Magill Warns Against Email Dangers
CAPTIVA ISLAND, Fla. -- Ken Magill gave a wide-ranging address Wednesday offering email marketers advice on topics from brand reputation to Internet service providers (ISPs) to CAN-SPAM.
Magill, the founder of Magilla Marketing, said email marketers need to avoid the temptation of sending out masses of emails, although that can drive immediate results. It could be penny-wise, but pound-foolish.
"Sending unwanted email is a very brand-damaging act," he said at MediaPost's Email Insider Summit. "Think about what you're doing." Email click-throughs and purchase results can be tracked, but the negative opinion a barrage generates that festers can't be measured. "When you send garbage, [consumers] hate you for it," Magill added. "Email is a very visceral thing."
There may be a larger problem with "garbage." ISPs could block it, preventing marketers from delivery. Working through an ISP's spam accusations can be difficult, labyrinthine and render a marketer powerless.
After all, "it's their pipes, they own them," Magill said, noting that courts have upheld the right of ISPs to block potential spam. "You can't call up and say: I paid you to deliver my stuff, where is it?" he said.
ISPs use a variety of strategies to identify potential spammers, such as putting dummy addresses on the Internet and monitoring which emailers capture them.
Should a blockade emerge, Magill suggested marketers work with their email service providers (ESPs). Many have longstanding relationships with ISPs that can help in the near term and systems and expertise to prevent blockage going forward.
Magill said email marketers sometimes approach ISPs with the argument that they are CAN-SPAM compliant, but that is hardly a proactive tactic. "You're basically saying you're not a criminal," he said.