Self-regulatory: Self-regulation Systems Based on Sender’s Reputation
Accountability systems tie sender identity to sender reputation. With IronPort’s Bonded Sender, a marketer goes through an initial screening of permission practices. Then the marketer posts a bond of $500 to $4,000 per month dependent on mail volume. The bond would be debited $20 any time an e-mail complaint is generated. If complaint rates are low, Bonded Sender can help a marketer avoid filtering at MSN/Hotmail and other domains using SpamAssassin or SpamBouncer. That translates into almost 30 percent of all e-mail boxes. More than 50 major mailers have signed up for the Bonded Sender program. The roster includes companies such as Amazon, CNET, About.com and Match.com. Habeas and Goodmail also offer reputation systems.
Such a confluence of approaches will result in better deliverability all around. A combination of legislation, technology and self-regulation holds the promise of finally defeating spam. It should mean less inbox clutter and less reliance on imperfect filters. It hopefully will mean better deliverability and with that will come higher response rates.
So, that’s the good news. But it will take time for all of this to happen. Most industry observers believe it will take a year or more for the technology and systems to be fully adopted.
What You Can Do Today
Deliverability is one of the biggest challenges facing the e-mail marketing industry. There are several deliverability “auditing” services available that provide marketers with very specific reports on whether their mail is getting through and which e-mail folder the mail is delivered to.
These services use a seeding system and provide marketers with decoy e-mail addresses to add to campaigns. They have opened e-mail accounts with all the major ISPs and also use various iterations of ISP software to determine how well the e-mail is rendered.
While these services work best for consumer marketers, there is much work also being done on the B-to-B front. Marketers can contact Return Path, Pivotal Veracity or their current e-mail deployment vendor for more information on these services and sample reports.