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AOL and Yahoo to Begin Charging to Send Emails

February 13, 2006

(Feb. 13, 2006) Both America Online (AOL) and Yahoo have announced they will begin charging commercial emailers a fraction of a cent for every message sent to one of their users.

AOL is implementing Goodmail’s cryptographic CertifiedEmail program, which will allow emails to bypass spam filters and go straight to a user’s inbox with images and hyperlinks intact. In addition, AOL will add a "trust symbol" to messages sent by Goodmail's CertifiedEmail senders. It will appear in the inbox and the message window, so members will understand that a sender's identity and reputation have been verified.

While there will be a cost for every email sent through the Goodmail program, it is actually expected to increase most organizations’ “email open rates” and return on investment since recipients will know messages are legitimate and not spam. The cost will vary, from a fraction of one penny to one cent for every email sent.

Yahoo announced a similar deal with Goodmail in October 2005 and is expected to begin its program in the next few weeks.

AOL will continue to offer its IP-based Enhanced Whitelist for emailers, which does not charge for messages, but is also more susceptible to abuse by spammers.

For more information, read the ClickZ article and its updated coverage of this issue.

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