There was a time when being the first person to nab their first name at a famous email provider was cool -- after all would you rather be Tom@aol.com, or Tom687@aol.com? But now the first Tom is feeling the pain. If you email him, here's the reply you'll get:
'Was your eMail really for me? Tom@aol.com' receives several hundred eMails per day that are not intended for myself but were addressed incorrectly. As a result I can only accept eMail from known eMail addresses - your eMail address is not YET known to my Mail Filter...."
Which brings me to the subject of handling autoreplies from email subscribers. It's a grey, grey, grey area that many ezine publishers are debating these days. When opt-in subscribers switch email addresses, leaving an autoreply message behind saying something like "I'm no longer at this email address -- please send mail to me at this new email instead" should you switch their account over? We don't do it here at ContentBiz - but it's painful to see those hard-won opt-ins slip away. I may create a special one-time message to be sent to the new addresses asking them to resubscribe.
In the paid B2B content world this is even tougher, because who owns the rights to the paid Web subscription? Generally it's the company with either paid directly or reimbursed the staffer for the subscription. With corporate budgets tight these days, many staffers pay out of pocket for subscriptions. It's stuff like this that makes your customer service costs per average subscriber begin to rise.
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