If You Attend Just One Webinar...
By Ken Magill
The Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council on March 17 is conducting a webinar rerun of a panel discussion from its February conference that sparked one of the most ferocious debates in permission-based email in years.
If you attend one email-marketing webinar this year, this is the one. And, no, neither the DMA nor the EEC has paid me for this endorsement.
The February panel that spawned next week’s webinar turned much of conventional wisdom surrounding email deliverability and so-called engagement on its head.
For example, contrary to the claims of many email-service-provider deliverability experts over the years, John Scarrow, general manager of safety services for Microsoft, and other email inbox provider representatives said they do not monitor clicks to determine whether or not incoming messages should be treated as spam.
What is more, representatives of Microsoft, Gmail and Comcast reportedly said they do not turn dormant email addresses into recycled-address spam traps. An AOL representative reportedly said they sometimes do.
Email marketing conventional wisdom has long held that email inbox providers turn abandoned email addresses into spam traps after varying periods of inactivity. Marketers who hit those addresses can be labeled as spammers because sending messages to them indicates a dirty list.
Now, we find out three of the big email inbox providers claim they don’t turn old email addresses into spam traps.
This, however, doesn’t mean they never did or others don’t.
A Microsoft executive told me several years ago that the company turned some addresses into spam traps after 18 months of no log-in activity.
However, the information reportedly revealed at the panel discussion does seriously call into question some email experts’ recommendations that marketers remove email addresses from their files after showing no open or click activity for a certain period of time—18 months is a number tossed around a lot.
The news led me to believe the whole email engagement discussion has been based on one big fat load of BS.
The ensuing debate has apparently led the EEC to get the band back together, so to speak, and I thank them for that.
I plan on writing about the webinar as soon as possible after it ends. As a result, next week’s newsletter will be late by possibly as long as a day.
Register for the webinar here.