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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Much Ado About Email

The brouhaha over the Yahoo/AOL/Goodmail plan to offer a certified email service is a big stink about nothing.

From what I understand, the service is elective, which means that if bulk emailers don't see value in it, they won't use it, and can continue business as usual. If you are happy with your email communications today, don't invest in it. Now if AOL or Yahoo force companies to use the service, that is an entirely different story.

Why is it a bad thing for ISPs to offer a premium service? Were there riots in the streets when organic milk was brought to market, as similarly companies were charging more for a superior product. Did people panic that regular milk was therefore going to be tainted? No.

All of this hoopla is just a knee-jerk reaction to the urban myth of the email tax. If it is a valuable service, companies will use it. If not, no one will use it or remember it in a year.

Regarding subscribers, Yahoo email account holders have very little to complain about since the service is free today, and will remain free tomorrow. For AOL subscribers who pay for their email accounts, the real concern about this service is if AOL sends "certified" mail that is really spam that passes through filters that they have set up. If I'm paying for spam blocking, I don't want a company to be able to pay to get around it.

By John Gartner at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

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