Spiezle: Volumes, velocity and vectors. Overall volumes of spam and malicious e-mail is up 40%, but the good news is at Windows Live Hotmail, Spam in the Inbox (SITI) is actually down over 50%. We are winning the fight, but it changes daily due to the increased volumes, attack vectors and velocity of change. E-mail marketers that are working on yesterday's paradigm of content filters may end up being blocked, junked or deleted. It requires marketers to understand the new rules of deliverability and to focus on e-mail authentication and reputation.
What steps can the industry take to ensure e-mail marketing remains effective and viable?
Spiezle: Continue to have an open dialog with the ecosystem and focus on practical solutions that can be deployed today. The online criminal loves seeing the industry debate and look for the silver bullet. Unfortunately, it does not exist. Marketers also need to get involved with organizations such as the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance, MAAWG [Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group] and others where industry is demonstrating leadership and commitment to collaboration.
What can marketers do to overcome the challenges of spam?
Spiezle: Follow the rules, focusing on their IP reputation and testing. Test on various e-mail clients before deploying. They should be signing up for programs such as junk mail reporting (JMR) and other tools to be able to proactively manage their reputation.
Marketers need to manage their reputation and not abuse users who at one point may have opted in. Marketers need to balance additional e-mail blasts versus frequency and relevancy. We often see a legitimate marketer's reputation quickly tarnished due to them failing to be sensitive to the frequency of their campaigns. Users find this abusive and typically report them as spam, resulting in a degradation of their reputation.