For sending out Newsletter/Update mass emails, we require payment of a nominal surcharge to cover our additional overhead costs in providing those optional services, which also discourages abuse of our service to send out spam and/or excessive free-download links with potentially unlimited demand, either of which could compromise our primary services.
Newsletters/Updates are so sporadically-used and unpredictable in scale that we cannot readily account for them as a standard feature with a routine overhead cost covered by the monthly flat fee structure that all our merchants pay. It would be unfair to make all our sellers subsidize the significant and wildly variable costs of an optional service that is not directly involved in taking and fulfilling actual, paid orders, and which only a handful of sellers ever actually use. Thus, to keep our prices affordable and predictable for the majority of sellers, we only require sellers who actually use these optional services to pay for the extra cost of providing them.
We outsource mass mailings for Updates/Newsletters to a third-party listserver for actual dispatch, so these mass mailings would not appear to be coming from E-junkie's servers in case they might be perceived as spam, which could in turn affect the deliverability of our regular thank-you emails -- an unacceptable risk to a key aspect of our primary service. Using that third-party server does incur a specific, extra cost for each mass mailing which needs to be covered, and the nominal fee also discourages abuse of the service to send out actual spam, which we do not want to encourage or enable in any way, not least because it could indirectly affect all our merchants if E-junkie eventually became identified as a spam source even indirectly.
Sending Update links in these mass mailings would also incur a sudden spike in download bandwidth which needs to be handled and paid-for as well. Our download fulfillment feature is provided for the purpose of selling downloads, not for distributing unlimited free downloads. Although we do grant unlimited download bandwidth usage for fulfilling paid downloads, which allows our pricing to be a fixed, predictable, recurring cost for our merchants, we still need some way to influence how that bandwidth is used if we cannot limit how much of it is used. Thus, we require payment of a surcharge to use the optional Updates service which creates a sudden surge of bandwidth demand that is unrelated to fulfillment of individual paid orders.