Worldata Advisory Helps Marketers Understand E-Mail Landscape

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In response to developments by the major e-mail service providers, Worldata released an advisory Friday to explain the technical issues affecting e-mail marketing return on investment.


Jay Schwedelson, corporate vice president at Worldata, cited Microsoft's move last week to start its Sender ID e-mail authentication program for e-mail sent to Hotmail users as one reason why Worldata issued the advisory.


"This is Worldata's critical analysis to dealing with a direct marketing channel in flux," Schwedelson said. "The key will be whether we throw our hands up and say, 'E-mail has failed,' or do we work within the new structures."


Schwedelson said the solutions are all ways that marketers can increase the deliverability of e-mail marketing to the recipient's inbox. It deals with e-mail deliverability, image blocking, mail content filtering, blacklists, phishing and more.


"Content filtering, blacklists and ISP black holes can have the effect of blocking the e-mail before it reaches the recipient," the advisory reads. "These problems are much harder to solve because you are now dealing with the ISP or ESP, which is trying to satisfy their client's [your recipient's] desire for a cleaner e-mail in-box. Constant vigilance on the part of the e-mail sender is needed in order to monitor the reputation that the marketing campaigns receive in the online environment."


Another section of the advisory deals with RSS feeds, which have been touted as a way to get around blocked e-mails since recipients must subscribe to the feed before the information becomes available. The advisory says the jury is still out on this technology.


"It is quite possible that RSS will catch on like wild fire in the future, but right now we only have some early adopters testing the water," it says. "This is another method in which marketing messages can be sent to opt-in recipients, but the technology is rather new and must be carefully watched for adoption among target audiences."


To download the advisory, go to www.worldata.com/ROI.


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