Chapell & Associates

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Let's Kill Off the 'Report Spam' Button

ClickZ Newsletter - June 1, 2006
Later this month, if a cake is provided, I'll blow out 50 candles to mark the anniversary of my birth. Not sure I'm any wiser after all these years, but I am less patient with those who waste time. This world has no shortage of real problems to deal with, so we should focus on putting our energies, support, and priorities in order. This entire debate around spam, filters, blocking, absorption, Sender ID (define), and DomainKeys (define) ad nauseam has reached my boiling point. For the almost 28 years I've been in the ad business, there have been people who won't stop complaining until there's no shred of commercial messaging available anywhere on the planet. These are the folks who don't like commercials on TV, too many print ads in their magazines, :30 spots on radio, billboards, telephone calls, direct mail, pop ups, banners, and so on. It appears these folks will never be satisfied...

The Chapell View
I agree with Big Al on the problems caused by the "Report Spam" button, and completely understand the frustration over the propensity of the anti-marketing zealots (and others who simply can't be bothered with finding the unsubscribe button) to use "Report Spam" as a first, rather than a last resort.

Having said that, (and at great risk of sounding like one of those "anti-marketing zealots") I think that part of the problem lay in email marketers' reliance upon hitting the "Send Button" instead of taking the necessary (and sometimes costly) steps to build an effective preference program. Even many of the so called "legitimate" emailers have told me both privately and publicly that they don't have the resources to develop such a program. Al talks about email marketers that "fail" to develop a relationship with their audience - it's hard to build that relationship unless you know something about the audience AND use that knowledge to engage them...

On a similar note, I had a chat with Richard Gringas from GoodMail last week. And I now have a significant amount of confidence that GoodMail may hold a solution to both of these problems. First, if ISPs use Goodmail's certification as a determining factor in whether email gets through, that will likely lessen the impact upon deliverability of those Users who are prone to hit the "Report Spam" button. Second, if emailers are forced to incur additional costs around sending additional email messages, they may be forced to make a business decision prior to hitting the "Send Button." I guess we'll see...
posted by Alan on Thursday, June 01, 2006

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