Role-based email addresses are those that are generic or address a group rather than an individual person. The following are examples of role-based email addresses; [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and so on. So why do Mailchimp, AWeber, Constant Contact and every other major email marketing service make it so difficult to add role-based email addresses as subscribers?
To answer why EDM organizations won’t easily allow role-based email subscribers we first need to understand the implications of being marked a spammer (a sender of unsolicited emails).
How spam affects Mailchimp, AWeber and others
Companies that are reliant on email delivery for their very existence have to do everything possible to avoid being marked as spammers. What happens when we send an email newsletter from a company such as Mailchimp is that we’re using their servers and domain names to send our emails. If a person marks the email we sent as junk/spam then the recipients email system will mark emails from Mailchimp as junk/spam in the future (because the email marked as spam was sent from Mailchimp). As Mailchimp have millions of customers it will be a disaster for Mailchimp if all emails sent from Mailchimp start to get marked as spam as the viability of Mailchimp as a company will be threatened (who will continue to use an email marketing company that can’t deliver emails successfully?).
What makes this scenario even worse for Constant Contact and other such organizations is that there are only a few spam filters that power most email addresses worldwide. For example, Postini by Google is used for the billions of email addresses used in Google Apps and Gmail to identify spam and Microsoft SmartScreen helps users of Outlook and Hotmail to avoid excessive spam. If just one of Postini or SmartScreen started marking all emails sent by, say, Mailchimp as spam then this could destroy Mailchimp as a company
Why role-based email addresses are bad for email companies
All this talk of the dangers of being marked a spammer is great but how is this related to role-based email addresses? Quite simply, role-based email addresses by design are created to be received by any one of a group of people. The issue of role-based subscribers is best illustrated using an example:
- Mary and John both access the role-based email address called [email protected]. They work for an electronics manufacturer.
- Mary subscribes to receive email newsletters from Yoga Black-belts (this is a fictitious company).
- One day John is looking through the emails received in the group mailbox called [email protected] and notices an email from Yoga Black-belts. As the name Yoga Black-belts, in the context of electronics manufacturing appears ‘spammy’, and seeing that John didn’t subscribe for the newsletter he marks the email as spam.
- Email at Mary and John’s company is by Google Apps. As Postini is a learning-system, All emails sent from the EDM provider for Yoga Black-belts will now potentially be automatically be marked as spam.
It’s simple to understand from the example just how easy it can be for a campaign to be marked as spam when the campaign is delivered to a role-based email address. And that is why the major providers such as Mailchimp make it very difficult to add role-based email addresses as subscribers.