Tag Archives: Sweep

Hotmail Spam Filters Wage War on Baby Gray Seals on Your Behalf (I mean, Graymail)

In a bid to control what Hotmail has determined is email that you probably won’t read anyway; they have declared war on baby gray seals (I mean, Graymail).

“…In previous posts on our blog, we talked about how we’ve reduced true spam in the inbox to under 3% using SmartScreen™ filtering. But we realized that getting rid of true spam wasn’t enough, because 75% of the email messages that people reported as spam are really legitimate newsletters, offers, or notifications that you just don’t want anymore. We call this type of unwanted email graymail, and we’re excited to announce five powerful tools to help you take control of your inbox, get rid of graymail, and keep track of the email that’s important to you…”

Seriously? You “realized that getting rid of true spam wasn’t enough,” so you thought that you might as well decide (on my behalf) what newsletter subscriptions and other items in my inbox aren’t worth my time? I wonder if their own emails fall into the Gray Seal Graymail category? Or do they assume that we would of course love to receive their messages?

“I can’t help but think that Hotmail’s approach to graymail is [unfortunately] all too similar to the waiter who takes my plate away before I have a chance to finish the last few bites. Sure, he might be efficient at clearing his tables, but only at the expense of the people sitting there.” – Me

Personally, I find the whole thing a bit presumptuous of Hotmail (and other email services who do this). Listen, if I don’t want to receive my daily Gizmodo newsletter I’ll let them know, okay? Stop making me work so hard to receive email from legitimate senders, and stop making it so hard for legitimate publishers of email newsletters to get their email delivered to the inbox of their opt-in subscribers.

I understand that the Hotmail’s requirements, like an unsubscribe link in the email header, are things that legitimate senders should be are doing anyway; but you can bet that there will be false positives and mistakes which create unnecessary obstacles for legitimate senders and subsequent hassle, especially for small businesses email newsletter publishers who don’t have the resources to dedicate too much time to unnecessary delivery issues caused by Hotmail’s increasingly zealous spam filters.

Seriously, you have not right to do that.

Concentrate on the actual spam sent by actual spammers who send me email that I did not sign up for, like yours.

Tom Sather at Return Path provides a nice summary of what the new Hotmail rules means for email marketers.