Email isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

Posted In: General Chat 

Email isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

Ahhh, email, email, email. The communication method that has revolutionised the way we communicate with one another. No longer does modern man need to spend a fortune on long distant phone calls or faxes, we can now use email – the best thing since sliced bread…right?

NO! In this weeks article I am going to be going on a mini rant but hopefully there will be some useful nuggets of information in there as well 😉

It all started earlier this week when someone filed a paypal claim against me saying they hadn’t received their digital item, I sent the download link manually a couple of times but still they claimed non-receipt. So far no great worries, paypal will rule in my favour because their protection policy doesn’t cover digital items.

The next day another of my email accounts starts to play up, this was a 1&1 hosted email account. The account was very important because it receives all of the new website orders that I have to do, I won’t bore you with all of the details but for the past 3 days emails have been coming in either:

– In the wrong order
– Around 4 hours after the time they were sent
– Not getting here at all

All of this has caused me a massive backlog on orders, so instead of doing the sites when received I’ve had to wait for the emails to catch up until all of the information has come through. Causing everything to take twice as long as normal hence the reason I am going on a mini-rant instead of writing a “real” newsletter.

Like all of my daft stories there is a moral behind it – DON’T ALWAYS TRUST EMAIL!!

Despite what people may tell you, don’t be fooled by the “Email is 100% reliable” rubbish that some people will tell you, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Have a quick think to yourself about how many times an important email of yours has been delivered to your trash can or Spam folder; I bet you can think of at least one occasion. This is becoming more and more common and there is nothing we can do about it, we can bitch and moan about Spam filters but at the end of the day they are here to stay.

We all know that Spam filters work really well don’t we, I mean I can’t remember the last time I was offered Viagra or pills that will boost my manhood **sarcasm**

You need to take into account these arising problems with your online business, don’t relay on just email communication. Give your customers multiple ways to contact you, relaying solely on email could mean you missing out on potential sales.

Maybe offer phone support, skype details or even Instant Messenger options, give your customers more than one point of contact.

The same goes for selling digital items, don’t relay on a delivery script that only sends out your download links via email, the vast majority will go to your customers Spam folder. Use a script or method that allows you to use download pages in conjunction with email links, cover yourself on all fronts – DON’T RELAY SOLEY ON EMAIL!!!

Rant mode off, if you made it this far thank you!

Hopefully the email problems will sort themselves out before it comes to writing my next newsletter, then maybe I will have time to write you a more “on topic” article.

Thanks for reading my rant, as always if you have any comments on what I have to say do leave a comment and I will do my best to reply – email permitting 😉

Thanks for reading,

Receive Free Email Updates When A New Entry Is Posted. Join Them!


12 Responses to “Email isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!”
  1. Colin says:

    Hi Dan,

    I couldn’t agree more with your comments….email certainly isn’t 100% reliable. Like yourself and so many others, the amount of spam is on the increase and many are from dead accounts offering to enhance your pecker… if we need it :o)

    I sell digital products and software using instant download, but the problems caused by inefficient email and spam filters really is rising to an unacceptable level, meaning that we are spending more time chasing these things up! My buyers (hopefully) get a direct download link at time of purchase as well as an email, and I test my links over and over to ensure that they work because of email problems.

    Email is about as effective as the postal service, you might get it, you might not!

    Hopefully the problems incurred will be sorted out by the hosting accounts administrators.

    To your success, and thanks for the interesting articles.

  2. Ruth Shultz says:

    Dan…I totally agree with you! Having said that ; I have to say this on top of your article. I have dozens of network marketers, niche site people,… a lot of people with businesses on the net emailing me….but what I don’t get is they send me their stuff but I can’t send them mine. I find that very unfair. I mean I think my endeavours are as valid as theirs. Where does someone get off; that is flogging vitamin juice for instance , telling me that they will report me as spam for just trying to give them a chance at GDI or some such thing. It is beyond me how people get lists!
    I know I am a small fish in a big pond but even little fish need to eat!
    So here I sit in the grey area of cyberspace trying to get a business going that gives me a decent income. Don’t know ….Dan it just doesn’t seem fair. I remain determined to be successful on the net but alas I am pouting a bit over this email thing and my struggle goes on.

  3. Dan (el_passo) says:

    Hi Ruth,

    That sounds like you need a service to collect emails, make sure they are all double opt-in and spam compliant.

    You will find most people use Aweber (link below):

    To send out their mailings, they deal with any spam complaints so you don’t have the hassle of dealing with it.

    Also, I spoke too soon about the electricity going down, about 10 mins after I hit send the power went!

  4. Hey Dan, I see you sent your email out at 12.02. Guess what time I got it? 14.31. Almost two and a half hours late. Guess who I use for most of my email accounts? 1&1.

    Now I’m not going to rant about 1&1 as I have used them for over 5 years and this is the 1st time I have had any real problems. Most of the time their service is excellent and at least all my websites are still fine (touch wood) but my emails have been all over the place for the last 3 days. I’m just hoping it does not result in a negative feedback comment for a non delivered items.

