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, ESPs, ISPs, spam filtering companies, system administrators, email appliance manufacturers – you name it.  What we learned was that the program was ground-breaking when it was launched in 2002 but that it needed a makeover in order to meet the challenges that have evolved around spam and deliverability for both senders and receivers during the past few years. Our listening tour revealed that the Bonded Sender of old had four core issues that weren’t sitting well with the Internet community at large: 1.  Data validity:  some senders questioned the accuracy of some of the application and compliance metrics used; 2.  […]


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  Emailers who do not publish a proper Sender ID record are now going to (a) find themselves in the bulk mail folder at Hotmail and MSN, and (b) have a big fat disclaimer thrown on top of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 […]


June 15, 2005

Counter Cliche: Who’s The Dog in this Scenario?

Counter Cliche:  Who’s The Dog in this Scenario? Fred’s VC cliche of the week is a good one — “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll come up with fleas.” His point is a good and simple one, that VCs shouldn’t take people risks in deals and shouldn’t try to back management teams they have serious concerns about (ethical or otherwise) in the hopes of trying to change the team or change management. The obvious counter cliche is that entrepreneurs run that same risk in accepting capital from less-than-savory venture investors.  An ethically-challenged investor can wreak havoc on a young […]


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 […]


May 26, 2004

Popular Misconceptions About Bonded Sender

There have been many postings about Microsoft’s recent announcement to use Ironport’s Bonded Sender Program as one of its many tools to fight spam and reduce false positives. I won’t belabor them here, but there are three common misconceptions I’m reading on the web and in blogs that I thought I’d point out and try to clarify. Misconception #1: Bonded Sender is a Microsoft product, and Microsoft will profit from it. Why it’s not true: Bonded Sender is operated by Ironport, Inc., a completely separate company from Microsoft. Bonded Sender and its cousin, Sender Base, are used by over 20,000 […]