If you thought spam filters were trouble, read this!

To avoid the massive spam waves, spam filtering mechanism were created.
They all have their pro and contra’s, but most of all they are managed by individual organizations or persons. Difficult to get a grip on and no legal aspects are involved in the process.

A small overview:
– IP blacklists: only IP related and therefore not that efficient since spammers switch IP’s.
– Content filtering: based on the emails content and sometimes with very unclear rules.
– DNS lookups: not used everywhere and difficult to implement.

So IPS’s had to come up with something more specific on top of this existing mechanisms.

Reputation management was born!

From now on the customer is in control. Every time they get an email in and hit the spam button, this feedback is logged. All feedback information is stored and used together with all the other spam filtering techniques  based on and ISP individual algorithm. So basically it is very important that they don’t hit that spam button, right?

Now comes reality!

A study of  MarketingSherpa and Q Interactive (September-November 2007) proves that 41% of the respondents indicated to hit the junk button if “The email was of no interest for them.” Even better! 47% thought that by hitting the spam button they were just unsubscribing for the email list of that sender.

So basically the relevancy and frequency of your email campaigns will also determine whether or not you will be marked as a spammer.

In conclusion:

– ISPs and reputation services are increasingly looking to consumer complaints as the primary measure used to filter “unwanted email” and not just spam.
– Consumer satisfaction will increasingly drive the deliverability of your email program.
– The definition of spam has changed from permission to perception based.
– Strong permission standards and list hygiene practices aren’t enough anymore.


Kenny Van Beeck

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