Is Google strangling mailers?

Have you noticed the trend with List Mailers and Safelists?

For years owners have insisted that you must have a Gmail account or they would delete your account. I understand why. Other mailboxes and even domains were just bouncing the emails, no doubt partially due to the volume of mail hitting the mailbox.

I’ve been noticing bounce tests from various mailers for a while. At first, it was a trickle. Right now it’s becoming a flood.

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-gray-digital-device-193003/

The reaction of various program owners has been quite enlightening.

Some are pretending that there is nothing the matter. Others are trying to offer a solution. Others who I thought better of are ignoring support requests.

I have no doubt that the events of the past couple of weeks are the result of a Google algorithm change.

I also have no doubt that various servers and domain names are pretty much blacklisted. It’s a long way back from there.

Some professionally run mailers seem to be running without being hindered in any way. A prime example of this is the Darren Olander group of advertising sites. Darren ruthlessly polices his membership list and places inactive members on forced vacation mode. It’s a good policy. He never advertises a huge membership base but his activity and click-through rates dwarf mailers with advertised membership levels ten times the size. Other mailers have been moving to on-site traffic models for some time. Herculist for example uses a variety of mechanisms to improve click-through rates for emails sent. My testing reveals that most traffic from Herculist comes from on-site rather than email.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to people in the List Mailing industry.

For a while there, it seemed an hour wouldn’t go past without a new mailer launch. Most of these offered little innovation and served little real purpose other than to clog up the system.

People rarely close advertising accounts. They just drift away…and the emails keep getting sent to largely dormant mailboxes. Eventually, domains and more particularly, various headlines get flagged…and mails start to bounce.

The team at ListNerds saw this coming.

When they relaunched the site, they made a conscious decision not to deliver emails and to require people to log in to view emails. The concept of proof of mail and voting probably assisted in that regard but the decision to not deliver emails was a masterstroke.

So, where will this end?

I suspect we’re at the beginning of a major change that could be every bit as challenging as the Paypal purge of several years back.

The well-run mailers should be OK, but many of the 2nd tier mailers and safelists are going to struggle for relevance and service delivery. I’m a member of well over one hundred mailers. I know that the 80/20 rule is pretty much in effect with them. (80% of the business comes from 20% of the mailers). It’s probably time for a cleanout and a reassessment of how we use them and what we expect from them.

List Nerds points the way forward. It’s new, it’s difficult at first to get your head around, but it’s worth being involved.


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