March 28, 2003, 12:00 AM

Bluefly takes e-mail in-house to better fight spam

Online discount fashion retailer Bluefly Inc. this week took its e-mail operations in-house to exert more control over ever-more stringent spam filtering programs at popular e-mail providers.

 

Online discount fashion retailer Bluefly Inc. this week took its e-mail operations in-house to exert more control over ever-more stringent spam filtering programs at popular e-mail providers, Alanna Richter, vice president of marketing, tells Internet Retailer. "We`re taking our e-mail in-house because it`s a lot easier for us to call AOL, Yahoo and others to tell them we`re only sending Bluefly e-mail," Richter says. "It`s a lot easier for us to do that than for a third-party e-mail service that handles a lot of clients."

Richter also says the in-house system, based on a marketing software suite from Blue Martini Software Inc., will make it easier for Bluefly to e-mail marketing messages tied to promotional events on Bluefly.com.

Bluefly, like all e-mail marketers, must deal with increasingly sophisticated e-mail spam filters deployed by AOL, Yahoo and other e-mail providers. Yahoo reports it filtered it out five times more spam last month than in February of last year. And even marketers careful to send out only permission-based e-mail messages can expect to have some of their mail misdirected into recipients` bulk mail folders, Richter says. By taking her e-mail system in-house, Richter figures it will be easier to rectify problems with filters.

She says the Blue Martini system also offers the advantage of letting Bluefly send out e-mail that uses only Bluefly`s IP address, making it easier to be correctly identified by filters. The system will also be set up to send out e-mail messages calling customers` attention to product promotions. "Now when we get in new Prada handbags, our system will automatically forward an e-mail marketing message to customers who signed up for information about them," Richter says.

 

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