Kraft, FTDDirect, 1-800Flowers, OfficeDepot) that have been caught sending mail to people who never opted in to their lists.
Many people don’t realize that company size and prominence are already factored into the reputation scores. No ISPs don’t look at a mail and, if it’s authenticated, add in a little positive because it’s part of a giant, name brand company. Rather, the recipients change how they interact with the mail. Even recipients who didn’t sign for mail from Office Depot may click through and purchase from an offer. Some recipients recognizing the brand will hit delete instead of “this is spam.”
All of these things mean that big brands have recognition that takes into account that they are prominent brands. Elaborate processes and extra reputation points given to big brands don’t need to happen, they’re already an innate part of the system.
 

3 comments

  1. David Romerstein says

    We laugh and shake our heads at celebrities who try to get out of trouble by yelling “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”. This is just the business equivalent, and should be treated as such.

  2. Al says

    A couple weeks ago, a client asked me, “What is the appeals process at Yahoo for legitimate brands like ours?” If I had a dollar for every time I had heard that, I wouldn’t be rich, but that would be a welcome few hundred dollars.

  3. The Proverbial Barry says

    what this shows is that senders think isp staff are idiots
    they think we look at them with disdain but actually it is the other way around

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