  5. Dan (el_passo) says:

    They have gone back down again this afternoon, at around 2pm you couldn’t even connect to the mail servers.

    There was a report in “the registrar” about the mail problems, they have been all over the place this past week, but at least its given me time to get some other stuff finished up!

  6. Paul says:

    Hi Dan.I simpathise with your rant and in particular the problems with adverts for viagra.I get these viagra (and other similar )adverts all the time,but what puzzles me is,HOW DID THEY KNOW?!Best Wishes to all.Paul.

  7. Graham Francis says:

    Hi Dan,
    Don’t know what this is to do with the e-mail situation but everytime I go to open something to do with you my e-mail says it thinks you are suspicious and do I really want to continue. If I am sending this, and you are getting it, you will know what my answer is. Wonder if any suspicious well knowns ever lived in El Passo.:-)
    The other point is, Why the hell have I never been offered Viagra. I might have tried some!!!

  8. Dan (el_passo) says:

    Don’t worry Grahamm i’m sure the Viagra fairly will find your mail box eventually 😉

    Email programs are annoying with those “You are suspicious” warnings, why do they never warn me about spoof emails but always pull me up on the genuine ones!

  9. barney says:


    In the latter part of my corporate life, I worked for MCI, the US telecom company. When MCI first offered business-to-business email, desktop PCs were, to all intents and purposes, non-existent. The appliance used, the “slate”, very much resembled a tablet PC – it had a keyboard, an RJ-11 port (phone jack), serial & parallel ports (for modem & dot-matrix printer connectivity), minimal RAM, and a screen that was 80 characters by 10-12 lines. (I may mis-remember the actual available ports.)

    When MCI marketed this beast, their claim was that _most_ mail would be delivered within four (4) hours, but there was never a guarantee of delivery.
    The selling point was the [near] _instant_ communication at a very low cost, not the reliability. And this was at a time when traffic consisted mostly of university and business communications.

    This was before spam, at least in epidemic proportions, and spam filters. The reason then (and it’s still a viable one) for non-deliverability was packet loss across the net.

    As more and more servers came on line, reliability increased and delivery time decreased. We’ve become accustomed to “instant” delivery. In fact, some of the kids who’ve grown up with email have never know those four hour delivery times. They think fifteen minutes is slow .

    However, the reason for MCI’s original sales pitch still obtains … there are still transmission delays and drops that have nothing to do with spam. In fact, the increase in multimedia advertising, particularly video, probably has more to do with dropped email than spam traffic. In some areas of the Web, the infrastructure – read bandwidth – simply cannot handle the traffic peaks. And it’ll get worse as Web 2.0 and multimedia and Rich Internet Applications and sheer traffic of numbers increase.

    Then it’ll ease off as the infrastructure catches up – at least until Web 3.0 and the next bandwidth hog … er-r-r, read ‘big thing’ .

    Make a good day …
    … barn

  10. Dan (el_passo) says:

    Hi Barney,
    I would by fibbing if I said your posts didn’t confuse me but thanks for posting 😉

    Im lucky enough not to have been around in the “wait 4 hour” days, I only started with computers in 97 so that was long gone by the time I arrived.

    According to 1&1 it’s simply a massive load of mail that the servers can’t handle, however it’s being going on for about 5 days now so I suspect it is something a little more complicated than that!

  11. Greetings Dan,

    The important thing to remember is that email was never designed to be a mass-communication tool. It came about in 1971 when Ray Tomlinson, generally recognized as the father of public email, developed a system so that messages could be left on main-frame computers. PCs and Macs didn’t exist at this time. It is also how the ‘@’ symbol came to be used by email, which were simple text messages only.

    Ray Tomlinson had no idea that email would develop into the mass-communication tool that it is today. Otherwise he would’ve designed it for mass-use and we wouldn’t have spam at all!

    The answer to spam, despite the best intentions of ISPs, governments and others, is a new category of Internet communication called Private Internet Mail.

    This is a closed system, has nothing to do with email, and is not subject to ANY sort of spam or any other email-borne junk.

    I can even go as far to say that delivery is guaranteed, WITHOUT resorting to adding &, *, ^, %, $, or any similar characters into your letters and messages.

    Further, there is even the ability to take back messages so long as they have not been opened or downloaded, no matter the number sent. Have you ever sent an email and wished a spam filter would eat it because there was something in it that you wish wasn’t?

    If you have a list or publish an ezine, can’t you see the benefit of this service to yourself and your readers?

    If you just go and try this system out for free for as long as you want, then you will qualify for a mini-vacation of 3-days and 2-nights.

    Have a look for your own benefit.

  12. Hi Dan

    I couldnt agree more. It seems to becoming far more popular that i receive support tickets saying they have not received log in details etc which i know have been sent due to junk filters, foirewalls

    I know that more and more isps are blocking emails that even resemble spam or use words such as free etc. More often they dont just block the email but the enture IP range wich means others cant get through