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AOL and Yahoo introduce postage for emails.
jecasc




msg:383920
 8:41 pm on Feb 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a controversial system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered.

[nytimes.com...]

 

truezeta




msg:383921
 8:46 pm on Feb 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

It was bound to happen eventually. I don't think it is a bad idea.

rkhare




msg:383922
 9:06 pm on Feb 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

preferential treatment = dlvry faster by 1/n secs?

FalseDawn




msg:383923
 2:12 am on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

"guaranteed delivery straight to a user's inbox, bypassing spam filters"

Seems to me there will be a load of spammers jumping up and down, rubbing their hands together in glee at this prospect, even if they have to pay for it...

jecasc




msg:383924
 8:52 am on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think postage is the solution to the Spam problem.

In the "offline world" companies have to pay much higher postage. However this does not keep them from flooding my letterbox with advertising. And I get enough scam letters in my real letterbox from false lotteries with toll numbers, all with postage paid.

And it can send a wrong feeling of security.

Criminals will always find a way how to trick the system. By buying postage for pishing emails with stolen credit cards or by giving false information. I wonder how long it will take until the system is cracked and emails with false postage will flood around.

The danger is that people won't recognize phishing mails anymore, after all the postage has been paid for.

Visit Thailand




msg:383925
 9:25 am on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow. If aol or yahoo start doing this, and it does not cut down spam as they say it will. I will just try to ban all aol and yahoo emails!

I am all for cutting down on spam but to allow companies to bypass spam filters is just nuts. I realise that they said that they would be banned if found out but I hardly see that as too big a deterrent.

bcc1234




msg:383926
 12:44 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's great news.
Hobbyists' lists aside, if your mailings are not making your enought to pay 0.25c-1c a pop then you are in the wrong business.

I would much rather be one of the 5 e-mail messages in the prospect's inbox and pay something for it than be one out of 100 and pay nothing.

For Hobbyists' and non-profit lists, it shouldn't be too hard explaining the situation to people and asking them to add you to their address book right away.

As far as the snail mail junk argument, it's not entirely correct. If sending postage was free, we would see 1000s of new envelopes each day in our boxes, but now we see just a few. If the same thing happens to e-mail, that's really good news for those who treat (on-line) business as a business.

Besides, maybe now people will start cleansing their lists and remove addresses that don't produce clicks or other activity over a period of time as they should have been doing all along, instead of sending stuff to the black hole and hoping that one day that unresponsive subscriber buys.

oneguy




msg:383927
 1:13 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

In a broader sense, the move to create what is essentially a preferred class of e-mail is a major change in the economics of the Internet. Until now, senders and recipients of e-mail — and, for that matter, Web pages and other information — each covered their own costs of using the network, with no money changing hands.

Yeah... I'm already paying several places to send and receive email.

I think it could be cheaper, and would be enough to deter spammers. Did they do some studies, or just set an arbitrary price?

I like the idea of them trying a market solution on their own.

I think my bigger concern is whether this could evolve into a system where someone pays 10 cents to have a message delivered asap (normally on whatever networks), or pays 1 cent with a 12 hour delay. It could surely interfere with people that require email validation to keep spam off of their msg boards, etc. I didn't see any volume thresholds.

The article also says:

...which diverts suspicious messages to a special spam folder. Most of these messages will also not be displayed with their original images and links.

Also, I would think users of those services (yahoo and aol) should be able to turn this on and off at will. Maybe I don't want them screwing with my incoming email.

If they're really concerned about spam for the user, I should also have the option of charging the sender *and* sending it into my spambox. Like many of you, I'm mysteriously "subscribed" to all kinds of "opt in" lists.

jbinbpt




msg:383928
 3:07 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Users will not read the my standard disclaimer or cannot understand how their email works.

If your email filters out email from unknown recipients, you might not get e-mail conformations. Please allow e-mails from orderdesk@widget.com

I don't think adding to it will help. I see this as a AOL killer. I thiink it will be a tough sell for AOL.

Tropical Island




msg:383929
 3:33 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's a totally dumb idea and coming from the likes of AOL & Yahoo just confirms it.

Another revenue source that will come back to bite them. IMHO

Matt Probert




msg:383930
 5:54 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting read.

I wonder how many people who gave money to the American Red Cross realised that money would be spent (at least in part) in beta-testing a large corporate money-making venture?

There are other implications also. I see some companies already pay large amounts of money so that their email is not trapped as "spam", could this be used to blackmail (sorry <g>) legitimate emailers? Something along the lines of "pay up or your email doesn't get delivered?" Or more subtlely, "sorry our system accidentaly dumped your email as spam, please register and pay for our protected service"

Matt

FalseDawn




msg:383931
 8:33 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Personally, I hope it does go through - maybe it will then encourage customers of mine with aol and yahoo Email addresses who never receive my (business) Emails to get proper Email accounts.

