May 8, 2006

So, Where’d They Go?

So, Where’d They Go? As we’ve reported a couple times in the past, one of our interesting nuggets at Return Path is a wealth of “ISP switching data” that comes from our very large, active, self-reported Email Change of Address, or ECOA, service (consumer sign-up; client info). I noted the article floating around last week that AOL lost about 1 million subscribers last quarter, the lion’s share in the U.S., of course. So, where’d they all go? Well, according to our ECOA data, which may of course be somewhat skewed by our data sources (but has data from well over 1 million consumers each quarter), AOL users defected as follows: To Yahoo! — 42.5% To broadband providers in aggregate (cable, etc.)– 23.5% To Hotmail/MSN — 19.5% To Gmail — 2.7% Thanks to my colleague Iffat Ahmed for help pulling these numbers together.


April 18, 2006

A New Season for Bonded Sender (now Sender Score Certified)

A New Season for Bonded Sender (now Sender Score Certified) (With apologies to my non-email industry readers for such a long detailed posting) Ah, spring.  New life is everywhere.  Winter clothes are being put away, birds are returning from their winters in the south, flowers are blooming.  We at Return Path are doing our part by announcing the “rebirth” of our Bonded Sender Program, the Internet’s largest and oldest email accreditation program, or whitelist, as Sender Score Certified. Since we acquired Bonded Sender last fall, we’ve had the opportunity to go on a “listening tour” – talking to marketers, publishers, […]


February 3, 2006

Why Email Stamps Are a Bad Idea

Why Email Stamps Are a Bad Idea (also posted on the Return Path blog) Rich Gingras, CEO of Goodmail is an incredibly smart and stand-up professional.  I’ve always liked him personally and had a tremendous amount of respect for him.  However, the introduction of the email stamp model by Goodmail is a radical departure from the current email ecosystem, and while I’m all for change and believe the spam problem is still real, I don’t think stamps are the answer.  Rich has laid out some of his arguments here in the DMNews blog, so I’ll respond to those arguments as […]


October 11, 2005

Response to a Deliverability Rant

Response to a Deliverability Rant Justin Foster from WhatCounts, an email service provider based in Seattle, wrote a very lengthy posting about email deliverability on the WhatCounts blog yesterday.  There’s some good stuff in it, but there are a couple of things I’d like to clarify from Return Path‘s perspective. Justin’s main point is spot-on.  Listening to email service providers talk about deliverability is a little bit like eating fruit salad:  there are apples and oranges, and quite frankly pineapples and berries as well.  Everyone speaks in a different language.  We think the most relevant metric to use from a […]


June 22, 2005

Why We Love Email Authentication, But Why It Won’t Stop Spam

Why We Love Email Authentication, But Why It Won’t Stop Spam Microsoft made a big announcement today that they’re taking email authentication, in the form of Sender ID, very seriously.  They’re using a stick, not a carrot.  Emailers who do not publish a proper Sender ID record are now going to (a) find themselves in the bulk mail folder at Hotmail and MSN, and (b) have a big fat disclaimer thrown on top of their emails from Microsoft warning users that the email’s source can’t be authenticated. At Return Path, we’re big fans of authentication, and we’re sponsoring the upcoming […]


April 21, 2005

Gmail, I Don’t Get It, Part III

Gmail, I Don’t Get It, Part III This is the third in a somewhat drawn-out series of postings on Gmail featuring some interesting data from Return Path’s Email Change of Address service, which captures self-reported address change data from nearly 1 million consumers every month. The first posting, back when Gmail launched nearly a year ago, was that I didn’t understand the fuss.  This is even more true now that Yahoo is in a “free storage” war with Google. The second, in November, had some change of address stats reporting that the numbers of people joining Gmail was tiny relative […]


April 11, 2005

You Heard It Here First, Part II

You Heard It Here First, Part II Tomorrow, Return Path is going to announce that we have acquired the Bonded Sender Program from IronPort Systems (the release is here).  As usual, I’m happy to pre-announce M&A activity on my blog in exchange for a moment of self-promotion. Bonded Sender is the industry’s oldest, best known, and most effective whitelist/accreditation program.  In a nutshell, it’s a bitch for mailers to qualify for it — they have to demonstrate that they’re a super high quality mailer and get certified by our partner TrustE — but once they do, they have relatively guaranteed […]


November 9, 2004

Gmail – I Don’t Get It, Part II

Gmail – I Don’t Get It, Part II Back in June, I blogged about Google’s new Gmail service, how I didn’t understand the fuss, and how its features would ultimately be replicated and true usership stalled at a couple million.  I stand by those assertions (just look at what Yahoo, Hotmail, and Lookout have done to the landscape since then), but my company Return Path published some data today that’s interesting on this topic. We run the largest Email Forwarding and Email Change of Address service around, so our data on email switching is pretty solid — we’ve had about […]


June 11, 2004

Gmail – I Don’t Get It

I honestly don’t get all the buzz about Gmail, Google’s new email service. I took a look at it today to see what the the big deal was. It’s got a few features which are marginally better than other webmail services, but not too many and not massively better. The free storage is not a big issue for most users, although it may cause a few power users to switch over. The most interesting feature in my mind is the ability to use Google Search on your own email file, which is very useful. All in all, it’s a good […]