Hotmail sweeps away unwanted email – what does it mean?

The new Livemail / Hotmail – whatever they’re calling it nowadays seems to have this big sweep feature where you can sweep all of your unwanted emails away. The Directmag post The New Hotmail – Clean Sweep for Good Senders (12/07/2010) appears to describe it best.

The Sweep feature helps subscribers more easily and quickly manage the gray mail – that is, previously opted-in e-mail streams such as newsletters, social networking updates, and product promotions that users no longer wish to receive. With sweep, users can move all messages from a particular sender to a folder, delete all messages from a particular sender, and block all future messages from a particular sender.
Senders whose mail is “swept” should not suffer any impact to their sender reputation score. In fact, the number of “unsubscribes” and spam complaints should decrease as more recipients use sweep rather than unsubscribing, deleting e-mails or complaining.

Dick Craddock of the Windows Livemail blog in Re-inventing Windows Live Hotmail – the next generation of personal email (17/05/2010) stated:

With the new Hotmail, we’ve introduced practical innovations to help people manage the clutter and regain control of their inboxes – efficiently. What’s more, you can manage clutter not only in your Hotmail inbox, but also in your inboxes from other email services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail Plus, or AOL, all from within Hotmail.

Which is a clever, seeing they lost a lot of web-savy users to Gmail because of their lack of pop and smtp support. For a long time you could only use Microsoft Email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express etc. and then new addresses had to pay for it.
The reason why gmail was so open to letting people use their email from everywhere was to get more users, so when you did go on-line, you went to Google first, saw their adds and Google could see where you went.

Now Microsoft have done a decent update they are saying that they have a decent interface with convenient tools, so you should use that as your main inbox and suck all of your other addresses into hotmail.

My main concern is that this is actively inviting more emotional unsubscribes. Of course the point could be made that anybody who sweeps has already emotionally opted out.

I reckon with that level of ability and tracking that hotmail do to the email they sweep in order to block it in the future, surely they could feed it back to good senders so that we can know to do better.

Ideally they would send it back on some sort of feedback loop. Maybe Return Path or someone like that could offer it in as an additional paid service so Microsoft know that only good senders are using it?

On the other hand, as hotmail view a ‘mark as spam’ as an optout and uses the feed back loop to get that done, will they eventually count a sweep as an optout?
This canb’t be unfathomable seeing as it is doing the same thing as junking by moving mail away from the inbox and blocking future mails, just ‘not in a nasty way’ :-/

Or could they use the renewed use of ‘list unsubscribe’ to report back the sweeps.
That way, as it is likely that only the good senders will spend the time to build in List ‘Unsubscribes’, they will know about it and because they are good sender they will be able to do something about it.

A few questions there, we’ll have to see what happens?

One response to “Hotmail sweeps away unwanted email – what does it mean?

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