Yesterday I had a call with a potential new client. She told me she had a list of 4M Yahoo addresses and she wanted to mail them twice a day. Her biggest concern was that this volume would be too much for Yahoo and her mail would be block solely on volume. As we went through the conversation, she commented that this list is also being used by someone else she knows and they were getting inbox delivery at Yahoo on every mailing.
From other bits of the conversation, I suspect that these are not the only two people using this list, but I have no feel for the volume. But how much email is each person on that list receiving a day?
I have a current client who is in a similar field to the above potential client. I signed up for their list back in December. Since then I have received 1728 emails to the address I used on their site. 4 of those emails have actually been from my clients, the rest were stolen by a partner of theirs and sold off to all sorts of mailers. Yesterday I received 40 emails.
I just cannot see how this is a valid, long term business model. The bulk of these mails are advertising payday and other kinds of loans. Some of them are duplicate offers from the same senders (judged by CAN SPAM addresses) using different From: lines. The mailbox these mails are filtered into is completely useless, it has been swamped by loan offers. I cannot imagine that anyone, even someone looking for a loan, is receptive to this much email. The only thing I can figure is that the mailers believe that if their email is the one at the top of the mailbox at the exact moment the recipient gets most desperate for money in their bank account tomorrow they will make the sale and get paid.
This model is going to be less and less viable as time goes on.
On the permission level, there really is no permission associated with that email address. Sure, I could call up the former client of mine who mailed that address today and challenge them to show me where they got the address and they would probably tell me they bought it from that company over there. But when I submitted my email address to my client’s site, I did not expect to receive offers for Mickey Mouse Collectible Watches. It certainly is not what I signed up for.
Not only is the permission tenuous, but ISPs are moving away from a permission based model for access to their subscribers. What they really care about now is how recipients react to email. An email marketing model based on getting as much email in front of the recipient as possible will be harder and harder to be profitable as ISPs get better at measuring how much their subscribers want email. The mailers who get good delivery are those are able to make the mail interesting, wanted and relevant to recipients.
It is difficult for me to imagine a case where you can make 2 emails a day relevant to 4 million recipients.