Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 2003)

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Subject: Re: Questions for those who have this information
From: J C Lawrence <claw @ kanga . nu>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 21:30:15 -0800
To: "Anne P. Mitchell, Esq." <amitchell @ habeas . com>
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: Message from "Anne P. Mitchell, Esq." <amitchell @ habeas . com> of "Wed, 26 Feb 2003 20:27:19 PST." <3E5D2327 . 14296 . 4665DEC @ localhost>
References: <3E5D2327 . 14296 . 4665DEC @ localhost>

On Wed, 26 Feb 2003 20:27:19 -0800 
Anne P Mitchell <Anne> wrote:

> I'd be really interested to know if any of you have any information
> (statistical or even anecdotal) on the following:

I don't track, so this is anecdotal.

> 1. Average % of your mailing list mail which you figure is undelivered
> due to spam filters erroneously blocking it as spam.

Roughly one message in forty contain sufficient keywords that 0.5% of my
target MXes bounce the message (that's a bit high actually -- they keep
getting unsubscribed due to the bounces thus keeping the percentage

> 2.  If your list is now confirmed opt-in, but was not at one time,
> what % of subscribers did you lose by going to confirmed opt-in?  And
> how, if at all, has the quality of the subscribers, or the list in
> general, changed?

My main list is now double opt-in (standard Mailman).  Prior to that it
was invitation-only (you had to be sponsored by a member in good
standing).  Prior to that it was a rather clubby shared secret.

I've lost no subscribers due to the transitions that I know of as all
were grandfathered across each translation.  In the invitation only days
it ran just over 85% posters.  Now, having been double-opt-in for
several years its hovering around 12% posters (total number of posters
hasn't grown much, but churn rate in the poster population has (it used
to be nearly static)).  Quality of posters has almost bell-curved.
Previously it was heavily skewed toward the top end.  It remains skewed
currently, but only by about a couple standard deviation points.  Within
the population of posters the quality level is a standard power curve.
Additionally, reflecting the surrounding market and posting audience,
the list has become increasingly commercial in tone and topic (the
commercial applications and use of the subject topic) over the last few

> 3. If you could sit down, face to face, with the CEO of $BIGISP, what
> are the three things you would most like to impress upon them in terms
> of how they handle incoming mailing list mail from a list such as
> yours?

How they do or how they should?  I suspect you're not quite asking the
question you wish.

  Note that I'm in a slightly unusual position in that
  AOL+MSN+Hotmail+Yahoo together occupy less than 3% of my total
  membership roster.

I'll leave this one to others with the note that I'd like to see SMTP
extended to enclude VERP encoding within (larger) RCPT-TO bundles.

J C Lawrence                
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. 
claw @
 kanga .
 nu               He lived as a devil, eh?  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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