"A while back I was speaking with a postmaster from a major ISP who said 'I don't care if the emails you send are reverse 911 emails; if clients are saying it is spam, I will block it,'" writes Chris Kolbenschlag at the Bronto blog. Though the absolutism of the statement took him by surprise, Kolbenschlag understood the logic.

"Just because YOU (the sender) may feel these emails are important to the subscribers," he reasons, "doesn't mean the people receiving them agree."

Kolbenschlag notes that ISPs are utterly indifferent to your email campaign's full compliance with CAN-SPAM; they don't, for instance, scan for obvious issues like valid postal addresses.

"ISPs block and place in the bulk folder huge amounts of emails that are CAN-SPAM compliant each day," he says. "What the ISPs care about is whether their clients want the email you are sending via feedback which determines where your emails end up."

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