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The Email Postage Stamp possibilityViews: 1966
Feb 08, 2006 11:47 amThe Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Denise O'Berry
Lisa --

What are your thoughts about this new development regarding email postage stamps? Should small business owners be worried?

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
If It's Such A Simple Thing To Make Money Online, Why Don't More People Do It? The truth? The majority don't do it because they don't try. Here's your chance to learn how to create a simple online business.

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Feb 08, 2006 4:14 pmre: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Roger Ellerton
Hi Denise,

Thanks for raising this subject. As I understand it, some ISPs are proposing to charge between a 1 cent per e-mail sent. This is an optional fee and guarantees that your e-mail will not be designated as spam at other ISPs.

I write a monthly newsletter. I pay a significant amount of money to manage this newsletter and to have it distributed to those who have requested it. In addition, I devote a considerable amount of my personal time researching and writing this newsletter. Yet many of my subscribers do not receive it because of spam filters. What does this loss cost me? I would be very happy to pay a small fee to ensure that my newsletter gets to everyone who subscribes.

Also this past week I have had many problems corresponding with a new client because somewhere between me and her, my e-mails are being trapped by a spam filter. Fortunately, she has other e-mail addresses and we have used the telephone. But how many opportunities have I lost because an e-mail has been trapped by a spam filter and what does this cost me?

What do the rest of you think?

Author of Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up

Private Reply to Roger Ellerton

Feb 08, 2006 4:39 pmre: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

lisa micklin
Hi Denise and all,

Thanks for bringing this up. I've been watching this issue develop while nursing a flu, hoping that the flu had me hallucinating the whole shabang! Now that I'm down to a stuffy head and the sniffles, I'm in awe that it wasn't just a fever induced dream!

For those who haven't yet heard about the AOL/Yahoo/Goodmail fiasco, here's my mundane understanding and translation of the situation:

~ ClikZ stated that AOL (and eventually Yahoo) would be dissolving its "enhanced whitelist" program for bulk senders and replacing it with the paid Goodmail system. Meaning that senders would have to pay, yes $$$, to deliver email with functional links and images to AOL subscribers.

~ The current "enhanced whitelist" program that AOL uses to determine deliverability is based on a sender's IP history: how many spam complaints, bounces, etc. against the sending IP. For instance, EZezine is on this enhanced whitelist because we get very few complaints from subscribers and we send to only legit addresses etc. It's a system that works for the most part.

~ It later was revealed that AOL will not discontinue the "enhanced whitelist" program, but is suggesting that senders also use the paid Goodmail solution, which would add a note to the header that the sender is part of this program.

~ The verdict is still out on whether or not this paid program will become mandatory.

For a rapid history of the whole fiasco please check out Email Universe's articles at http://tinyurl.com/859wh and at http://tinyurl.com/8cjn9

Now for my thoughts:
This is insane. Think of it, you're a small or newbie ezine publisher and suddenly you have to PAY to deliver to AOL subscribers. Give me a break.

Personally, I'd have no problem dropping my AOL subscribers to my ezines and adding a script to my subscription form that will not accept AOL addresses with a message suggesting that the potential sub signup with a different address. AOL subs comprise a very small portion of my lists. However for other publishers this may not be the case so it may not be a good solution for all.

I understand the need to curtail spam. I understand it deeply every morning when I download my email. However, a pay to deliver model is not the answer. Spammers will still find a way, and may even pay the fees requested.

What the industry truly needs are STANDARDS. Not proprietary authentications (SPF) that vary from one incoming ISP to another. Just think of the size of your email headers if you were to attempt to abide by every SPF policy available. It would be ludicrous. The current responsive AOL "enhanced whitelist" is pretty stable. In fact if more ISPs subscribed to the same practice with the same parameters, it could truly set an industry standard.

Assuming industry standards do get set, the next or concurrent step would be to find a standard to test for spoofed IP addresses. For instance EZezine's IPs are all in good standing. Yet a spammer could spoof any of our IP addresses and ride our standing and get us off of the whitelist. This is a problem area that must be targeted in order to see any effective change.

So, as I see it, I'm not willing to pay to deliver to AOL. Or Yahoo. Or any other incoming mail server.

How about the rest of you? What are your thoughts on this situation?

