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Get a Professional Certificate - When you decide which profession you wish to enter, you should check first to see if your chosen field offers a certificate. If it does...

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Email Marketing Questions

Q:I'm doing some research to find out if and how the bulk email marketers validate the email addresses to whom they've sent email. For instance, if some firm sends out x-million messages, do they use any means to find out how many of those messages were delivered and opened? I'm not talking about bounced messages which they can obviously track, but the non-bounced messages. Do they assume that no-response messages were delivered, or are there mechanisms in place to track/count the successful "opened" messages, and by extension, back-validate their original list by email address to the messages that got opened? I'm also not talking about messages where the user actually clicked or responded to a link in the message. I'm talking about a cheap, entirely passive "reporting back" method (and not using embedded javascript, either).

A:I can't imagine they would care. Spammers just want to send out the most messages possible. The very reason spam exists - and is such a huge problem -- is that there is little or no cost to sending out millions of messages. Your motivation to care about how many are actually received would normally come from the costs of sending each message. But when it costs next to nothing, why bother worrying about it? Just send out the next million and see what happens! Oh, and calling people who send bulk e-mail "marketers" instead of spammers is insulting to real marketers. They've already given the whole industry a black eye -- don't give them the title as well! ;-) Well, there isn't a passive way to do it, but if you take the advice above, then you can do it actively without being "abusive." As for how many resources it would take, that depends on how many valid addresses you have, and what percentage of your recipients actually open their email from you. Assuming you have 1.5 million subscribers and 30% churn, then you've probably got about 1 million active addresses. If you get 10% readership, then determining that would involve having about 100,000 systems contact your system automatically. Or, it would use 100,000 "resources," so to speak. I think it is fair to say that the spammers have killed -- and eaten -- the goose that laid the golden egg...the potential of e-mail as a form of business communication was wonderful, but it has now been spoiled for everyone. There are a lot of people that are even reluctant to use it for personal communication anymore because they fear viruses and massive influxes of spam. And there are businesses that refuse to allow any attachments to be opened which further reduces the usefulness of e-mail, even for legitimate dealings with people you know. Sad.

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