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We’ve touched on this briefly before, but I think that it’s time to make it crystal clear: ISPs do not have to accept and deliver email – any email – your email – even if it isn’t spam.

Even if your email is double confirmed opt-in with a cherry on top – an ISP is under no obligation to accept or deliver your email.

In fact, CAN-SPAM specifically leaves email delivery decisions up to the individual ISPs, and exempts them from legal liability for those decisions.

Whether you feel that it’s right or wrong is immaterial: it’s how it is.

So ranting and raving about how “people want your email”, or how it’s not spam so the ISPs “should” deliver it, will get you nowhere. Or, more to the point, it will get your email nowhere.

Like it or not, your email is a guest at the ISP. You wouldn’t expect to be welcome if you pounded on someone’s door and demanded to be let in, would you? In the same way, your email will be much more welcome – and likely to get where you want it – if you use email manners.

Think of the email accreditation and reputation services and consultants as charm school for your email.

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