Hotmail – a change for the good?

14th October 2011 By Tim Butcher in Industry comment

Changes are afoot at Hotmail but how are they going to affect email marketers? Hotmail is very proud of its spam filter technology and claims it has reduced true spam in the inbox to less than 3%.

However even with this very low rate, Hotmail users are still marking messages as spam. So why is this? It turns out that 75% of the email messages that people report as spam are really legitimate newsletters, offers, or notifications that recipients just don't want anymore.

So Hotmail has introduced a new classification type called graymail.

One-click unsubscribe?

Hotmail has also introduced an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from newsletters that they are no longer interested in.

When a Hotmail user clicks on the unsubscribe button a message is automatically sent to the sender telling them to remove the email address from their lists and send no further emails.

Hotmail users can also use Sweep to immediately clean up their inbox and remove all the old newsletters from that sender.

Should the sender ignore the unsubscribe request, any future emails sent will be placed in the junk mail folder. The unsubscribe mechanism it powered by the list-unsubscribe header in each email, which little green plane has already been including automatically now for a couple of years.

So what does it all mean?

As an email marketer, this announcement initially sounds like another barrier to get your legitimate emails read by the recipient, however we think it is actually a good change.

By reducing the clutter in people's inbox they are more likely to read the emails that they are actually interested in - and better recipient engagement is a good thing.

If a recipient is more motivated to read your email then they are more likely to be interested in the offer you are sending and that means more business for you.

Tim Butcher
About the Author

Tim Butcher

Tim is the technical director and founder of little green plane. He oversees all new product development and functionality within little green plane, helping you take your email marketing campaigns to new heights. Tim is a member of the Institute of Directors and econsultancy.