Over on MediaPost's EmailInsider, Paul Beck talks about his experiences at an email marketing conference in Holland.
One thing that hit home for me was Paul's comment that lots of e-mail related issues are new to the Dutch. My experience isn't with Holland, but it does seem to me that Europe isn't yet to the same level as the US when it comes to spam/list management/deliverability issues. I'm not seeing a lot of process and policy in place on the ISP front with regard to blocking issues. In the US, the top ten ISPs pretty much govern your email practices. In the EU, policy is set (at a very general level) by privacy directives, and the laws they instruct member states to create. But there's quite a big gap when it comes to ISPs enforcing best practices, working with senders to reward the good ones and incent the bad ones to reform.
It's a model that I think is successful in the US. My gut instinct is that the EU will get there, but I wonder how long it will take.