It’s pretty easy to tell when an ISP has made changes, as my normally peaceful office is filled with our support team presenting tickets about delivery problems. Lately, Gmail has been up on the list, but before that it was MSN, and before that…well…you get the idea.
These changes usually result in a lot of frustration on the marketers’ end, trying to figure out how to change their policies, or what new structure needs to be implemented to solve the problem. More often than not, the answer to the problem is the same: “Clean your list” and “review your list building practices.”
The greatest part about using “best practices” for your email marketing efforts is that these changes never affect you. Postmasters have no problem with marketers that follow the rules, and if anything, they want to reward them for not causing problems. Whenever changes are made, the only marketers who are affected are those who aren’t following best practices.
In many ways, it’s like a political game. Somebody finds a loophole and abuses it, ISPs cover that loophole and another is found. If you aren’t utilizing those loopholes in the first place, then you won’t be affected when the loophole is closed. This brings me to a point that can apply in all aspects of life:
Just Because Something Isn’t Specifically Prohibited Doesn’t Mean that It’s Okay
Sadly, because of the history created by spammers and bad marketing, it’s been left up to the ESPs to find solutions to those loopholes, which can sometimes make it hard for legitimate marketing emails to make it into the inbox. In this case, doing your best is easier than doing your worst.