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 mailer’s perspective is inbox placement rate.  Let’s face it – nothing else matters.  Being in a junk mail folder is as good as being blocked or bounced. Justin’s secondary point is also a good one.  An email service provider only has a limited amount of influence over a mailer’s inbox placement rate.  Service providers can and must set up an ironclad email sending infrastructure; they can and must support dedicated IP addresses for larger mailers; they can and must support all major authentication protocols — none of these things is in any way a trivial undertaking.  In addition, service providers […]