If you haven’t authenticated your outbound marketing and transactional e-mails yet, what on earth are you waiting for?
After sitting through the Email Authentication Summit and reviewing our recent deliverability survey results, we can see the email industry is moving steadily toward authentication for both commercial senders, ISPs, and corporate recipients.
That means if you aren’t like the 24.2 percent of the marketers in our survey who said they’ve already adopted one of the two leading authentication protocols, your email may languish in the bulk folder.
We haven’t quite reached the authenticate-or-perish point, and we might never get there. E-mail security consultant IronPort predicts the adoption rate will level off at 50 percent or so by late 2007.
Still, current statistics for authentication adoption and other deliverability issues show how your email program stacks up against industry benchmarks, maybe even your competitors.
Authentication Up 60 Percent in 12 Months
The Email Senders and Providers Coalition (ESPC) and IronPort released studies recently showing adoption is spreading among both commercial email senders and ISPs, and corporate receivers. This is significant, because it creates what IronPort called the "critical mass needed to propel the standards forward":
But not everyone’s on board. In our recent survey, 24.4 percent of marketers said they authenticate email. Over half said they were planning to implement either SIDF (56%) or DKIM (52%), and just under half said they were thinking about it.
Spam Still Floods the Networks
ISPs Block One E-Mail in Five
Of email tracked by Return Path, 20.5 percent was either blocked or filtered to a bulk folder from July to December 2005. Twenty-one percent was blocked or filtered from January to June 2005, down from the previous year’s high point of 22 percent blocked or filtered.
|Non-Delivery Rates by ISP (%)|
1. Pivotal Veracity client data is from December 2005 through January 2006.
2. Return Path client data is from July through December 2005.
|Source: EmailLabs, 2006|
Improved message content and filtering, better list management and hygiene, whitelists, and changes in ISP blocking and filtering protocols most likely account for the decline.
Who Blocks the Most E-Mail?
If you haven’t authenticated your outbound marketing and transactional emails yet with either or both SIDF or DKIM, what are you waiting for? Make that call to the IT team. It will be well worth it.
Until next time, keep on deliverin’.
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
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As director of ISP relations and delivery, Kirill Popov creates and enforces strict usage and anti-spam policies, maintains ISP and community relations, and oversees all abuse and policy investigations and inquiries for EmailLabs clients. Kirill works with clients on best practices, content, design, and list hygiene to minimize potential delivery issues. He's a registered member of the SpamCon foundation and representsEmailLabs on AIM's Council for Responsible E-Mail.
Loren McDonald is vice president of marketing at e-mail marketing automation company EmailLabs, overseeing corporate marketing activities and client consulting services. He has 20 years experience in marketing, consulting and strategic planning. Earlier, Loren was founder and president of Intevation, an e-marketing services firm specializing in e-mail and SEM. He's held executive marketing positions at companies including USWeb/CKS (marchFIRST), NetStruxr, and Arthur Andersen.
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