Certification for E-Mail Senders

In a move to instill confidence in email, TRUSTe will offer a “We Don’t Spam” seal that will appear on opt-in email sign-up pages. To obtain the seal, email senders must pass a certification process.

The seal is intended to serve as a trust mechanism, not spam prevention. It demonstrates the sending company conforms to standards set by the non-profit organization.

“It’s a logical next step in the evolution of the struggle that’s going on between good and evil,” said Matt Blumberg, president and CEO of Return Path. “Solid permission-based policies and practices are critical to both email deliverability and email acquisition improvements.”

Certification will require a continued examination of seal holders’ email practices. TRUSTe will use a proprietary list seeding system and a consumer complaint mechanism to flag investigation.

“This step really solidifies what we have been talking about in this industry,” said Ken Takahashi, VP of strategic partnerships for DoubleClick. “This seal makes it very clear, black and white, whether a consumer can trust [an email sender].”

The certification process insures legitimate email senders follow best practices. Question remains how TRUSTe will address “We Don’t Spam” seal forgeries by unauthorized email senders.

Return Path, a founding partner of TRUSTe, will act as exclusive reseller of the “We Don’t Spam” seal. Another founding partner, DoubleClick, serves as a program advisor.

Participation in a trial of the program yielded a seven percent increase in registration for AskMen.com. TRUSTe wasn’t able to name additional trial participants.

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