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Feb 08, 2006 4:56 pmre: re: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

lisa micklin
Hi Roger,

>As I understand it, some ISPs are proposing to charge between a 1 cent per e-mail sent.

Let's not forget the $200-$400 fee just to sign up for the program! Is it still worth it?

>Also this past week I have had many problems corresponding with a new client because somewhere between me and her, my e-mails are being trapped by a spam filter.

Were you sending via your domain name: live-your-dreams.biz? If so, you should go to your webhost (or whoever you send your outgoing mail through) and ask them what gives. I certainly would!

Just a few more thoughts,

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Feb 08, 2006 4:57 pmre: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Russ Jackman
I don't tend to send a lot of ezines, but my clients do. My advice to them would be:

(i) Drop AOL subscribers, or encourage them to sign up for a Gmail or other web-based service to receive their e-zines, or

(ii) Since I have paid to reach AOL subscribers with my advertising message, I would make sure that my message includes advertising from competing service providers.


Private Reply to Russ Jackman

Feb 08, 2006 5:01 pmre: re: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Christopher Knight, http://EzineArticles.com/
This issue all comes down to trust and reputation.

AOL wants their users to TRUST them when they say an EMAIL should be trusted as legitimate.

Most of the mudslinging this past week was from Goodmail System competitors who got excluded from this winfall contract from AOL.

For now, I don't think there is anything TO DO, other than wait and watch your deliverability into AOL more closely this year.

Chris Knight

Private Reply to Christopher Knight, http://EzineArticles.com/

Feb 08, 2006 5:13 pmre: re: re: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Denise O'Berry
Thanks Lisa for making this a hot topic and providing your opinion. Also thanks to everyone else for your thoughts.

Frankly I don't have many AOL people on my lists, so it wouldn't be a huge problem if they had to go. But I'd rather not.

What really concerns me about this is the long term strategy of paying for email. Don't we already pay to access the internet via our ISP? The person sending is paying and so is the person receiving. I can see this spiraling out of control and starting discussions about other ways to squeeze small business owners.

I think this is just another stab at stopping the flow of SPAM and I don't think it will work any better than CAN-SPAM did. We really need to focus on the problem, not the symptoms.

And as history has shown, once fees start they don't typically go away and most of the time they just increase.

Great discussion!

Denise O'Berry

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Feb 08, 2006 6:04 pmre: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Andrew Barnes

Hi Everyone,

I think this is my first posting at this network, though I have been a keen reader for sometime.
I have met many here already at other networks. If I am a new face to you,do please visit my Ryze page to find out more about me

Given the comments already posted concerning AOL subscribers, I thought I would flag up the much more worrying entry of Yahoo into the fray.
Many of my subscribers prefer to use a Yahoo address for their subscriptions, as indeed, do I, so this development, I feel could prove to be very damaging to us 'smaller guys'. I personally am starting to look at alternative delivery systems.

America Online (AOL) and Yahoo, two of the world's largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), have engaged Goodmail Systems (www.goodmailsystems.com) to implement a sender certified e-mail system over the next month or two. Each message sent through Goodmail is imbedded with a security token that will be read by participating ISPs, which then mark the e-mail as certified and slip it past any spam filters, directly into the recipient's inbox. AOL announced that it would receive a share of the revenue, but assured CNN that such revenue would be "modest" and used to beef up the company's anti-spam efforts.

Goodmail Systems CertifiedEmail Acceptable Use and Security Policy v 1.06 (www.goodmailsystems.com/aup.pdf) outlines what e-mail practices they deem acceptable. They charge a non-refundable application fee for accreditation of $399 ($199 through July 31, 2006). Costs for accredited commercial e-mailers to send e-mail is then 0.2 to 0.4 per e-mail, depending upon volume. Qualifying non-profits will not be charged through 2006.

Autograph your work with excellence

Private Reply to Andrew Barnes

Feb 09, 2006 1:41 amre: The Email Postage Stamp possibility#

Nicole Allard
Wow, I hadn't heard of this until just now. I guess it does have its pros and cons. The pro being that my newsletter would get out to more subscribers, instead of getting bounced or stuck in the junk sender's list. The con, of course, would be more expense on my part.

I think I would probably pay it. I guess I will have to wait and see. I will definitely be reading more about this! Thanks for the heads-up!

Best Regards,

Nicole Allard
Writer's Success

Private Reply to Nicole Allard

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