Reply-All: Three Day Weekend Edition

  • From all the coverage of Gmail Priority Inbox, you’d think nothing else happened in the e-mail deliverability world this week. Well, actually, not much else did, but we’ll get to that later.
  • MSN/Live/Hotmail, hot on the heels of their own re-tooling of “hands free” inbox management
    tools, announces (or re-announces) that they, too, are using engagement metrics to make delivery decisions – and furthermore, user level preferences will override server-level filtering policies. Proof that one man’s trash may truly be another’s treasure.
  • Not everyone is happy about these developments: E-mail marketing agency CEO and “thought leader” Dela Quist asserts in a rambling screed that “interfering with someone’s email [sic] infringes on their rights”, and doing so invites a class action suit. It’s plain to me (and others, judging from the comments on the piece) that he’s actually arguing for senders’ right of unfettered access to their recipients’ inboxes. No such right exists, of course: courts in the US have considered and rejected the notion on at least two occasions – once as early as 1996 (AOL v. Cyberpromo). And of course, there’s both the CDA and CAN SPAM, both of which hold ISPs harmless for filtering mail.

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