JollyK




msg:383932
 8:45 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting. I've already banned AOL users as a whole from one of my sites. Kicking out and banning my 3,000+ Yahoo users may be next.

I kind of like the fact that anyone with an AOL or Yahoo address will see, "Sorry, AOL/Yahoo won't allow us to send you mail without paying for it. If you'd like to use our service, get a different email address where email is still free. Have a nice day."

Not that 3,000 users is even a drop in the bucket as far as AOL/Yahoo are concerned, but at least I get a sort of vicious pleasure in blocking their users and telling them that it's their fault.

Does that make me evil? :-)

JK

luckychucky




msg:383933
 1:42 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

AOL survives on the ignorance of zillions of newbies. I know this sounds like so much chatroom flame, but D@mmit, AOL sucks, it just does. Once web users get a little knowledge and Internet experience, they tend to switch ISPs. I'd be really curious to know AOL's attrition stats, ie: where they'd be if they stopped their ceaseless dissemination of ecologically heinous landfill-fodder CDroms, if the supply of virgin blood went away. Any entity which tries to monopolize your experience, to funnel you through its little extractive commercial wringers, leaves its business model vulnerable to other entities which don't engage in those activities.

willybfriendly




msg:383934
 3:40 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

AOL survives on the ignorance of zillions of newbies

In my experience, AOL survives because of a lot of middle aged and older technophobes who signed on when AOL was the only thing around and are just too stuck in their ways to try anything else.

WBF

Bilbo123




msg:383935
 6:07 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree that this is a bad idea.

Look at the statistics of mass marketing.

If a spammer can get a .1% conversion rate on a mass emaling. Not 1% - but 1/10th of 1%. I think this would be a reasonable rate since the user will look at the email closer since they have the illusion that it is valid email as told by Yahoo or AOL.

It would only cost $1.00 per 100 emails.
$10.00 per 1000 emails.
$100.00 per 10000 emails.

Then you find an affiliate program that pays well (like that of hosting where it is approaching $125 per sale if you do enough business). To make one sale at a .1% conversion you'd only need to spend $10.00 to make 1 sale and net $100+.

Do they not understand conversion rates?

Even if the conversion rate dips below 1/100th of 1% to .01% They still have to only spend $100.00 to get $100+. It will put old spammers back in business.

ikkyu




msg:383936
 6:10 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've read that its really tough to cancel your account with AOL, don't know if that's the case these days.

As for the postage that's a tough one. Is this their way to monetize spam?

Kirby




msg:383937
 6:23 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hobbyists' lists aside, if your mailings are not making your enought to pay 0.25c-1c a pop then you are in the wrong business.

I would much rather be one of the 5 e-mail messages in the prospect's inbox and pay something for it than be one out of 100 and pay nothing.

For Hobbyists' and non-profit lists, it shouldn't be too hard explaining the situation to people and asking them to add you to their address book right away.

You over estimate the average user.

for those who treat (on-line) business as a business.

An over generalization that assumes all online businesses have a similar business model.

Besides, maybe now people will start cleansing their lists and remove addresses that don't produce clicks or other activity over a period of time as they should have been doing all along, instead of sending stuff to the black hole and hoping that one day that unresponsive subscriber buys.

Another generalization that everyone who uses email in business is spamming, is an affiliate, etc. I use a closed loop, double opt-in set up. I have thousands who may not respond for months who still want these emails. I only hear from them when they dont get my emails due to a glitch or whatever.

I wont pay Yahoo or AOL. I will simply let their users know that this extortion adds to my bottom line, thereby increasing the costs for my users, so if they still want my services (100% of my email database that is 30k+ request to receive my emails), they will need to provide an alternative email.

IMO others will do the same. That leaves mainly the bulk emailers to pay the ransom, so the actual % of spam in the inbox for the Yahoo or AOL user will be higher. Freakin' brilliant move by these two clueless giants.

Webwork




msg:383938
 6:32 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will the backbone providers eventually have a payment gateway for email?

Edge




msg:383939
 6:44 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

My policy has been that my commercial customers must provide me with an email, which is not anonymous (yahoo, hotmail, aol…). I have found that individuals whom do not have a real company email are not a real customer.

As far as charging, I think everybody is aware that spam is a huge problem. Why should you or anybody else pay to process spam?

I would like to submit to all, if charging for commercial access to their customers / network is not fair, then what is?

