CEO at SiteVisibility
09 September 2003 13:01pm
We wondered if any email marketers are receiving "bouncebacks" alleging they are a known "spammer". We use a shared email service provider whose servers have been "blacklisted" by various spamwatch websites. We've seen copies of the other emails sent by those other customers of our service provider and there is no doubt they are spam!! This means we are being "tarred by the same brush" and can't communicate with some of our key customers!! Obviously we could ditch our service provider but we wondered whether there are any simple steps we could do to avoid the hassle of moving. Can we force the service provider to withdraw the service from their other customers? Any help welcome
Fndr at Majestic12.co.uk
09 September 2003 17:16pm
This is a tough one - in many cases you won't even get bounceback because your email will get silently dropped - you need to watch dynamics of Open Rates, especially across same domain like AOL, HOTMAIL etc.
Last year when myself and some other people were considering starting email marketing company we've identified threat of being blacklisted - by chance or not the biggest threat to business. There is no easy cheap solution to this problem. What I can suggest is as follows:
1) don't try any "tricks" trying to bypass filters - if or when noticed this would work against you
2) there were some cases in the USA when big email marketing companies forced companies that operated black lists to get themselves removed - now this is costly and will generate bad PR - I suggest you identify people who blocked you and talk to them to find out more deatils, explain the situation etc
3) moving ISP is a short term solution - as you get more and more business you will find that you get blacklisted - either your clients had bad lists or intentions or something just gone wrong.
You may try talking to whoever blacklisted you AND your ISP to try to make latter show that they banned/cancelled account of whoever did anything improper before to warrant un-blocking.
Anyway to cut long story short - if I were you I'd try to be reasonable and make bet on solutions that avoid litigation. I am not a solicitor but in my humble opinion at the end of the day its a decision for customer's ISP to block or not block emails - and send has no divine right to make customers receive these emails unless there is a clear contract showing that ISP is obliged to do that.
It would be nice if you could post what you've done and how it worked here to benefit everyone else who works in this area.
Marketing Consultant at Email Marketing Solutions
12 September 2003 15:06pm
> We use a shared email service provider whose servers have been "blacklisted" by various spamwatch websites. we are being "tarred by the same brush" and can't communicate with some of our key customers!!
You may be able to request a refund (don't hold your breath), but it really depends on the provider.
> Can we force the service provider to withdraw the service from their other customers?
No. But you can vote with your feet!
It is up to the ASP to sort out this problem. Either by booting off the spammers & getting off the blacklists (difficult & time-consuming, & it does not solve your immediate problem), or by putting you onto a different (non-blacklisted) server.
The whole point of using an ASP is to save you problems!
I recommend changing providers. Yes it can be a pain, but if your marketing message is not getting seen, it's not doing you much good staying.
Your other alternative is to bring everything it in-house which will give you total control. This is cheaper in the long-term, but it depends on your expertise as to the best solution for you.
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