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Be Careful Of Email Monetisation

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Jul 29, 2011
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I remember about eight years ago at the very first DomainFest conference in Hollywood I spoke of different ways of monetising domain names. At the time I was particularly interested in the email traffic flowing into domains and how best to earn revenue from it. So what did I find out?

At my company, ParkLogic, I made it my mission to understand if there was any way that the email traffic could be monetised. After setting up mail servers we soon discovered that there was a LOT of traffic that meant we needed to throw some more iron at the scaling problem.

Several million inbound emails later we then found that not surprisingly about eighty percent of the traffic was SPAM. This meant that you needed even more servers to filter this out and be at least in a position to reply to any good emails. So after filtering out the SPAM we found that there was still a lot of inbound emails that we could legitimately reply to.That was the good news.

For those of you that are wondering, replying to this type of email is absolutely SPAM compliant as it is replying to an inbound email (ie. they SPAMMED us first!). What you can’t do is continue to email the sender unless they have engaged you in some other fashion. Strictly speaking the SPAM act really never considered that the mail house could first be effectively SPAMMED by legitimate, misdirected emails.

In our case, we were more interested in seeing if we could get some sort of engagement as a part of our test. So we made our reply really simple… went something like, “Sorry the person you’re after is not here. If you are interested in what we do then please go to this domain - <DOMAIN NAME>”

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