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Customers and Their ISPs

Customers and Their ISPs

Overcoming the spam filter problem so you can get a higher assurance of email deliverability to your customers is a tricky path to walk.  It would be one thing if the end user customer was simply using Microsoft Outlook spam filtering.  Under those circumstances, it is the end customer who is determining how to filter emails.  And to put it bluntly, the Microsoft Outlook and other local email software spam filters are just not that good. Add to that the fact that your ordinary internet citizen is not interested in becoming a full time spam security artist and the local spam filtering issue comes apart pretty fast.

But there is another level of spam filtering that is really making email deliverability a much harder road to travel if you are using cold emails and mass mailings to large groups of customers.  That is spam filtering at the ISP level.  ISP providers have much greater resources and a much greater motivation to provide sophisticated spam filtering to their customers.  The ability to control spam is a major marketing point for any ISP and if the ISP is unable to stop spam before it even reaches the customer, the customer can be easily lured away by a competitor who can get the job done.

When you are dealing with some of the biggest ISPs in the world, if you cannot enter into a relationship with that ISP to prove you are a valid internet service and to show that they should not allow their spam blocking software to block you too, you could see hundreds or thousands of your emails die before they even have a chance to go to the customer.  So to protect their customer base who for many ISP represents a huge potential marketing audience for you, ISPs will authenticate vendors to weed out the spam artists and phony operators who just want to abuse the trust customers put in their email and internet providers.

The first step to getting to a relationship of trust with the major ISPs who control access to your customers is to prove to them that you are a valid internet business.   They want to know that you are selling a bona fide product or service, that you have been in business a while and that you will be in business to support your customers after the sale.  These are not unreasonable requirements to be allowed to use the email box of potentially thousands of email customers.  

The second level of authentication that each ISP will require has to do with your integrity in the use of email as a marketing tool.  It doesn’t take a lot of examples to demonstrate that email marketing is one of the most abused forms of business communications since the carnival barker.  ISPs want to know you are not going to run scams through email to its customers and that you are going to treat customers with respect in regards to how you use your marketing privileges if they are granted.

The process of gaining approval is one you can learn about by entering into a dialog with one of the major ISPs through whom you hope to send marketing emails.  In general, the process will be the same for most ISPs after that.  So once you have walked through the process with one ISP, not only will you know the ropes but you will have the approval of that first internet business entity to show to the rest and your reputation will begin to grow with subsequent applications.  So be patient and give this process proper care and attention because the payoffs of gaining the trust of the major ISPs in the industry can be huge.

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