As things continue to shift in favor of user privacy, inbox providers have been updating terms of service and policies in an attempt to provide more security and transparency to users. Email service platforms and deliverability providers have been feeling the effects of this change in policies and are trickling down to email marketers who have relied on third-party providers that provide inbox data.

Verizon Media, who will be enforcing their terms of service and data use policies, will no longer allow bot-controlled inboxes to report data to providers.

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The early part of 2019 saw Google tightening its grip on third-party developers that were in violation of its policies and scraping data from Gmail inboxes. The standard methods of aggregating panel data on message characteristics and campaign performance have changed over time. The trouble with this new panel data is that it mimics human interactions instead of informing email marketers with real user data.

“If Verizon is making this move, it will lead to systemic changes for marketers, but it is unclear ultimately where this will land,” said Chris Adams, chief technology officer of eDataSource and architect of IntelliSeeds®. “Verizon Media could choose to allow access for deliverability companies to have insights into inbox placement from traditional seed and smart seed solutions. I do believe that inbox placement insights are crucial for marketers. They care about sending email that is valued by their recipients’ and they need insights to serve them well.”

Inbox providers, such as Verizon, that are cracking down on bots and AI-driven solutions are going to have to collaborate with deliverability companies and email service providers to provide inbox insights. Email marketers could be left in the dark without these insights.

“Companies like eDataSource have played a critical part in helping marketers follow best practices, and send mail that recipients want to read, even when it means sending less email to their subscribers,” said Adams. “If Verizon Media puts a blanket ban on inbox placement monitoring, which will impact all the players in the space, I suspect that Verizon Media may make this type of anonymized data available to deliverability companies and senders. “

SourceJennifer Cannon