June 15, 2007

Is Permission Still Relevant?

Is Permission Still Relevant? My colleague Stephanie Miller wrote a great post on our Return Path blog this week entitled Is Permission Enough? The essence of her argument is: …permission is not forever…Subscribers opt in and then promptly forget about their actions…Nor is permission a panacea. Opt-in doesn’t replace relevancy and keeping your promises. And she goes on to give great examples of how marketers abuse permission and a great checklist of times marketers shouldn’t ASSUME permission, which is where the trouble starts. So I concur — permission is never enough from a sender’s perspective.  But you still have to have it.  Why?  Read on. I’d like to extend Stephanie’s argument from senders to receivers and question whether permission is as relevant as it once was in terms of how ISPs, filters, and blacklists determine whether or not to block mail. The argument for permission as a relevant filtering criteria goes something like this: 1. Unsolicited commercial email = evil. It is the true definition of spam.  If I don’t ask for it, you have no right to send it to me. The argument against permission as a relevant filtering criteria is more nuanced: 1. It doesn’t matter if something […]