The sledgehammer of confirmed opt-in
We focused Monday on Trend/MAPS blocking fully confirmed opt-in (COI) mail, because that is the Gold Standard for opt-in. It is also Trend/MAPS stated policy that all mail should be COI. There are some problems with this approach. The biggest is that Trend/MAPS is confirming some of the email they receive and then listing COI senders.
The other problem is that typos happen by real people signing up for mail they want. Because MAPS is using typo domains to drive listings, they’re going to see a lot of mail from companies that are doing single opt-in. I realize that there are problems with single opt-in mail, but the problems depends on a lot of factors. Not all single opt-in lists are full of traps and spam and bad data.
In fact, one ESP has a customer with a list of more than 50 million single opt-in email addresses. This sender mails extremely heavily, and yet sees little to no blocking by public or private blocklists.
Trend/MAPS policy is singling out senders that are sending mail people signed up to receive. We know for sure that hard core spammers spend a lot of time and money to identify spamtraps. The typo traps that Trend/MAPS use are pretty easy to find and I have no doubt that the real, problematic spammers are pulling traps out of their lists. Legitimate senders, particularly the ESPs, aren’t going to do that. As one ESP rep commented on yesterday’s post:
I work for an ESP and we don’t suppress domains like this, based on the theory that if a client is hitting spamtraps, we want to know so we can sanction or terminate them. But if Trend are acting in bad faith here, I guess my best bet is just to suppress any domain of theirs I can find (and it took about 30 seconds to find 2700 of them). Another Anon
That’s a sentiment I heard over and over again from companies listed by Trend/MAPS. The companies are happy to force their customers to clean up their acts. They want reports of bad behaviour by customers, but Trend/MAPS policy of forcing confirmations is taking a sledgehammer to kill a fly.
I think we have a reputation of being a bit harsh on customers, and we’re honestly a little proud of that. But I’m most proud of the fact that we are always fair and honest, even with the bad people.
We tell people what they need to change. The bad people who won’t take our advice are easy to kick out after that.
In this particular situation, we don’t have any advice to give. We don’t have a way to tell people “go do this.” Because it would be a lie. “Go remove inactives” won’t help. “Go re-confirm inactives” won’t help. Even “Go use double opt-in” won’t help if MAPS is clicking and opening everything.
And because MAPS is who they are, we can’t provide a lot of detail to customers, either. An ESP Executive
COI is a tool. It is occasionally a good tool for keeping lists clean. But I’ve worked with dozens of senders over the year that aren’t using COI and are still keeping their lists clean because they have other processes in place to do so.