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Email 'Toll Booths' Coming Soon
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Email "Toll Booths" Coming Soon
By Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards I Gotta Tell You Newsletter
Copyright 2006 Jim Edwards
The end of the free ride for email marketing looms on the horizon.
The days of building up or buying a big email list and freely using it
to market and sell online are numbered like the dinosaurs heading for
an ice age cold snap.
The technical and time costs of dealing with email traffic (primarily
driven by rampant illegal spam) will soon break the back of both
Internet service providers (ISPs) and online email services.
Major online players like AOL and MSN are currently wrestling with two
solutions to the problem, but I personally think the almighty dollar
will win out in the end.
The two solutions proposed to stem the tide of commercial spam once and
for all revolve around either "white listing" email senders or charging
a "toll" (typically .25-1 cent per email message) to allow email
Currently, ISPs and email providers can either maintain their own white
lists, as in the case of AOL, or they can share one.
In the "old" days, companies could (and still do) subscribe to "black
lists" (like SpamHaus.org) which exclude email senders based on reports
of spamming and other factors.
Though the "black list" method rates the least accurate, it's currently
the most popular simply because it requires the least effort by
companies trying to block spam.
However, as spammers get smarter, black listing has proven an
ineffective spam deterrent and ISPs must get proactive if they hope to
However, an inherent weakness in the "white list" system makes charging
for commercial email inevitable.
Since white listing requires effort on the part of the ISP or email
provider (they must ultimately pay real people to manage the list),
this means additional cost.
Unlike a relatively inexpensive subscription to a "black list service"
which gets implemented automatically by software filters, white listing
requires people to do work which carries a real world cost.
Bottom line: most ISPs and email services will not be able to create,
maintain or implement a white list for very long without charging.
Yet, consumers tired of the avalanche of spam are demanding effective
protection by those they pay for Internet and email access.
Thus, any service hoping to survive long-term must adopt a hybrid of
both the white list and "toll booth" approaches.
This means not only evaluating the legitimacy of every commercial email
sender's methods, but also charging them for the email they send
through a particular service or network. It's inevitable.
Now, the cry that immediately goes up at this point sounds like this,
"What about the "little guys" who can't afford to pay the fee or the
family newsletters that aren't commercial? What about them?"
In a perfect world, their email would go through.
In the real world, their email will get lost even more frequently in
the future than it does now in the existing tangle of email filters and
inconsistent white and black listing.
The hope of survival and prosperity for the "little guy" lies squarely
in the hands of blogging and RSS feeds.
Since blogging and rss feeds enable consumers to subscribe directly to
information using an RSS "reader," they completely bypass the need to
This eliminates the "middle man" of an email provider and puts control
over what content gets received squarely in the hands of the consumer.
Though this technology has existed for several years now, awareness by
mainstream consumers of what RSS feeds are and how to subscribe to them
has been relatively slow.
The biggest contributor to the slow adoption in the mainstream has been
the absence of a universally distributed RSS "reader" on every computer
(similar to how Outlook or Outlook Express on every Windows PC helped
make email universally understood).
But that should also change shortly as more RSS readers get included in
Web browsers and email programs in the near future.
So while the "big guys" will push their messages to consumers by paying
what will surely amount to an ever- increasing "toll" to get their
emails through, the "little guys" will "pull" consumers to them with
subscriptions to blogs and RSS feeds.
Whether it happens this year, next year, or the year after - make no
mistake - the email "toll booth" is coming for commercial emailers and
So, if you depend on sending email for your company's profits, either
get ready, plan, and budget for the new tolls, or start making
arrangements to distribute your content via blogs and RSS feeds,
because the market will shortly force you to make a choice.
About the Author:
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and co-author of an
amazing program that teaches you how to use free articles to quickly
drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website, affiliate links,
or blogs... without spending a dime on advertising! Click Here>
********** Additional References **********
The Insider Secrets to E-mail Marketing -- Advanced Series - e-mail trade secrets of a mega marketing company
The MOE Manual - complete guide to ezine publishing
Your Lucky List - build your Optin lists for free!
EZ Money With Ezines - comprehensive guide to starting your own profitable ezine.
Viral Email Matrix - free list builder with RSS feeds.
Best wishes for your online success!
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