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AOL email ransom saga continues

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday March 8, 2006 )

Just a brief update on the AOL Greedmail, oops, Goodmail certification program – AOL now says that non-profit organizations who meet their criteria (?) will be able to participate in their certified email program at no cost.

Read more (AOL press release)

Some history if you haven’t read my previous posts on the subject:

In a nutshell, AOL want to charge commercial enterprises for their “certified mail” program – it’s basically their enhanced white list with some other credibility features that ensures that participating companies’ mail will get through to an AOL user unimpeded and with links and images functioning without warnings being presented to the user. The mail will also be flagged as “certified”.

As far as I’m aware, this does *not* mean that commercial email won’t get through at all if you do not pay to play. My concern, as I’ve mentioned previously, is that perhaps once the service is in full swing, AOL may choose to tighten filters even further in order to pressure more companies to cough up bucks to get their email into user inboxes rather than into spam folders with all sorts of flags discouraging the user from opening the message.

This (yet another) change of heart in relation to the very controversial certifcation program was in response to some non-profit heavyweights such as venting their anger in a very public way. Good news for non-profits, still not so good for the rest of us; but there’s also a number of commercial enterprises banding together to voice their disgust and raise public awareness.

This show’s not over yet, no doubt there’s more to come :).


1 comment for AOL email ransom saga continues
  1. A fairly recent development –, a broad coalition of both conservative and progressive groups, industry bodies and businesses opposed to AOL’s implementation of GoodMail, stated late last week AOL was blocking emails that included a link to site.

    I can’t find the response from AOL I read, but if I remember correctly the company stated that DearAOL was not being targeted, it was just a glitch in their mail systems. Here’s the report from

    Comment by Michael Bloch — April 17, 2006 @ 3:41 am

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