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E-mail Postage Is Coming

“E-mail Postage”:, the use of a “pay-per-email” model to get email delivered, is heating up as a topic for e-mail marketers. The idea has been around for a long time, especially after January 2004 when Bill Gates announced “Microsoft was looking into it”:
With some “recent announcements”: from AOL this stuff “is getting coverage in USA Today”: and the “New York Times”:
What is email postage?

In its basic form e-mail postage is about senders buying “stamps” to get their e-mail messages delivered to someone. It is a token-based e-mail certification solution that helps protect consumers from spam, fraud and phishing. Visit “Goodmail Systems”: and you will find out more from the company “selected by Yahoo and AOL”: to provide their certified e-mail services.
Very few e-mail service providers (ESPs) are offering certified e-mail but both “Digital Impact”: and “ExactTarget”: (where I work) have seen the need to provide this to their customers and have partnered with Goodmail, Yahoo and AOL.
In essence, Goodmail is a new “class” of e-mail. It is like moving from 3rd class postage to overnight delivery by courier or insurance that your e-mail messages are going to get through to the recipient inbox. With AOL it means these messages not only reach the inbox, by-passing their typical spam and content filters, but images will be automatically turned *on* as well. Normally images are turned *off* by default in the latest versions of AOL.
Will you need to use Goodmail’s solution to get email delivered?
No. Initially this solution will be important for organizations using e-mail for mission-critical communications or where they drive measurable revenue and profit from e-mail. Also, anyone with a large percentage of AOL users in their database may benefit from this.
However, not just anyone can “qualify” for this solution. Basically you have to be able to maintain very low complaint rates based on AOL’s unpublished thresholds. This means if you weren’t already able to get on the AOL white list, or their enhanced white list, you are unlikely to be able to use this to get your email delivered. If you follow strict permission guidelines and a reputable e-mail service provider with high deliverability rates, you should easily qualify.
Personally I think e-mail marketers that have questionable content based on language will be able to get great benefits from this type of a solution. For instance, companies involved in gaming, online pharmacies and those sending a lot of e-commerce offers will be able to use the words and phrases they prefer as opposed to having to modify these to address content filters.
Let me know what you think about this topic. If you have any questions about e-mail postage please let me know by posting a comment below or by “contact me”: If I get any good questions I will provide a follow-up post.


  1. Eric
    Eric February 13, 2006

    While it’s nice for a company to have an extremely important email delivered securely to a particular customer, I don’t think normal user will buy that.
    I already miss the free internet..

  2. Mychol Scully
    Mychol Scully February 17, 2006

    It’s not “like moving from 3rd class postage to overnight delivery by courier” for the recipient. If the cost of e-mail postage ends up being paid for by the customers being targeted by “token authenticated” e-mail messages, it’s more like paying someone to manually remove all the junk snail mail from the postman’s mailbag before he gets to your physical mailbox.
    SHOOT THE SPAMMERS who have created this situation in the first place! (And while you’re at it, bitch-slap the idiots who insist on clicking through those Viagra and free mortgage ads!)
    Just a thought.

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