February 11, 2004
Email whitelists are starting to work

As discussed with Adam in earlier posted "To filter or not to filter", I think whitelisting of the senders of marketing emails one choses to subscribe to is the way to go for the future.

No matter how many laws and how powerful spam filters and virus killers we'll have, there will always be spammers, and creating a whitelist is a pretty good way of limiting the inbound flow of emails (at least allowing you to prioritize email from known senders; chucking mail the filters sorts away to a set of secondary/tertiary priority mailbox(es) for skimming when having some spare time.

Proof(?) that marketeers are warming up to this development came in a marketing email I received the other day from a PalmOS software publisher I registered with a long time ago. They start all their emails with:

You have received this message from DataViz. To ensure receipt of our e-mails, please add {listname}@{server}.dataviz.com to your e-mail address book.
Whitelisting is gaining popularity with free webmail services like Hotmail, and this extract from a marketing email shows that marketeers are waking up to the challenge.

...Of course there's nothing to stop spammers to pretend they're DataViz when sending me spam, but the % probability of having the correct From address for a high % of email reciepients' whitelists is definitely smaller than the random fire spams we see so far...

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I'd set up a filter for mails from my company domain (oracle.com), since potentially anyone from the thousands of my company employees can send me important mails (not to mention the random "announcement" mails from arbitrary IDs like "party.tonight@oracle.com"). But I've ended up getting mail from spammers posing as some.unknown.fuck@oracle.com :-)

Posted by: Manish Jethani on February 11, 2004 02:16 PM
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