Should the US postal service allow free junk mail? CAn you imagine what your mailbox would be like if nobody had to pay for postage?

incrediBILL




msg:383940
 6:51 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The next step will be charging us 1/3 cent to block the crap.

Just because some idiot pays to send it doesn't mean I want to see it.

So much for my Yahoo account.

ronin




msg:383941
 6:51 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

If there are to be charges for the delivery of email it should be the recipient who decides how much the charge is, not the service provider which has a different agenda entirely. It should also be the recipient who gets paid. (Perhaps the service provider can have a 1% commission or something).

A message from an unknown sender is sent to your inbox.

Your service provider says: "You have a new email from a sender not on your safelist: unidentifiedcannedproduce@enormousspamfactory.com. How much would you like to charge the sender for delivery?

You say... hmmm about $10,000?

A message gets sent back to the sender saying: "The recipient's service provider will deliver your message if you pay the recipient $10,000. Click here to Pay."

LifeinAsia




msg:383942
 6:58 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've read that its really tough to cancel your account with A*L, don't know if that's the case these days.

I signed up for AOL because I needed dial-up for a few weeks while moving to a new place and getting DSL setup.

When I called to cancel, I had to listen to the drone go on and on about why I shouldn't cancel- losing all the "free" features, nation-wide dialup access, yada yada yada. I explained several times that I was getting DSL and didn't need A*L. "Oh, you can get high speen Internet through A*L, so you don't need to cancel your A*L account!" No, because A*L's DSL parter does not service my area and even if it did, the service I have is cheaper than what they offer.

Several times I tried to explain that I understood that her supervisor said she had to go through the entire script before I could cancel, but that there there was absolutely no way she would ever be able to convince me not to cancel. But she still continued to drone on from the script. So I continued to drone on, "No thanks."

I think it took about 5 minutes to finally get it cancelled.

MaxMaxMax




msg:383943
 6:59 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The pay-to-play scheme is about certification. You have to pay to get the certificate that lets you bypass the spam filters.

But the certification is only granted if you meet specific criteria. This includes opt-in and not exceeding a certain complaint rate, for example.

In other words, spammers will not be able to get certification. Spammers cannot pay to get email delivered by AOL. This is merely a way of getting extra cash out of legitimate email marketers with big corporate budgets.

For example, those that really need to ensure order confirmations etc. get delivered.

Also, nothing changes for anyone not paying for certification. You pretty much have exactly the same chance of making into an aol mailbox as you did before.

People are making an issue of this where there isn't one.

Regindk




msg:383944
 7:00 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bet some creative people have been thinking "how can we make more money?". The thing is AOL and Yahoo reaches a massive part of the internets users. I bet this could turn out to be a "golden cow". And I am sure a lot of people are willing to pay this - "just to be sure".

Ethicly I think it's wrong... but it's business isn't it?

Edge




msg:383945
 7:08 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the bigger picture, I've been wondering why the postal services (government) have not figured out how to manage (profit) from email.

BTW, .02 per email is still alot cheaper than .34 plus a envelope, plus a letter.

HRoth




msg:383946
 7:11 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it is pretty funny that yahoo is going to be charging ostensibly in order to block spam considering that they are the source for a huge amount of the spam and phishing emails that I get, not to mention the comfy home of Nigerian scam artists of all nationalities. I'm surprised they haven't been struck by lightning yet for their hypocrisy.

As for AOL, I agree with luckychucky: They suck. Years ago when I was new to the Internet and made the mistake of signing up for AOL, I had to wait on hold for 45 minutes to cancel my account. Another time I had to wait in a 20-minute line at the post office to get a package. You know what it was? One of their damned CDs. I hate them. There is pretty much nothing they could do to win my respect except maybe spontaneously combust and rid the world of themselves.

luckychucky




msg:383947
 7:24 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I hate them. There is pretty much nothing they could do to win my respect except maybe spontaneously combust and rid the world of themselves.

I just gotta repeat that one. Utterly and totally brilliant. Thanks for adding a wonderful new phrase to my vocabulary arsenal. I assure you it will see heavy application in a great many arenas. Bra-vo!

jsinger




msg:383948
 7:33 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I used AOL in mid-90s and hated them too. Switched to a whole series of local ISPs that offered much better service and short telephone cues...until they failed a year or two later.

I now use AOL dialup as a backup service.

BillyS




msg:383949
 7:41 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>The pay-to-play scheme is about certification. You have to pay to get the certificate that lets you bypass the spam filters.

Agree, this is a good idea - look at page 2 of the article. They will be working with companies that will act as gatekeepers. If you're thinking this will be a way to sneak in adult sites and pharms, it's not going to happen. There seems to be more of a plan than to charge a toll.

This 61 message thread spans 3 pages: 61 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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