Return Path's Weekly Roundup

Hotmail launches disposable addresses, but with a twist. A disposable email address allows you to sign up for an email subscription somewhere and then delete or ignore the folder if you never plan on using it again. It’s also a great way for subscribers to use distinct email addresses per subscription for sorting, and also for figuring out who is selling their address to others. Gmail and Yahoo already have disposable addresses. Gmail uses “plus aliasing”, which allows you to append your address (to the left of the @ symbol) with anything you want, so [email protected] can create a disposable address called some_emailaddress [email protected] Yahoo is similar but uses a minus sign. Obviously for those that are smart (like spammers), it’s still easy to discern what the email address is by searching for addresses with a + in it and removing everything to the right of it. Hotmail is doing things differently by allowing one to create any email address they want to be checked within their primary account. So I can create [email protected] and check it within my [email protected] address, and spammers and marketers who want to sell my address won’t know the difference. So what’s the impact to you the sender? This is yet another reason to adopt a strategy around email activity and drop users that become inactive. Return Path offers a “Win-back Strategy and Testing Plan” that can help marketers out with this.

You can read about the new feature here.


AOL recently announced on their blog that an upgrade gone awry has now been resolved. The issue began on January 24th and wasn’t completely resolved until February 3rd. An AOL spokesperson noted that approximately 1% of AOL users had emails, folders and contact lists deleted from their account as well. Additionally, AOL had specific instructions for their subscribers to navigate their restored accounts. Apparently, restored email could not be placed back to the inbox, and had to be placed in a recovered folder. AOL supplies instructions and screenshots here. If you’ve noticed sporadic missing emails to your AOL subscribers or lower than normal opens and clicks, this could be part of the reason.

You can read more on their postmaster site here.


Facebook Messages, which launched past November with much ballyhoo and fanfare, plans to be fully released to all users in the next few months which will complete the slow rollout out of its new messaging product. For those of you familiar with Facebook Messages, know that it’s great for short, quick messages, but doesn’t really work for an everyday email account, especially for those in a business setting. Facebook took note and could be planning to add things like subject lines, cc: and bcc: lines.

You can read the article here.

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