Is the "IronPort" Whitelist Actually An Extortion Tactic Targeting Small, But Legitimate Email Marketers?

Written by Jim Edwards

It appears that Mr. Gates' prophetic prediction that charging marketers to send email acrossrepparttar Microsoft email networks (MSN and Hotmail) to cut down on Sp*m is about to come true.

According to CIO Today, Microsoft is now employing "IronPort Anti-Spam Technology."

"IronPort" is a paid "white-list" for people who send "mass email" (including newsletter publishers, ezine publishers, affiliate managers, mini-course operators, and basically anyone who has a list of opt-in emails).

If you send any type of email where you do a broadcast to everyone on your list, this applies to you.

If you want your email broadcasts to get through their filters, you must pay a hefty fee and post a "bond."

Here are some facts about this developing story:

1. They charge by how much email you send a month, butrepparttar 109541 minimum charge is a: $375 Application Fee, plus $500 Annual License Fee, plus $500 "Bond" fee. That's $1,375.00 just to get inrepparttar 109542 game.

If you want to seerepparttar 109543 complete breakdown, go here

2. If you go overrepparttar 109544 "complaint" threshold of 1 complaint per month, then they will debit $20 from your bond fee for each complaint to "fine" you for being naughty.

Now that sounds good onrepparttar 109545 surface, but here's a scenario to try on for size:

Your competitor / enemy / Net "psycho" signs up for 50 fr~e email accounts at HotMail and complains about you every month when you send your newsletter.

49 complaints (50 - 1 allowed complaint) times $20 a complaint comes out to $980 in fines.

Now, can you disputerepparttar 109546 fines? Sure, absolutely!

But how much will you lose in time, energy and effort disputingrepparttar 109547 allegations? (My guess is, a whole lot more than that.)

You can check out allrepparttar 109548 "rules" here

Here arerepparttar 109549 details ofrepparttar 109550 program straight fromrepparttar 109551 horse's mouth...

Here's my take on this whole thing (which dropped on me out ofrepparttar 109552 blue today):

First, don't get me wrong... I hate sp~m with a passion!

I spend at least an hour a day fighting it (down from 3 hours a day just a few weeks ago before I shut down about 2 dozen email addresses that got harvested by spambots overrepparttar 109553 last few years).

With that said, this whole "IronPort" thing sounds and smells to me like "white list" extortion.


Here'srepparttar 109554 basic premise: "Pay to get your email through our filters, or else you runrepparttar 109555 very likely risk of not getting your email through at all."

In fact, here's a *direct quote* from their website

<-- Start Quote -->

"What happens if I don't bond my email? You're rollingrepparttar 109556 dice and taking your chances with spam filters, black lists and bulk folders. Some days all of your email may be delivered; other days 30-50% could be blocked."

<-- End Quote -->

Kind of reminds you of a cheesy mafia movie on late night TV:

Me: "Hey Bugsy, what happens if I don't pay my 'protection' money this month? What if I stand up to you and refuse to pay?"

Bugsy: "Well, maybe nothin' will happen to you becauserepparttar 109557 Boss ain't payin' attention when I tell him you decided not to pay. Onrepparttar 109558 other hand, maybe I'll just smack you around a little bit... or maybe-- I'll BREAK YOUR LEG with this baseball bat! Go ahead and not pay us... then we'll see what happens!"

Now, back to my question: "Why should I have to pay a huge fee to send email to people who have opted in to my lists?"

The argument from Microsoft (and soon to be other ISP's) is thatrepparttar 109559 uncontrolled sp~m onrepparttar 109560 web is costing them a lot of money to deliver email nobody wants to read.

Well, if that'srepparttar 109561 case, aren't email users shelling out cash or credit to pay their ISPs for email services (mine charges me $40 a month for cable), or paying for free services like HotMail or Yahoo Mail through viewing advertising on every page?

Email Marketing Strategies That Work

Written by Philip Lim

Whilerepparttar main use of email marketing is to drive traffic to your web site, there are other important reasons that email communications should be used as part of your firm's marketing strategy.

You should use them, and use them often, to create an effective overall marketing strategy, of which your emails are an important part.

Strategy One: Brand identification.

Brand identification is one ofrepparttar 109540 fundamental concepts of marketing, and you can use emails to contribute to yours.

Brand identification is letting people know who you are, and what you stand for, by creating an image in their minds.

This is literally gold inrepparttar 109541 marketing arena.

We pay more for Nikes, not because they're always better than competitors, but because ofrepparttar 109542 image that advertisers have created for us.

So how can you use email to do this?

If your firm is high tech, then you'll want emails and newsletters that show this.

Berepparttar 109543 one to use "streaming media" or "online video" in your emails (offer this as an option though, along with a less high-tech option for those without broadband connections).

Does your firm appeal to young consumers who like things that are unusual?

Or who like funky humor?

Then let your fonts and graphics play into this.

Are you sending out financial reports to baby boomers in your newsletters?

Then conservative colors and fonts should be used.

The tone ofrepparttar 109544 writing you use, and evenrepparttar 109545 topics you include in each email communication are building up brand identification inrepparttar 109546 minds of those who read them.

Try to be consistent, and reach your target audience (people who are most likely to buy from you) with content that appeals to them, and you'll see response rates grow.

Use your emails to tell customers about special updates and products: inrepparttar 109547 old days, we put up flyers or sent direct mail ads; now we tell our customers by email.

This is a highly effective marketing strategy, because John may be ready to update his outmoded software and welcome your notice, or Sally may be glad to hear that there's a special at her local hair salon.

You can save a lot of money by using email to advertise your specials instead of printing and mailing out ads.

This is one reason that email marketing is often best used along with offline marketing methods:repparttar 109548 two go hand-in-hand, andrepparttar 109549 most successful firms use both.

Strategy Two: Use Your Emails To Build good customer relations.

This is one ofrepparttar 109550 most effective uses of emails, since if they are used positively to build up your firm's reputation for service and attentiveness, you will see sales and customer retention go up.

CRM is a big buzzword in marketing circles today, and for good reason: people will simply go elsewhere if they believe that they are receiving better service (or value) elsewhere.

Fromrepparttar 109551 autoresponders that your firm sends when clients fill out an order form, confirming that their order was received and is being processed, torepparttar 109552 news updates you send your opt-in list, repparttar 109553 quality of your communications can go a long way towards creating positive relations.

Grammatically correct, polite emails that let customers know that you will contact them shortly, and that provide contact information in case they need to reach you immediately can be a powerful marketing tool.

Use your emails to answer customer questions, and overcome objections to buying from you. If your emails are polite, answer client questions in a clear, easy-to-understand manner, and give themrepparttar 109554 information they are asking for, you've probably just won a customer!

You can also send out "articles" that help address common customer concerns, that can bring down barriers to buying from you (for instance, an article that discusses financing options, and how to get a great mortgage loan, would be a natural for a real estate company to send in one of its newsletters).

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