Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2002)
 

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Subject: Re: how to handle... large ISPs blocking mailing lists/charge per email (fwd)
From: nolan @ celery . tssi . com
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 12:58:59 -0500 (CDT)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . com (List Managers)

> now consider if the ISP would have to pay 5 cents for every email send via
> a list like this one...how much then (cost) per day? a .05  per times 1000+
> , that times what 100 emails per day ? 5000 per day? on the equipment list i
> am on, 3000+ members at 300 emails per day that is 900.000 email per day
> times

You may have misunderstood my earlier message.  There are two types of
e-mails in this system, 'solicited' and 'unsolicited'.

Messages from a list such as this one or the one you reference would be
'solicited'.  This means that neither the list manager nor his ISP is the 
one being charged for each message.  Quite the contrary, they are sharing 
in the revenue pool from all of the recipients who agreed to pay for 
messages from the list when they subscribed to it.

And I'm not proposing 5 cents like the urban legend, I think that something
far smaller would contain the financial incentive to eliminate much
'unsolicited' e-mail.  (I have been using a penny in my examples because 
the math is easy, in practice I think it could be less than that.)

I run one very active list, it has had over a thousand subscribers during
peak periods (it is sports related, so it is far busier during the
season than it is right now) and it has handled over 100 messages in a
24 hour period.  So as the list manager, I would share in a revenue
pool of $1000 on a busy day, but each individual subscriber would be paying 
only $1.00 per day.  I know, because I've asked my subscribers, that many 
of them think the messages they receive from me are worth $1.00 a day.

This would give a chance for free market economics to work.  If my list
goes off-topic too frequently, my subscribers will decide that it isn't
worth the per-message fee any more and would unsubscribe.  As a list 
manager, it would be to my benefit to keep the signal/noise ratio high.

Spam would be a form of unsolicited messages.  Similarly, the e-mail I
sent to a company last week asking them about a product they manufactured
some years ago would be unsolicited.   That means it costs me a penny
to send it.  Would I have still sent it?  Yes, of course I would have.
(Had I sent it by letter it would have cost me 34 cents just for the
postage.)

But would a spammer send out a million e-mail messages to a list of 
addresses if it cost him $10,000?  I tend to doubt it, at a minimum the 
list of e-mail addresses would be much more tailored to the message.  And 
that's how direct mail marketers work today.  

I think this would put e-mail marketers and direct mail marketers on similar
cost footing.  
--
Mike Nolan


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