E-mail Group Shifts Focus

Reflecting its broadening membership, the E-mail Service Provider Coalition (ESPC) has changed its name to the E-mail Sender and Provider Coalition.

“Over the past year, the email industry has needed — and has found in the ESPC — a rallying point, a network, and a voice for issues specific to email, whether marketing, technological, or legislative issues,” Trevor Hughes, executive director of the ESPC, told ClickZ News.

The move is more reactive than proactive, reflecting an organic change in the group’s composition more than any conscious decision to broaden the group’s scope, Hughes said.

“This doesn’t change our mission significantly. We’ve found that the work we’ve been doing has served a broader range of constituents within the email channel,” he said.

Now at 75 members, Hughes said new members of the ESPC are increasingly not ESPs themselves, but other companies that service the industry, or that have an interest in its success. The expanded membership includes email senders, ESPs, email receivers (such as ISPs), message transfer agents (MTAs), reputation service providers (RSPs) and other vendor companies and organizations.

The ESPC has long worked with such companies through its various committees and programs. Its vendor relations committee began working with reputation service providers in 2003, and has been a leader in the push to adopt authentication standards like SPF and SenderID.

While the ESPC will continue its roles in fighting spam, championing authentication, and acting as a legislative watchdog, Hughes said the organization will take on a new role in 2006 — industry cheerleader.

“It’s time for us to focus on spreading the word about how effective email can be, not just for marketing but for all sorts of purposes,” Hughes said. “E-mail is still the killer app, but I think a lot of people have lost sight of that lately.”

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