Live from Deliverability Bootcamp: 90% of E-mail Is Spam

Apr 19, 2006 6:35 PM  By

Chicago–Spam accounts for 90% of all e-mail traffic, said panelists at the E-mail Sender and Provider Coalition’s Deliverability Bootcamp on Tuesday.

The percentage of spam flooding the Internet has grown dramatically recently and is the highest it’s ever been, they said.

AOL handles more than 4 billion messages every day, of which only 300 million400 million reach their targets, said AOL postmaster Charles Stiles.

Hotmail also handles about 4 billion messages a day, about 400,000 of which are legitimate, said Steve Bassler, product manager at Microsoft Corp.’s MSN Hotmail.

Representatives of AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! were on hand to discuss how they filter incoming e-mail in their ongoing battle against spam and what marketers can do to make sure their messages reach their targets.

For its part, Hotmail is moving ahead with its plans to use its Sender ID authentication scheme to flag incoming mail that is not authenticated.

Aiming to fight the attempts that fraudulent e-mailers commonly use to forge return address information, inbox providers have been increasingly using e-mail authentication to determine whether an incoming message is really from the servers its senders claim.

Microsoft is testing a version of its authentication scheme on its new e-mail service, Windows Live, where messages that are not authenticated arrive with a big pink warning bar across the top saying “Potentially Dangerous Message. Mail has failed sender ID check. We recommend you contact the sender via phone before opening this mail.”

The company plans to migrate all its Hotmail addresses to Windows Live in the next nine to 12 months, said Bassler.

Presumably, marketers who haven’t authenticated their servers can expect to see all their e-mail sent to Microsoft-managed inboxes arrive with the above warning once the company moves its users to Windows Live.