The Christmas wish lists at my home have been fulfilled: a Wii for my daughters, a remodeled kitchen for my wife, Guitar Hero for me — er, the girls, I mean. Now, here’s my wish list for the email industry in 2008:
The problem is, the ISPs have not yet made authentication a requirement. Thus, a legitimate sender who has authenticated is not rewarded for its efforts but in fact is penalized if the authentication records are set up incorrectly.
Just the other day an email from my favorite well-known jewelry store arrived in my Gmail inbox with the Google ads on top of the email instead of along the side. The email was simply too wide — this company ignored the most basic of rendering best practices.
I wish corporate departments would relinquish control of these and other email programs to their internal email marketing experts to ensure emails are coordinated across the enterprise, designed and managed for deliverability, support the brand strategy and achieve better results through a higher level of execution.
Pounding away at your list might actually cost you money. When you factor in list churn (increased spam complaints, unsubscribes and bounces), more disaffected subscribers and the cost to reacquire these lost customers, your short-term revenue increase could turn to a deficit in 12 to 18 months.
The first project could be the next item on my list:
Regardless of your views on regulation, the best way to stave off onerous legislation is to clean up our own act. Stopping large-scale spammers and phishers will continue to challenge law enforcement and IT innovation; I’m more worried about large-scale marketers who deploy questionable tactics under the guise of getting a solid ROI and who hurt email’s reputation for those that do understand that customers are, in fact, in control.