‘Certified’ email

‘Certified’ email: The blogoshere is exploding over AOL and Yahoo’s plans (and here) to offer marketers (and presumably, media companies and others) to pay a fee to allow email marketing (the “permission” kind that customers have requested) to detour past the spam filters of their email services. Most of the response seems to be outrage and writing off of email marketing. I don’t understand the problem.

If people subscribe to something and they want to receive it, I don’t see any problem in their advertising-supported free email services offering marketers a paid-option to guarantee its delivery. Please remember, the AOL or Yahoo! email account user has already signed onto an email service that serves up flashing banner ads all around the email one is reading. That AOL and Yahoo! would charge those same advertisers a fee to help speed up a marketing message to customers who have subscribed to their advertising seems completely logical to me. It’s not like the users of AOL or Yahoo! are being forced to subscribe to the advertising- email or use the advertising-supported “free” email services of AOL or Yahoo!. There is a world of options out there if you don’t like what they’re doing.

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  • Jon Henshaw

    The problem to me is that it’s the beginning of something worse. It wreaks heavily of the determination of access providers to throttle the delivery speed of not just email messages, but also content via http from their competitors. It’s because of this type of move that Google is presumably buying up dark fiber everywhere, and attempting to put a cheap Google box into every home — so we won’t have to suffer the greed and stupidity of overwhelming commercial influence on what is supposed to be a truly democratic communication medium.

    Also, AOL users and Yahoo! users (like people with paid business accounts) will suffer from this too. It’s not just the free accounts. This is rotten, and I hope they suffer publicly for even considering the move to delay legitimate Internet traffic in favor of spam (opt-in or not).

  • Don Singleton

    The problem is that if I, a normal user, send a friend of mine with an AoL account an email with a URL or a picture, but I don’t pay the 1/4 of a cent, my email may get put in his spam folder, but real spam, where the sender is willing to pay 1/4 of a cent to send it, is going to end up in his normal folder, bupassing the spam filters. If he gets that garbage in his normal folder, there is no way he is going to look in his spam folder to find my message.