Mequoda Applauds AOL and Yahoo! Premium Email Delivery Plan

Internet marketing professionals, users, email services providers and Internet service providers are all winners with AOL and Yahoo!’s plan to provide legitimate email senders a premium delivery email plan that guarantees their mail makes it to the inbox.

Executive Summary

A few Internet marketing professionals have asked me what I think about the AOL and Yahoo! plan to start charging a fee for premium email delivery. These two companies, which are two of the world’s largest Email Service Providers (ESPs), are planning to roll out a certified email delivery service based on partner company Goodmail Systems’ Certified Email methodology that will give preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay for premium email delivery. Companies who participate will pay $2.50 per M for “gold list” premium email delivery. The senders must certify that they are only sending to people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely.

  • 30 to 40 percent of all email that is not returned still ends up in the junk box or dropped—where it has little or no chance of being seen or responded to.
  • The Goodmail Systems’ Certified Email plan will increase email inbox delivery to 99 percent for registered mailers who follow the rules—creating a 50 percent increase in average email delivery and relayed response rates.
  • Thus, any email sender who generates $5 per M in value from the current system will have no trouble feeling good about the $2.50 per M they pay for delivery.
  • “Gold List” delivery will be unavailable to spammers.
  • Legitimate mailers who average $10 to as much as $200 per M emails sent will rejoice at finally being made a client of the system

AOL and Yahoo! say the new system is a way to restore order to email, which because of spam has become an increasingly unreliable way for companies to reach their customers. My clients wondered how I felt about this program, seeing that email marketing is the cornerstone of the Mequoda Internet Marketing System.

I think a gold list email delivery system is a great idea. In fact, we’ve been lobbying AOL, MSN and Yahoo! to do this for more than three years!

For Internet marketing professionals, we predict that the added cost will be easily offset by a 30 to 50 percent increase in inbox delivery, which will translate into a comparable lift in revenue per thousand. Perhaps it is even more valuable to those who can now rely on email as the primary way to send a message that must get through—like an opt-in confirmation, purchase receipt or other bit of critical information. “Gold List” email will be the telegram or certified letter of the 21st century—finally fulfilling the promise to save time and money that is still being wasted on postal delivery efforts.

Our opinion is that if you can’t afford to pay $2.50 to send a thousand emails, then you’ll stop sending emails. You’re just bothering people. The economics of email delivery are backwards at the moment. For the postal system, the sender pays and this economic reality creates some level of economic responsibility.

Even if the $2.50 per thousand is used just to maintain the staff required to process and handle the Gold List of ESPs and senders who register and pay to send, we’ll all be better off for it. I’ve sat face-to-face with the folks from AOL, MSN and Yahoo! and heard them talk about the need to bring the sender into the economic of email delivery. As a card-carrying free-market capitalist, I have infinite confidence in people’s willingness to do what benefits them economically. Email senders will stop sending email that doesn’t make money and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like AOL and Yahoo! will now have a clear business motive to keep email senders like you and me happy by getting our messages to the inbox—where our customers can actually read them.

If we want ISPs to put resources toward registering and policing email senders then we need to give them the resources to do so. White listing has always been a tough proposition because the ISP has no business relationship with the email sender. This new system where the sender pays will change all that and make the responsible sender a client of the system.

Perhaps the biggest plus for legitimate email senders will be the ability to really rely on one-off emails like opt-in confirmations, purchase receipts and email newsletters to be delivered 99.9 percent of the time. If the email is going to replace postal mail, then it must be as reliable as postal mail, if not more so. To do this, there must be a solid, monitored, economic relationship between commercial email senders and ISPs.

Bravo to AOL and Yahoo!. I can only hope that MSN, Google and all the companies that help corporations manage their private email delivery are close behind.

Do you agree? Do you foresee your company participating in this new program? Please share your opinions below. We’d love an open discussion on this issue, especially between Internet marketing organizations that rely on email delivery as a major source of revenue and/or a cost-effective channel for communicating valuable information to their customers.

    Certified D.

    They just try to create a 2-Tier Internet community. Internet as well email will work with goodmail at any time. They started in 2006 and now in 2009 i havent seen much hype about it.


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