Start-Up EnhanceRate Debuts Real-Time Deliverability

Silicon Valley-based start-up EnhanceRate this week debuted its entry into the hot email deliverability space. The company’s new tool alerts users by SMS or email, in real time, if an ISP is blocking their messages.

EnhanceRate’s solution works similarly to those of Return Path and Pivotal Veracity, in that the company sets up a number of mailboxes on the major ISPs, then seeds its customers’ lists with those addresses.

It then monitors the mail coming into its decoy inboxes to determine if and when an ISP begins blocking. Should blocking occur, the company alerts the marketer in real time with a wireless text message or an email.

“We do a statistical analysis on the pattern of the receipt of emails,” said Bart Narter, general manager of EnhanceRate. “If it’s been too long [since a message was received] we sound the alarm.”

Users may then pause the sending process and resolve the issue with the blocking ISP. So far, EnhanceRate monitors America Online, Microsoft’s Hotmail and Yahoo, but the company expects to add several more ISPs later this year. Eventually, the company plans to offer alerts when email starts landing in the decoy mailboxes’ spam folders. That functionality is expected in 2005.

Blocking by ISPs is a significant issue for marketers. A January report by JupiterResearch, a division of this publication’s parent company, found that the costs of legitimate email blocked as spam will nearly double by 2008, soaring to $419 million. The researchers set the costs of such blocking in 2003 at $230 million.

EnhanceRate hopes to sell its services both to email service providers and directly to marketers. The company has been beta testing with client HP.

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